Andrés & Cooper
This drink at Pigtail by José Andrés, a cocktail bar underneath the Chicago location of his tapas concept Jaleo, is a collaboration between Andrés himself and Ron Cooper, founder of the mezcal company Del Maguey, although the drink itself was created by Miguel Lancha, who holds the title of “cocktail innovator” at Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup of restaurants.
It starts with ¾ ounce of Del Maguey Ibérico Mezcal, which is made by hanging a leg of Ibérico ham inside the still during the third distillation of the spirit — that’s a variation of the process for making pechuga mezcal, which involves hanging a raw chicken breast in the still. Lancha said the mezcal was an idea proposed by Andrés when he visited Cooper in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
Next comes ¾ ounce of Yzaguirre 1884 Gran Reserva sweet vermouth from Reus in Spain, an area in Catalonia known for its vermouth.
Those are both added to a mixing glass with ice along with ¾ ounce of Hidalgo Napoleón amontillado sherry, ½ ounce of Cynar and a pinch of kosher salt.
That’s stirred together for around 30 spins and then strained into a rocks glass. A 2-by-2-inch ice cube is added, and the drink is garnished with a cocktail pick skewering two Kalamata olives and three slices of Ibérico ham. It’s finished with a squeeze of orange zest.
“It’s a very warm, kind of savory take on a Mezcal Negroni — if you will,” Lancha said.