To execute most recipes in a classic cocktail manual, you need a mixing tin, citrus and booze. Today, recipes are more complicated: Rife with foraged produce and bitters that take months to craft, they’re not exactly user-friendly. Enter Wine & Spirits’ House Mix: a collection of recipes and tips for the easy-to-replicate drinks that professional bartenders make at home.
Kate Bolton ran the cocktail program at Maven in San Francisco before relocating to Portland to open Americano. At the end of August, she helped the team from Ava Gene’s open a new restaurant called Tusk, and you’ll now find her there, shaking and stirring drinks to go alongside seasonal Oregon produce prepared with Middle Eastern techniques and spices.
She came up with this super-simple cocktail a few years ago, while on an August road trip through Oregon with her fiance. “We spent part of the afternoon picking wild blackberries and stayed that night in Seven Devils Campground,” she recalls. “I just so happened to have a bottle of Reposado Tequila, and made us some simple cocktails of muddled blackberries, mint, sugar and Tequila.”
Kate Bolton’s Seven Devils Smash
2 ounces of Espolon Reposado Tequila
½ ounce of 1:1 simple syrup (preferably raw cane or demerara sugar)
2 roasted blackberries (see below)
Large pinch mint
Skewer blackberries and roast them over a gas burner, rotating in order to char on all sides. Muddle blackberries with mint and sugar in a rocks glass. Add ice and tequila and stir to dilute. Garnish with large mint sprig and whole berries.
A marriage made in smoke
“Espolon is affordable and plays well with others, with a smoky agave presence that mirrors that charred flavor of the blackberries without being overwhelming. People like the element of smoke, they like Mezcal, they like Scotch… Chefs are charring things all the time.”
Fruit at the bottom
“Adding ice and tequila after muddling keeps the mint and blackberry seeds on the bottom of the drink and out of your guests’ teeth. Stir carefully, keeping the spoon at the bottom of the glass—don’t move it up and down.”
This recipe is a W&S web exclusive.