A mezcal popsicle cocktail for you with a little smoke, a little citrus and a whole lotta flavor. Your new grilling cocktail is ready for you.
When playing with ideas for this cocktail, I originally wanted to use a whiskey with a vanilla syrup and some bitters, then top with that tangerine popsicle. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to include a smoky, charred element to the cocktail. I’ve been thinking of grilled citrus syrups lately and how the char also brings out vanilla flavor to match the vanilla simple.
So I thought about adding a little mezcal, but since we were serving this with a full popsicle, and since we would be serving it on the rocks, to keep the smoke from being dulled by the cold, I’d just use a split base of mezcal and tequila. It turned out beautifully the first time.
I swear sometimes cocktails are just meant to be.
If you have a mezcal or tequila lover in your house, go find a box of tangerine or orange popsicles and try out this flavor combination. Smoke and orange is a killer combination.
I backed up the spirits with some vanilla simple syrup which rounded out the straight citrus sweetness from the popsicle. I also added some https://bourbonbarrelfoods.com/product/woodford-reserve-orange-bitters/Woodford Reserve orange bitters to keep the orange notes in the base cocktail as well. That meant the initial sips of the cocktail had some orange in them even more the popsicle started to melt completely.
I imagined letting the popsicle melt completely before really drinking the cocktail, but in tasting it before, during and after photos, I found that was not the best way to consume it given the flavors.
Instead, let the popsicle steep in the cocktail for a few minutes, then taste the popsicle. It’s now infused with the salty/smoky flavors of the mezcal, supported by the vanilla simple syrup. It’s heaven in a lick. I promise.
Letting more of the popsicle melt into the cocktail would have given the cocktail much more tangerine, but honestly, you might want to serve this one with two popsicles. One to eat while sipping from the glass. The other to steep in the glass and change the flavors while you sip.
The sage leaf was a last minute addition that really worked. Sage accentuated some of the more savory notes in the tequila and Ancho Reyes, and mixed well aromatically with the tangerine popsicle.
Holy (Pop) Smokes
- 1 oz tequila reposado
- 1 oz mezcal
- ½ oz vanilla simple syrup
- ½ oz Ancho Reyes
- 12 drops Woodford Reserve orange bitters
- 1 tangerine or orange popsicle
- Garnish: popsicle, sage leaf
- Combine tequila, mezcal, simple, Ancho Reyes and bitters in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir until well-chilled and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and at least one tangerine popsicle. Slowly sip the cocktail, tasting the popsicle as you go.