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Nominated for Tales of the Cocktail 2008 Spirit Award for Best Cocktail Writing


Scorpion Mezcal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   

Scorpion Mezcal Anejo 7 yearAlthough tequila is the more famous of the Mexican spirits, mezcal is 500 years old and is older than tequila, yet despite being the senior agave this wonderful spirit is often overlooked. The award-winning Scorpion Mezcal from Oaxaca, Mexico is out to change that by offering artisan line of mezcals that include Scorpion Mezcal Silver, Scorpion Mezcal Reposado, Scorpion Mezcal Añejo 1 year, Scorpion Mezcal Reserva Añejo 5 Year, and Scorpion Mezcal Gran Reserva Añejo 7 Year that are perfect for cocktails as well as for sipping.

Although the art of distillation was brought to Mexico by the Spaniards in the 1500s, prior to their arrival, agave had been used for 1000's of years by the indigenous people and made into a 3% alcoholic beverage (beer type) drink. Mezcal, made from agave, is a very worthy product that unfortunately has not been as well marketed internationally as tequila and tequila's famous signature drink, the Margarita.

While both mezcal and tequila are made from agave, they are not the same spirit; tequila can only be made from 100% blue agave, mezcal on the other hand, can be made from 25 recognized varieties as long they are grown in the approved regions. In addition to Oaxaca, mezcal can be produced in 4 other states in Southern Mexico. Typically a mezcal distiller will use a blend of agaves, with agave espadin as the main ingredient. Using a blend of agaves allows the distiller to create his own unique signature product. Another difference between tequila and mezcal is in the processing; tequila is steam cooked and distilled in column stills, whereas mezcal is roasted in wood-fired pits and distilled in small batches in copper pots stills. Lastly, while tequila is only required to use 51% agave spirits unless specified on the bottle and may be bottled anywhere, mezcal must contain 100% agave and be bottled at the source. Mezcal has its own Domination of Origin Status and certification standards apart from Tequila.

So, now that you know a little history about mezcal, let's talk specifically about Scorpion Mezcal made in San Augustin de las Juntas, Oaxaca, Mexico. While some mezcals incorporate a worm in the bottle and is called con gusano that adds flavor to the spirit, for some people, having a worm in the bottle has definitely been a detriment to them trying mezcal.

Doug French, producer of Scorpion Mezcal does not add a worm to his mezcals, he adds a scorpion exoskeleton to the bottle, which while it does add a certain caché, has no flavor, no nutritional value, is not harmful, and is really just for fun. Barbara Sweetman, Vice President and International Sales Manager, coined the phrase "worms are for wimps." All kidding aside, Scorpion Mezcal offers a selection of 5 excellent mezcals in their portfolio: Silver, Reposado, Añejo 1 Year,  Reserva Añejo 5 Year, and Gran Reserva Añejo 7 Year. 

The Tasting Notes for the Scorpion Mezcal Family:

Scorpion Mezcal SilverScorpion Mezcal Silver Mezcal Joven, 40% alcohol, is the youngest member of the Scorpion Mezcal Family and is made from 100% agave, is clear in color, is freshly distilled, made in small batches, and receives no aging. When swirled and sniffed, it gently coats the glass with a velvety viscosity, and the nose elicits fresh, slightly sweet, and herbaceous notes, with a smooth and clean finish on the palate. The Scorpion Mezcal Silver is perfect for mixing in cocktails.

Scorpion Mezcal ReposadoScorpion Mezcal Reposado, 40% alcohol, made from 100% agave, has an amber color, is made in small batches and then aged in oak for 2 - 11 months and exhibits slight oak and citrus notes on the nose and palate, as well as a slight smokiness.

Scorpion Mezcal Aņejo 1 yearScorpion Mezcal Añejo 1 Year, 40% alcohol, made from 100% agave, has a golden color, is made in small batches, and is aged in oak barrels  less than 200 liters for a minimum of 1 year. The nose is sweet with slight oak notes, vanilla, caramel, and toffee notes, and is velvety smooth on the palate with vanilla, toffee, and crème brûlée notes.

The trio of Scorpion Mezcal Silver, Scorpion Mezcal Reposado, and Scorpion Mezcal Añejo 1 Year come dressed for a party wearing signature Mexican sombreros, and it should be noted that all of the Scorpion Mezcal bottles are hand marked with the lot and bottle number.

If you appreciate and enjoy the nuances of well crafted aged sipping spirits, then the limited edition Scorpion Mezcal Reserva Añejo 5 Year and the limited edition Scorpion Mezcal Gran Reserva Añejo 7 Year should definitely be on your "must try" list. These excellent spirits were created to be enjoyed at the end of an exceptional meal, or as a reward at the end of a great day.

