Adding a thin layer of spirit on top of a drink adds a visible, dramatic blanket, which in turn adds a shock of flavor at first sip, then slowly incorporates into the drink as it sits. In this instance, a stirred combination of mezcal and dry vermouth is topped with a layer of Cruzan blackstrap rum. “It changes the drink,” explains bartender Pete Maben. “You get the sweet molasses of the blackstrap up front,” which then begins to mingle with the smokey, floral notes of the mezcal.
- lime zest, from 1/2 of one lime
- 1 sugar cube
- 2 dashes Teapot Bitters
- 1 3/4 ounces mezcal, preferably Nuestra
- 1/4 ounce dry vermouth, preferably Dolin
- 1/4 ounce rum, preferably Cruzan blackstrap
- At the bottom of a rocks glass, muddle together the lime zest, sugar cube and bitters.
- Combine the mezcal and dry vermouth in a mixing glass over ice and stir until chilled.
- Strain into the prepared rocks glass over an ice sphere.
- Pour the blackstrap rum over the ice cube, holding the pour spout (or jigger) directly above to create a layer over the top of the drink.