Preparations: Add all ingredients to a shaker tin set and shake vigorously with full-cube ice (Hoshizaki or Kold-Draft) **Note a good rolling shake and good ice will muddle the mint enough for this delicious cocktail double strain into iced highball glass (full cube) and garnish with a large slapped bouquet of mint.
Inspirations: “La Morena”- named after the Virgen de Guadalupe, an iconic figure in Mexican/Latino culture, as the classic image of the Virgin Mary is portrayed with brown skin. Introduced by the Spanish, the natives of Mexico integrated the adoration of the Virgin Mary into their own cultural identity. With this cocktail, I wanted to take Spanish ingredients (Lustau Brandy and Sherry), combine them with Mexican elements and the American cocktail tradition to create a delicious libation that feels like an authentic expression of my culture. Born and raised in the El Paso Texas which borders Juarez MX, I have the pleasure of enjoying the cultures and cuisine of two cities in two countries. Having a family tree that branches into native-Mexico and Spain, this cocktail is an attempt at combining familiar elements from both to create a cocktail that “stands out” as something new. I describe the cocktail as “aguas frescas” (hibiscus,mint and vanilla) meets Mojito with a bordertown kick of heat (Firewater Tincture). The Brandy works as the backbone of the cocktail, providing the foundation, which is important that it be the Spanish influence in the cocktail. The tea elements (hibiscus and mint) are there to add the flavors of the Mexican open-air market (aguas frescas) The clarified lime cordial and vanilla liqueur work together to bring out the creamy vanilla notes of the brandy and the sherry works to add a touch of salinity and stretch the important elements out enough to create an extremely nuanced experience despite having ingredients that could easily take over the entire cocktail.