The classic G&T gets a smoky, vibrant makeover with this strawberry-basil mezcal and tonic cocktail. Pick up a bottle of artisanal mezcal, and get ready to be transported to Oaxaca, Mexico.

After four months of virtual meetings, and acclimating to life under lockdown, we’ve found ourselves desiring flavours that remind us of some of our favourite destinations.

Tacos “Hola” el Güero, Condesa, Mexico City

When visiting Mexico City a few years ago, we fell in love with mezcal. Distilled for thousands of years, some of the best mezcals are made by family-owned distilleries in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Hailing from the agave plant, mezcal is considered the oldest distilled beverage of the Americas. Mezcal is derived from fermented cooked agave. Unlike tequila, the agave in mezcal is slow-roasted in a large conical pit in the ground. Then, fermentation naturally occurs in wooden vats.

For this recipe, we used Quiereme Mucho Espadin, which is a mezcal made with agave Espadin. Like most artisanal mezcals, Quiereme Mucho Espadin is also produced in Oaxaca, and the agave is milled by hand. Its’ tasting notes consist of leather, green apples, and charred wood–a lovely compliment to the blended strawberries and crushed basil.

Alternatively, if you can’t get your hands on artisanal mezcal, use tequila. It won’t have the decadent smokiness of mezcal, but it will provide a solid alternative.

Also, feel free to use any tonic of choice, but a premium brand like Fever-Tree Tonic Waters always adds an additional (yet subtle) layer of flavour.

Let’s just say that this ‘M&T’ hits the spot! Pair it with your favourite Mexican dishes for a feast that will make you feel like you’re actually putting your passport to good use. In fact, let us know in the comments below if you end up trying the recipe.

No matter how crazy the times are, we find encouragement in the ways that good food and drink can transform any challenging situation.

A well known Oaxacan proverb addresses this idea beautifully: Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también (For everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well).

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*Disclaimer: Thank you to UNICO 20°87° for gifting us this beautiful bottle of Quiereme Mucho Espadin mezcal joven during our stay last year.

 

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In this Mezcal and Tonic cocktail, add strawberries and basil for a fruity and herbal concoction
Strawberry-Basil Mezcal and Tonic Cocktail
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 2 minutes
Cook Time
5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 2 minutes
Cook Time
5 Minutes
In this Mezcal and Tonic cocktail, add strawberries and basil for a fruity and herbal concoction
Strawberry-Basil Mezcal and Tonic Cocktail
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 2 minutes
Cook Time
5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 2 minutes
Cook Time
5 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Prep your skewers with halved strawberries and basil leaves.
  2. Blend fresh strawberries and set aside.
  3. Add 1/4 cup blended strawberries to each glass.
  4. Add one or two shots of mezcal to each class and stir well. Add ice and stir again.
  5. Add a squirt of lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  6. Top glass off with tonic water of choice.
  7. Crush basil leaves between fingers, and add several to the glass. Stir well.
  8. Garnish with skewers, serve and enjoy!
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