This drink lands in my top five most-unconventional cocktails that I’ve developed. My intention was to create a drink utilizing ingredients grown in Mexico that are evocative of the terroir where mezcal is produced: cooked agave, bitter fruit (rhubarb) and orchard fruit (apple). The result is a bittersweet, somewhat morbidly named, apple- and rhubarb-flavored Negroni riff utilizing two uncommon bitters. Cardamaro (cardoon amaro) is a wine-based amaro that replaces the traditional sweet vermouth, while Amaro Zucca (rhubarb) stands in for Campari. Cyril Zangs' amazing apple cider eau-de-vie adds a nice juicy bite to the cocktail, and Del Maguey Chichicapa mezcal offers tropical notes and a smoky finish. It's cocktails like this that inspire me to keep pushing boundaries.
1 ounce Del Amigo mezcal
¼ ounce Del Maguey Chichicapa mezcal
¼ ounce Cyril Zangs 00 apple cider eau-de-vie
¾ ounce Cardamaro
½ ounce Amaro Zucca
Garnish: 1 apple fan
Stir all the ingredients over ice, then strain into a double old-fashioned glass over 1 large ice cube. Garnish with the apple fan.