Here in Texas, we’ve huddled around the traditional margarita for far too long. Though we try again and again to set the bar higher with each variation, in most cases, we can’t escape the pre-mixed aftertaste that comes with each sip. My taste buds thrive off of a fresh punch of flavor added to a strong and smoky cocktail to perk things up, and that’s why I urge you to try this new spin on the Moscow Mule.
I’ve always had an interest in the history of cocktails. From the heritage that the spirit derives from, to the methodology, to the art of serving style, each component comes together to produce something memorable. The Moscow Mule is quickly re-emerging from its 1950s glory days. It is becoming one of the most popular drinks in bars these days. It’s a novel experience to see sprigs of fresh mint escaping a glowing copper mug. However, for this Texas boy, it’s always about taking things to the next level. Now, it may just be from the heat of the pepper, but on more than one occasion, this drink has made hearts flutter and bodies warm. And with that response, I’d like to think it is due time for a new twist on the Moscow Mule as it becomes a standard again for barkeeps and their patrons alike. Revamping a classic isn’t always easy, but with muddled jalapeños and a flush of prickly pear sweetness, this mule kicks again. In this recipe, I am replacing the vodka with Mezcal, a smoky, “under the table” tequila used by master barmen who are looking to provide an exciting new flavor profile and south-of-the-border flair to their cocktails. I hope you’ll enjoy this new take on an old classic.
Prickly Pear Moscow Mule
Note: I know that spicy isn’t for everyone, so make sure to tailor the spice (or remove altogether) as needed. But I hope you’ll give this a shot!
Yield: 2 drinks
Glassware: 2 tumblers or copper mugs
Ingredients2 oz lime juice
2 oz Mezcal
6 oz ginger beer
1 oz. prickly pear syrupLime, for rimming the glassSalt, for rimming the glass
Jalapeño slices (seeded), for garnish
1.Sprinkle salt on a plate and set aside. Run a cut lime along the rim of the glasess. Dip the rim in the salt covered plate. Set the glasses aside.
2. Muddle the lime juice and jalapeño at the bottom of a shaker until well combined.
3. Add the Mezcal, a few cubes of ice and the prickly pear syrup. Shake vigorously until well combined.
3. Pour the mixture evenly into the two glasses.
4. Pour the ginger beer into the glasses until the drink reaches the top of the glass. Stir.
5. Garnish the drink with a few jalapeño slices for added bite.