Phil Ward, an early mezcal evangelist, was among the first bartenders in the United States to recognize the spirit’s adaptability, especially in spirit-forward constructions. His Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, created at New York’s Death & Co. in 2007, split the tequila base with a measure of robust, smoky mezcal to add depth to the familiar template in what would go on to become a modern classic. But he had even more luck letting mezcal stand in for the base spirit altogether in classic blueprints. His Division Bell, for example, sees mezcal take the place of gin and Aperol that of Chartreuse in a simple riff on the Last Word.
- 1 ounce mezcal, preferably Del Maguey Vida
- 3/4 ounce Aperol
- 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
Garnish: grapefruit twist, expressed and discarded
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into a coupe.
- Express a grapefruit twist over the surface of the drink, then discard.