Monday, May 14, 2012

La Flama Blanca: A Fizzy Lime & Basil Mezcal Cocktail

This lovely drink was inspired by a recipe I recently received through the Better Homes & Gardens Recipe Insiders Group. It's been awhile since I Trixified a BHG recipe (the last one was asiago baked hummus back in January) because the truth is, they haven't been all that inspiring to me. Meatloaf ... sickeningly sweet desserts with names like "donut pudding" ... lots of things with the word "bake" in the name, like "egg bake," "sausage bake," etc. Just not feeling it. (And now it's time to wait for the email telling me that they're kicking me out for my smack talk.)


But then, this month, this caught my eye: sparkling basil lemonade. A simple enough ingredient list - basil syrup, lemon juice, sugar, club soda, jalapeno coins for garnish. There was just one thing missing ...  the booze. And thanks to my recent Mexico City trip, I had mezcal on my mind. Of course mezcal wants to be paired with lime ... and so my new drink, La Flama Blanca, was born.

Yes, East Bound and Down fans, La Flama Blanca is indeed a reference to gloriously foul mouthed Kenny Powers. But the drink's name also fits. I used a clear, young mezcal (joven), handcrafted by Illegal Mezcal in Oaxaca, and shook the concoction with a slice of habanero to add a subtle, lingering heat. As an aside, I love this company's mezcal, and I highly recommend the reposado (rested) and anejo (aged) for sipping neat. If you like single malt Scotch, you will love it.

You can add more or less mezcal here, depending upon how strong you like your cocktails, but whatever you do, choose a quality mezcal, it makes all the difference.


La Flama Blanca
inspired by Better Homes and Gardens' Sparkling Basil Lemonade

For the basil syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
handful (about 10 - 15  large) basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 (or 2) sliced of habanero pepper
6 ounces mezcal
sparkling water
jalapeno coins

To make the basil syrup, combine the sugar, water, and basil. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool and remove basil leaves. 

In a shaker filled with ice, combine 1/2 - 3/4 cup basil syrup with the lime juice, habanero pepper and mezcal. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, filling half to three quarters of the way full. Top with sparkling water, stir. Garnish with jalapeno and fresh basil leaves. 

If you like your drinks sweeter, add more basil syrup to the mix. If you want more heat, let the ingredients - minus the ice - sit in the shaker for a few moments with the pepper before adding the ice and shaking. And don't be afraid to add more mezcal! If you're using quality stuff, it will only make your drink better - trust me. 






39 comments:

  1. This drink has all my favorite food groups! Its been a long time since I sipped me some mezcal but I do remember liking it. And yes, do stick to the good stuff. I like the idea of shaking with a pepper to get just a hint of heat! Beautiful! On my to-do list, of course!

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    1. Yes, there is nothing not to love about (good) mezcal .

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  2. Wowza! I can drink single malt wisky, and cognac straight up no problem. But unfortunately I once enjoyed Mezcal and Tequila a little too much, and now can't drink either. Though I have a strong suspicion that I wouldn't smell it in your cocktail. It looks really really good and I would totally try this!

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    1. I have enjoyed everything a little too much at some point, my dear! It's just a matter of getting back in the saddle. ; )

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  3. This one does look like it is made just for me. I always have key lime juice in the fridge and I am not lacking on the mezcal either! I need to check on that basil plant in the garden too. I am now inspired to taste this ice cold drink!

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    1. Glad to hear you have a mezcal supply on hand!!

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  4. You should open a trendy bar with all your exotic cocktails. I actually have Mezcal at home, very tempting my dear!

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  5. Spicy and sour... this sounds like my kind of drink. (I'll go easy on the alcohol, though!)

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    1. That just leaves more for me ; )

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  6. Sounds perfectly balanced. Great name.
    ¡Salud mi amiga!
    LL

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  7. Might be Kicked out for smack talk, huh?
    Lovely drink.

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  8. Trix, one of my favorite things is basil jelly (an old Martha Stewart recipe) that I use in many marinades and on toast...well, wherever I can!!! This is a great little drink with or without booze (with is better, of course). Lovely recipe and photo!

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    1. That basil jelly sounds amazing

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  9. I am having a day today and could so go for one of these right now!

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    1. A lovely cocktail always helps : )

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  10. What a fabulous recipe, this looks absolutely delicious!! :)

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  11. Although I'm not much of a drinker, it looks very refreshing and looks delicious! I love the first shot. It's really beautiful!

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    1. I think this would be very refreshing as a lemonade with the booze!

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  12. i would like to have 2 glasses please.

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  13. I have not had mezcal in years, since our last visit down south - gonna have to do something about that and this is a perfect solution... love the heat

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    1. Yes, you need to rectify that immediately.

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  14. Wow, this sounds amazing...a little heat in a cocktail must be spectacular! Cheers!

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  15. This might have to be a summer favorite! Sounds so refreshing =)

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  16. It sounds wonderfully refreshing, perfect on this warm spring day!

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  17. Ohhhh this is certainly my kind of drink. We should get sh!t faced on these together. LOL. Is if Friday yet?

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    1. When it comes to cocktails, every day is Friday around here!

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  18. This looks right up my alley! I found you on Spiciefoodie.com. I think your photos are great!

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    1. Thanks so much! I look forward to checking out your blog.

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  19. Hi Trixie,

    Just stopping by to say thanks for being a part of May's YBR :)

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