Scorpion Mezcal Reserva Aņejo 5 YearScorpion Mezcal Reserva Añejo 5 Year, 40% alcohol, made with 100% agave, has a deep golden tawny color, is made in small batches, is double distilled, aged in oak barrels  less than 200 liters for 5 years, and presented in limited quantities in an attractive heavy French glass decanter with stopper and a large signature scorpion at the bottom of the bottle, that a connoisseur would be proud to display. There is a smoky peat-like nose with hints of lemon and honey aromas, and on the palate, it delivers a delightfully lingering finish that is subtly sweet with caramel notes and a slightly smoky finish.

Scorpion Mezcal Gran Reserva Aņejo 7 YearScorpion Mezcal Gran Reserva Añejo 7 Year, 40% alcohol, made with 100% agave, has a deep gold color, is aged in oak barrels  less than 200 liters for 7 years, and is triple distilled for smooth, rich flavor. This mezcal is also beautifully bottled in a heavy  French glass decanter with stopper and the large signature scorpion at the bottom of the bottle. The nose is well balanced with vanilla, toffee, and toasted nuts, with a smooth, lingering slightly sweet finish.

With limited quantities available, and a price tag of around $180 for the Scorpion Mezcal Reserva Añejo 5 Year and $220 for the Scorpion Mezcal Gran Reserva Añejo 7 Year, these mezcals are meant to be savored and would make perfect gifts for collectors of mezcals and other fine artisan spirits.

Luxury Experience's Cocktail Recipes

Scorpion Mezcal Silver was made for cocktails, and Luxury Experience's Stung by Love is a playful reference to the Scorpion Mezcal signature scorpion. It is a delicious cocktail made with Scorpion Mezcal Silver, fresh pineapple juice, passionfruit juice, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup infused with romantic herbs of dill for lust, rosemary for remembrance, mint for wisdom, and oregano for joy. This cocktail is served in a rocks glass because like love itself, it is something that you want to hold securely in your hands. Set the mood with a CD by Mexican guitarist, Paco Renteria - Gitanus or Oceano, and you are ready for an evening of romance.

Like the hand crafted care that Doug French put into crafting this mezcal, Luxury Experience used the same care in using fresh juices and ingredients to create this cocktail as there is a difference.

Luxury Experience's Stung by Love

 

Luxury Experience's Stung by Love

Yield:               1 Cocktail
Glass Used:     Rocks Glass

1.5

Ounces

Scorpion Mezcal Silver

1.25

Ounce

Pineapple Juice, freshly juiced

0.5

Ounce

Passionfruit Juice

0.25

Ounce

Lime Juice, freshly squeezed

0.75

Ounce

Simple syrup infused with dill, rosemary, mint, and oregano (make ahead and store in refrigerator until ready to use)

 

 

Pineapple Wedge and Mint, for garnish

 

Method for Herb Infused Simple Syrup: In a large saucepan, add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and a sprig of dill, rosemary, mint, and oregano. Bring to a boil and then let simmer to dissolve sugar. Let cool at room temperature for a few hours, and then store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. Will hold for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Method for Cocktail: Add the Scorpion Mezcal, pineapple juice, passionfruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup to a large mixing glass. Shake with 4 ice cubes, and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a piece of mint.

Luxury Experience's William Tell incorporates Scorpion Mezcal Añejo One Year, Grand Marnier, agave nectar, and fresh ingredients for a sophisticatedly smooth cocktail that requires the  juice of a Granny Smith apple. Please do not use bottled apple juice for this very special cocktail.

Luxury Experience's William Tell Cocktail

Luxury Experience's William Tell

Yield:               1 Cocktail
Glass Used:     Martini Glass

1.5

Ounces

Scorpion Mezcal Añejo One Year

0.5

Ounce

Grand Marnier

1.5

Ounce

Granny Smith Apple Juice, freshly juiced

0.5

Ounce

Lemon Juice

0.5

Teaspoon

Agave Nectar

 

 

Granny Smith Apple Ball, for garnish

Method: Chill Martini Glass and set aside. Use a melon baller to create an apple ball from the Granny Smith Apple. Set aside. Place the rest of the apple in the juice extractor and juice.

In a mixing glass add all ingredients, except the apple ball, add 4 ice cubes, and shake until shaker is frosty. Strain into a chilled Martini glass, garnish with the Granny Smith apple ball on a skewer, and float in the drink.

Scorpion Mezcal has a rich smoky flavor that pairs well with food. We created Luxury Experience's Smoke and Mirrors cocktail for a Spirited Dinner at Bacco in New Orleans where Edward Nesta and I were the Guest Bar Chefs for a cocktail pairing dinner that paired one of our cocktails with each of Chef Chris Montero's courses.

