During the Día de Muertos, jauntily dressed skeletons or “calaveras” are hung in homes and public spaces, and made into decorated sugar candies to decorate the altars for the dead. La Calavera Catrina is the name of an etching by Jose Guadalupe Posada which depicts an elegantly dressed skull in a lavish hat at the turn of the 20th century. She is considered one of the original artistic expressions for contemporary Día de Muertos iconography.
To celebrate the sweetness of life this Halloween, try a cocktail that plays mezcal, ginger and caramelized pineapple against the slight bitterness of a cocoa rim. The smoky, vegetal flavors of the mezcal are a perfect foil as the weather gets colder. Long drinks (drinks diluted with a greater proportion of non-alcoholic ingredients to alcohol) are also a great introduction to the diversity of this bold spirit. The dense, creamy foam topping the cocktail is made by first dry shaking (sans ice) the ingredients to incorporate air, before adding the ice and shaking again, this time to chill the whole mixture. When using eggs in cocktails, store them in an airtight container with a small piece of ginger, vanilla beans, or any other highly aromatic component. Since egg shells are very porous, the aromatics will perfume the egg white, both masking any “eggy” flavor in the drink and giving more dimension to the finished cocktail.
1 oz. ginger perfumed egg white*
1 oz. caramelized pineapple puree
½ oz. fresh orange juice
2 oz. Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
3-4 dashes The Bitter Truth chocolate mole bitters
Barritt’s ginger beer
Divine Cocoa Powder
Combine all ingredients except ginger beer in pint glass and dry shake (without ice) for one minute, or until visibly foamy and increased in volume. Add ice and shake again until well chilled. Pour over fresh ice into a highball glass rimmed with cocoa powder, and top with ginger beer.
*To perfume egg whites, place whole eggs in an airtight container with a 2” piece of peeled ginger overnight. Separate and use normally.
Garnish: Cocoa Powder
Cocktail Photo: © 2013 Divine Chocolate / Photo by Jonathan Meter