This past week the blurred heat and a wash of time has followed me back to my day to day life in New Jersey. I spent a dreamy week in New Orleans photographing, working my butt off-double even triple booked with appointments, drinking a few cocktails with old friends and writing about the Tales of the Cocktail, held yearly in New Orleans under the watchful eye of Ann Tuennerman.
I also took nocturnal walks around the city. Foolish perhaps carrying a Leica M8, but highly necessary. I found myself seeking the next great photograph in the dark with no flash, only a LED flashlight for Illumination.
It's been steamy hot, too hot to do much of anything outside. Inside it's even hotter without air conditioning.
The best bet is to hole up inside somewhere, a library, friendly coffee-shop or especially a cocktail bar.
This cocktail, named the Mercadito is aromatic, spicy and extremely palate stimulating. This crisp, refreshing and spicy cocktail just SCREAMS for Fish Tacos, Chicken on the grill rubbed with Slather Sauce from Charleston, SC - or just about anything with spices.
I enjoyed many interesting cocktails at the Tales of the Cocktail. One of these refreshing drinks is called the Mercadito Cocktail. It is threaded with aromatic herbs, spicy Jalapeno peppers, cooling cucumber and earthy Agave syrup.
This drinks works because the Tequila- in this case a Silver from Milagro (or you can use your favorite brand) lurks in the background of the drink. The first flavor you sense is crisp aromatics from the cilantro, next, coming into view is the cucumber.
The scene becomes crystal clear with the addition of just one perfect Jalapeno slice. The recipe calls for muddle, shake and strain over fresh ice in Rocks glass. Garnish with a cucumber wheel.
Bitter Truth makes some fabulous cocktail bitters in Germany. They tell liquid driven stories of the past- in real time!
Shake a few drops (or more) of the Bitter Truth Celery Bitters in with the cucumber, cilantro and jalapeno pepper slice in your ice filled cocktail shaker. Here is the recipe from Milagro.
1.5 Oz Milagro Silver
.50 Oz Green Chartreuse
1 Oz Lime Juice
.75 Agave Nectar
4 Cucumber Slices
1 Pinch of Cilantro
1 Jalapeno Slice
2 Dashes Celery Bitters
I'd even consider using a smoky Mezcal for this cocktail.
William Grant is the distributor of Milagro Tequila in the USA. From these pictures they really know how to throw a party!
Shots of Milagro Reposado that combine with Verdita to make the El Vocho Cocktail.
1 Part Milagro Reposado
1 Part Verdita (Pineapple Juice, Cilantro, Mint & Jalapeno)