Margarita, who? This mezcal pineapple cocktail is so easy-drinking and refreshing.
This recipe comes from the Tex-Mex cookbook Amá, written by Josef Centeno, chef-owner of Bar Amá in Los Angeles. Here's why he loves it so much: "Smoky mezcal, fresh pineapple juice, serrano chile, and cilantro—this is one of my favorite cocktails. The mezcal gives it some edge, and the pineapple makes it easy-drinking."
1 large ice cube, plus more ice cubes for the cocktail shaker
1 slice serrano chile, seeded
5 or 6 fresh cilantro leaves
2 ounces (60 ml) mezcal
1 ounce (30 ml) fresh pineapple juice
¾ ounce (22.5 ml) simple syrup (recipe follows)
½ ounce (15 ml) fresh lime juice
1 pineapple leaf, for garnish
Make the simple syrup: Heat one part water and two parts sugar (such as 1 cup water and 2 cups sugar) in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cool before using, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two months.
Make the cocktail: Put the large ice cube in an old-fashioned glass. Muddle the serrano chile with the cilantro leaves in a cocktail shaker.
Add the mezcal, pineapple juice, simple syrup, lime juice, and ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain over the large ice cube in the glass. Garnish with the pineapple leaf.