Friday, December 24, 2010

Bon Amigo

Mezcal, Benedectine, Ginger Liqueur, Cardamon, Cloves, Honey and Lime Juice....what a combination!

The "Bon Amigo" is my own drink, but don't let my last minute name fool you. This one has some thought behind it.

It was inspired by Bryan Dayton, a local bartender who is the beverage director and part-owner of "Oak at Fourteenth" in Boulder, CO.

Bryan likes to use cardamom and "Domaine de Canton" ginger liqueur together. I had one of his creations using these ingredients, with a Sombra Mezcal base, over a year ago and the flavors really struck me.

The trick here is not to muddle the cardamom pods too much, just open them up. Be sure to "double strain" here with a fine strainer, as there will be fine sediment from the cardamom and cloves after your hard shake.

Bon Amigo Cocktail

1.5 ounces (45ml) Del Maguey "Vida" Mezcal
.75 ounce  (22ml) Fresh Lime Juice
.25 ounce (7ml) Benedictine
.25 ounce (7ml) Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
.25 ounce (7ml) honey syrup*
3 whole cardamom pods
2 whole cloves

Gently muddle 3 whole cardamom pods and 2 whole cloves in bottom of shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake hard. Strain into a cocktail glass through a fine mesh strainer. No Garnish.
(*Honey syrup is 1 part honey to 1 part water.)

Just muddle the pods enough to open them up.
This has amazing layers of flavor and goes down fast! The mezcal provides a complex, smokey base. The ginger, honey and Benedictine, add a spicy sweetness. The cardamom and clove add an even greater depth that really works well with the other flavors.

Ginger, Honey and Benedictine have all been used as medicine. Cardamom has been used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat problems, lung congestion, and digestive disorders. It has also been used to break up kidney and gall stones. Cloves have also been used to treat kidney, liver and digestive problems. In Chinese medicine, cloves are used to fortify kidney yang.

As far as Mezcal goes, there is a Oaxacian saying regarding the drink: "para todo mal, mezcal y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, too.)

I will not go so far as to call this drink medicinal, because it tastes way too good to actually be good for you.

It's probably not as bad for you as many other concoctions however, and might even do you some good if you are feeling under the weather and can't stand the thought of another toddy.


  1. Dude, your cocktail looks very awesome! I crave for it.
    The way I normally drink mezcal is straight in glass shots, and I sip it slowly and try to enjoy the best out of it. I really enjoy drinking mezcal, it's my favorite spirit.
    Do you like sipping mezcal, without mixing it in cocktails?

  2. Hi Pedro, I love to sip mezcal. A good mezcal is a thing to be enjoyed and savored on it's own for certain! It's very important to be familiar with what the ingredients you are mixing with taste like on their own. When something tastes this good on it's own though, in the right mix it becomes even better.

  3. As an aside, a few Cardamom seeds chewed prior to an (occasional) evening of over-indulging can often lessen or eliminate the associated hangover...up to a point.

  4. Perfect, I just bought a bottle of this ginger liqueur. Tried it with champagne, like would do with St. Germain - but was not as good.

    This sounds interesting. Would agave syrup work in lieu of honey syrup?

    New year, new cocktail. Thanks!

  5. Hi Decor Girl
    Agave Syrup should work well too, I'd go with a dark syrup here over a light agave if you have it. Enjoy! Ethan