Oaxacan Gold Margarita
Though this drink celebrates pineapple’s natural sweetness, the fresh lime keeps it from drifting toward cloying. Fragrant vanilla underscores mezcal’s smoke beautifully. (Vanilla and pineapple—especially grilled, broiled or caramelized pineapple—is a match made in heaven.) I find that a little spice is welcome here, too, so I often crust the rim of the glass with a spicy chile salt (equal parts salt and hot powdered chile, preferably chipotle).
Makes 1 cocktail
From Season 9, Mexico: One Plate At A Time
For 1 cocktail:
2 tablespoons Oaxacan mezcal
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
5 tablespoons Grilled Pineapple-Vanilla Puree (see recipe below)
6 to 10 small ice cubes (about ¾ cup
For a pitcher (16 cocktails):
2 cups Oaxcan mezcal
1 cup fresh lime juice
5 cups Pineapple-Vanilla Puree (see recipe below)
10 cups ice
For one cocktail:
In a cocktail shaker, combine the mezcal, lime juice, Grilled Pineapple-Vanilla Puree and ice. Cover and shake vigorously until frothy and cold; tiny ice crystals will appear in the drink after about 15 seconds of shaking. Strain into a 6-ounce martini glass and serve immediately.
For a pitcher:
In a pitcher, combine the mezcal, lime juice, and Grilled Pineapple-Vanilla Puree. Stir well to combine, then cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
Fill a cocktail shaker ¾ full with ice, and pour in 1 ½ cups of the margarita mixture. Shake, strain into 3 6-ounce martini glasses, and repeat for the remaining margarita
Roasted Pineapple-Vanilla Puree
Makes 5 cups
1 very large ripe pineapple (a generous 2 pounds), peeled and cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces (no need to core)
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract, preferably Mexican
Adjust the oven rack to the highest level and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, lay the pineapple slices in a single layer and roast under the hot broiler until the pineapple is softened and dark brown in places—about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
In a blender, combine the still-hot grilled pineapple with the sugar, vanilla extract, and enough water to bring the quantity of the total puree to 5 cups (you will need a generous 2 cups water). Cover and pulse until the pineapple is roughly chopped, then blend on high until smooth and foamy, usually a full minute. Strain into a storage container, cool, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use, up to 3 days.