Mexican Winter Warmer: Smoke On The Beach Cocktail Recipe

As winter marches on, it's important to look forward to warmer months through the lens of an upbeat, summery cocktail. The new Tijuana Picnic on NYC's Lower East Side, founded by the same team behind Acme and Indochine, exhibits a nontraditional take on Mexican through head bartender Jim Kearns's use of Latin spirits in an array of bright, citrusy drinks.

The choice of the centuries-old French herbal liqueur Green Chartreuse in the pineapple- and sage-driven Smoke on the Beach stands out as an imaginative element not often paired with tequila or mezcal. While Chartreuse can be a strong flavor to contend with, Kearns notes that it "complements everything really well, enhancing the herbaceous flavor of the sage and bringing a level of dryness and complexity to the cocktail."

Kearns also floats several twists of black pepper on the drink to introduce a bit of spice without heat, which in the case of cayenne or jalapeño would likely have overpowered this drink's subtle herbal notes.

The end result goes down all too easy, and for all of its complexity, the Smoke on the Beach lives up to its name by transporting the drinker — even just for a brief moment — to a warmer, even heavenly setting.

Mexican Winter Warmer: Smoke On The Beach Cocktail Recipe
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  • 1 1/2 ounces Blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce mezcal
  • 1/2 ounce Green Chartreuse
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce cane syrup
  • 3 - 4 sage leaves
  • 3 turns black pepper
  1. Combine ingredients (except black pepper) into a small shaker tin.
  2. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
  3. Strain into a highball glass.
  4. Garnish with a sage leaf and three turns of pepper.
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