It’s hard to ignore the proliferation of juicing and its effects on our culture. While cocktails are not technically in line with that lifestyle, spirited drinks have historically kept people healthy over the past few centuries; see the cinchona bark found in a gin & tonic being used to ward off malaria, or limes preventing scurvy for sailors. Fresh ginger is likely the ingredient most often found in both pressed juices and cocktails today, with kale quickly catching up.
At Belle Shoals in Brooklyn, beverage director Pamela Wiznitzer (of Seamstress) and head bartender James Palumbo (formerly of Up & Up) experimented with “wet shaking” kale with various cocktails, similar to the way one would add mint to a drink and then shake to pull out the flavor. Juicing the plant gives it much more color, intensity and consistency in the glass, which is the key feature in the bar’s popular Devil’s Music cocktail, a spicy mezcal drink that harkens back to Palumbo’s southern upbringing and always having a garden on hand.
With Ancho Reyes adding a bit of chili spice in the glass, the Devil Music’s garnish of an Old Bay rim gives it a distinct Maryland feel. Though this is a mezcal drink, the Ilegal Joven has almost no smoke to it, allowing the fresh vegetal flavors and bright citrus to stand out, as well as the cooling properties from the blanco tequila base. With old school blues pumping from the bar’s jukebox and a relaxed country atmosphere, it’s all too easy to be tempted to another by this flavorful green devil. Enjoy.
Servings: 1 cocktail
¾ ounce Roca Patron silver tequila
¾ ounce Ilegal Mezcal Joven
¼ ounce Ancho Reyes chili liqueur
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¼ ounce fresh kale juice
½ ounce honey syrup
- Wet the rim of a chilled rocks glass with Old Bay seasoning.
- Combine ingredients into shaker tins with ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice in the rocks glass.
Prep Time: 3 minutes, not including juicing