Under the Volcano
Laboy isn’t afraid to bring the heat in this Margarita variation. Smoky Fidencio mezcal replaces the traditional tequila, which gets shaken with fresh lime juice and a housemade jalapeño-rosemary syrup. “After we’ve made the syrup, we pull the jalapeños out and dehydrate them to make the drink’s candied jalapeño garnish,” says Laboy of the oversized sweet-spicy topper. Competing for your attention too is the fiery Sal de Gusano rim, a savory Oaxacan salt blended with dehydrated worms.
Nicaraguan Flor de Caña rum is featured in this piña colada riff, named after the Nicaraguan social democratic political party. The rum is shaken with fresh lime juice, pineapple syrup, and a creamy housemade almond-coconut milk. Laboy tops the drink with a generous sprinkling of toasted coconut flakes and a wedge of dehydrated pineapple.
“I kind of wanted to do something to create a little bit of a stir,” says Laboy of his decision to use coca leaf tea in a few of Los Americanos’ cocktails. “It’s where cocaine is derived from, so technically if had in certain amounts you could test positive on a drug test—that’s why we put asterisks around the drink name and a note on the menu.” Here, the tea, which has a “yerba mate-like flavor”, is mixed with Espolon blanco tequila and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur. “We garnish with a piece of candied ginger, and I think if you have small bites in between sips, the spiciness really marries well with the earthy, vegetal notes of the coca tea.”
“I really wanted to make something that would be friendly to the novice mezcal drinker,” says Laboy of this subtly smoky sipper. To temper the intensity of the Fidencio mezcal, he mixes it with a fruit-forward blend of lime juice, Combier, and wild strawberry liqueur.
For his take on the classic Pisco Sour, Laboy infuses Chilean Control C pisco (“it has good, round, deep flavors”) with hibiscus. “It’s a fast infusion, the hibiscus only steeps for about 20 minutes, but I think it makes for a more interesting looking drink. And also the aroma and flavor of the hibiscus blends well with the pisco,” he explains.