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Velociraptor | Erstwhile Mezcal

© 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 delightfully well-balanced.

Inspired by the Firebird cocktail, the Velociraptor takes the classic recipe to new heights by incorporating fresh, aromatic ingredients that work together to create a sophisticated flavor profile.

The Firebird is traditionally made with tequila, crème de banane, lime juice, and lemonade.  Riffing on these ingredients, the tequila is replaced with Erstwhile Espadin Mezcal, the crème de banane with chamomile syrup, the lime juice for lemon juice, and the lemonade with fresh pineapple juice.

The result is a far more elevated cocktail than its predecessor.

Erstwhile Espadin is a sipping mezcal, with notes of butterscotch, black tea, banana, barbecue, and well-balance smoke.  These flavors complement the sweetness of the pineapple and subtle floral notes of the chamomile beautifully.

Adding cracked pink peppercorns as a finishing garnish takes it to the next level with an aromatic, peppery nose, making this cocktail a joy for the senses.

For those wondering about the chamomile syrup, fear not! It is easy to make at home.  Just replace hot water with hot chamomile tea when making simple syrup.