© Photography: Liza de Guia
We first tried a version of this cocktail at Forrest Point, one of our favorite Bushwick hangouts. The bartender graciously shared the recipe which, requiring chamomile syrup and fresh pineapple juice, was admittedly intimidating at first! We are so glad to have put forth the effort, as this has become our favorite go-to cocktail to offer our guests and visiting friends. This cocktail is complex, not as strong as it seems, and (when mixed properly) delightfully well-balanced.
The Velociraptor, though inspired by the more traditional Firebird cocktail, is ultimately a very different creature. The traditional Firebird is made with tequila, crème de bananes, lime juice, and lemonade. Working with a similar taste profile, the tequila is swapped with Erstwhile Espadin Mezcal, the crème de bananes with chamomile syrup, the lime juice for lemon juice, and the lemonade with fresh pineapple juice.
The result is a far more sophisticated cocktail than its predecessor. The smoky mezcal aura is beautifully highlighted and elevated by the pineapple and chamomile. The incorporation of cracked pink peppercorns as a garnish takes it to the next level with a pronounced peppery aroma, making this cocktail a joy for the senses.
Yuan Ji & Kevin J. Brown, Founders of Erstwhile Mezcal
P.S. Chamomile syrup is easy to make at home. It is essentially simple syrup, albeit replacing hot water with hot chamomile tea.