Death brings vivacious color to leaves in autumn. Fall also brings colorful cocktails to our lips, especially in the days leading up to Halloween and el Dia de los Muertos. Henderson’s Taco Y Taco Mexican Eatery & Bar (9470 S. Eastern Ave., 702-749-7091, Facebook.com/TacoTacoMe) has covered all bases with a trio of cocktails based on Mestizo Mezcal, which is co-owned by Las Vegas entrepreneur Jessica Rosman and her business partner Arturo Palencia. Mestizo (MestizoMezcal.com) is made in small batches from 100 percent espadin agave in Oaxaca, Mexico.
“Mezcal has always been special to me,” bartender Erik Batres says. “It’s my grandfather’s favorite spirit, and he let me try it when I was young. As I grew older, I started to understand why he enjoyed it so much: It has character, it’s bold, complex and unique—not a spirit to be taken lightly.”
Using Mestizo’s delicately smoky joven, or “young” mezcal, Batres and fellow barman Edward Gunn created the Calavera ($10), a specialty cocktail available through November 2. Named for the ceremonial Dia de los Muertos skulls, this shaken cocktail combines the artisanal mezcal with fresh lemon, crème de peche, craft tonic water, Amargo-Vallet from Mexico and plum bitters, topped with house-made rooibos tea kombucha. Surprisingly, what sounds like an incredibly complex cocktail is simple—deliciously dry, engaging and primed for a second round.
As served at Taco Y Taco Henderson, $10
In a cocktail shaker, combine 1½ ounces Mestizo Joven Mezcal, ¾ ounce Gabriel Boudier Crème de Pêche, ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 barspoon Amargo-Vallet, 2 dashes Fee Brothers plum bitters and ⅓ ounce Tomr Tonic syrup. Add ice, cover, shake vigorously and double-strain into a cocktail glass. Top with house-made rooibos tea kombucha (at home, bottled kombucha will work) and garnish with a dried apricot and a fresh marigold flower.