I had the great pleasure of collaborating with Lucas Paya recently, and the drink dubbed Valentina is what I offered. He, of course, buried me in a myriad of delectable concoctions; but, this cocktail has continued to win hearts and minds (in my home, if nowhere else).
Ron Cooper’s San Luis del Rio Single Village Mezcal is among my favorite distillates; Campari is another; I use Regan’s whenever possible—particularly on occasions when Angostura and Peychaud’s aren’t specifically required—and it happened to be perfect; I stole the Luxardo Marasche Cherries (soaked in Chichicapa Mezcal for no less than three days) from Raul Yrastorza, who is about to open Las Perlas—the first Mezcal bar in the country; and blood oranges happen to be in season.
2 oz Del Maguey San Luis del Rio Mezcal
1 oz Blood orange (fresh squeezed)
½ oz Lime juice (fresh squeezed)
¾ oz Agave nectar
¼ oz Campari
3 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
1 Luxardo Marasche Cherry (soaked in Chichicapa Mezcal)
1 Blood Orange wheel
Pour first six ingredients in a mixing glass; add ice, shake for at least one minute, strain into old-fashioned glass and garnish with blood orange wheel and Luxardo Marasche cherry (soaked in Chichicapa Mezcal).
For good measure, a copita of Del Maguey San Luis del Rio Mezcal should be served on the side (cherry optional).