UFC Fighter Jorge Masvidal Has a Mezcal, And It’s Really Good
It's also the ideal base for a simple, traditional Cinco de Mayo cocktail
When we first tasted Proper No. Twelve, Conor McGregor’s spirit of choice, we thought it lacked punch. But another UFC fighter seems to have teamed up with a winning spirit that has both personality and bite. And a worm.
Let’s explain: Recuerdo Mezcal is the top-selling mezcal available in duty-free airport stores and one of the leading mezcals in Mexico, according to the brand. Recuerdo — Spanish for memory or keepsake — is cooked with certified wood over river rocks and distilled with traditional Mezcal production techniques, and the agave is sustainably harvested in Oaxaca in a manner that “ensures the preservation of the agave plant and the environment.”
The spirit arrives in this country with the help of UFC titleholder and Miami native Jorge Masvidal, who became a partner in the brand a few years back. There are two varietals of the Oaxacan-based spirit, each made with Espadin agave and produced by Casa Armando Guillermo Prieto.
El Recuerdo de Oaxaca Joven is not so much smoky as it is white peppery, with a pleasantly smooth finish and hints of caramel and vanilla. I’d say this one plays well in cocktails.
El Recuerdo de Oaxaca con Gusano, meanwhile, features an agave worm —and yes, there’s an actual history of agave worms in mezcal, not tequila, and it does appear to change the flavor, hue and texture of the drink, at least with this Recuerdo. The brand uses the word “silkier,” and I’d say it does make for an ideal sipper.
Masvidal told Forbes he got into mezcal about five years ago and partnered with Recuerdo in part due to its sustainability efforts, including a program that gives farmers seedlings and then later buys back the agave at fair market value.
Tonight (Cinco de Mayo) at 6 p.m. EST, InsideHook will join Recuerdo on Instagram to make a delicious and festive cocktail. We’ll be discussing the brand, the surging popularity of mezcal, what Cinco de Mayo really means and how to pair simple mezcal cocktails with your favorite bodega foods — and in these times, that’s probably the safest and best way to experience this agave treat.
Our recipe, based on a traditional Oaxacan cocktail, is below. Head over to Instagram tonight to see a demo.
1.5 oz Recuerdo Joven Mezcal
1 oz orange juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
.75 oz grenadine syrup
Tonic water or soda
Chile flavored salt (sal de gusano)
Shake the mezcal and the juices with some basil leaves. Serve in a old fashioned glass frosted with sal de gusano with plenty of ice. Pour the grenadine and let it sink to the bottom. Pour a dash of tonic water or soda on top. Garnish with a piece of grapefruit.
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