Luxury Experience's Smoke and Mirrors was paired with Panko Crusted Boudin and Seared Scallops with Wheat Beer Mustard and Louisiana Popcorn Rice Cakes. We named the cocktail Smoke and Mirrors for the smoky flavor of the Louisiana Boudin sausage and the Scorpion Mezcal, and the ingredients used in the cocktail mirror the ingredients used in the culinary recipe.

Luxury Experience's Smoke and Mirrors

Luxury Experience's Smoke and Mirrors

Yield:               1 Cocktail
Glass Used:     Rocks Glass

2.0

Ounce

Scorpion Mezcal Añejo One Year

0.75

Ounce

Fresh Lime Juice

1

Teaspoon

Agave Nectar

1/8

Teaspoon

Creole Mustard

1

Dash

Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters Limited Edition 2008

 

 

Lime Wheel for garnish

Method: Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing glass add 4 ice cubes. Shake to combine and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Luxury Experience's Mexican Mystique is perfect to serve either hot or cold, and is made with the three traditional Mexican spirits of Scorpion Mezcal Añejo One Year, Kahlua, and Xtabentum (a Mayan liqueur made from honey and distilled with anise seed and rum that is made in the Yucatan Peninsula), coffee, half and half, Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters, and a hint of cinnamon to round out the Mexican flavors. Viva la Mexico!

Luxury Experience's Mexican Mystique

Luxury Experience's Mexican Mystique

Yield:               1 Cocktail
Glass Used:     Snifter Glass

1

Ounce

Scorpion Mezcal Añejo One Year

0.50

Ounce

Xtabentum

0.50

Ounce

Kahlua

3.5

Ounces

Black Coffee

1.5

Ounces

Half and Half (or light cream)

6

Dashes

Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters

 

 

Cinnamon to sprinkle on top, optional

Method: Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing glass with the exception of the cinnamon, and stir. Pour into a snifter glass. Sprinkle with cinnamon, optional.

Luxury Experience's Culinary Recipe

I love chutneys, which are very versatile and are a lovely addition to serve with a cheese course, as an accompaniment to meat, spoon over ice cream, or even to spread on scones for Afternoon Tea. Luxury Experience's Tomatillo Chutney with Scorpion Mezcal Añejo, Lime, Cilantro, and Pepitas is a delectable mélange of savory and sweet flavors that is perfect no matter how you decide to use it.

Luxury Experience Chutney Appetizers

Luxury Experience's Tomatillo Chutney with Scorpion Mezcal Añejo, Lime, Cilantro, and Pepitas

Ingredients:

2

Cups

Tomatillos, approximately 5 - 6

3

Ounces

Scorpion Mezcal Añejo One Year

2

Ounces

Water

1

Large

Lime, zest and juiced to equal 2 ounces

¼

Cup

Cilantro, fresh, chopped

¼

Teaspoon

Salt

2/3

Cup

Sugar

3

Dashes

Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters 2008

¼

Cup

Pepitas (sunflower seeds)

Method: Tomatillos are in the nightshade family, are related to the tomato, are used in Mexican cuisine, and resemble green tomatoes covered with paper-like husks. Peel the husks off the tomatillos, wash and dry the tomatillos, which will be slightly sticky before washing, and then dice the tomatillos.

Add all of the ingredients with the exception of the pepitas, to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook until mixture is reduced to 1 cup. Mix in the pepitas and let simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

For an easy and delicious appetizer, cut flour tortillas with a round cutter, cut a smaller round of Queso Del Pais, a Mexican semi-soft cheese, place on top of the tortilla round, and bake in the oven at 350° F (175° C) until tortilla is lightly golden. Remove from oven and top with a small amount of the chutney and garnish with a cilantro leaf.

Whether your palate and pocketbook prefer the Scorpion Mezcal Silver, Scorpion Mezcal Reposado, Scorpion Mezcal Añejo 1 Year, Scorpion Mezcal Reserva Añejo 5 Year, or the Scorpion Mezcal Gran Reserva Añejo 7 Year, one thing is certain, when it comes to the art of making mezcal, Doug French clearly knows what he is doing.

Scorpion Mezcal is imported by Caballeros Inc. Please contact Barbara Sweetman for information.

Scorpion MezcalBarbara Sweetman
Vice President and International Sales Manager
Caballeros Inc.
2911 Hunter Mill Road #303
Oakton, Virginia 22124
United States
Telephone:      +1-914-921-6988
Fax:                 +1-914-967-2538
Email:             
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   
Website:         
www.ScorpionMezcal.com 

© July 2009. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

 
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