It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that a hot toddy from a mezcal bar plays with more spices than just classic clove and nutmeg. At The Pastry War in Houston, Bobby Heugel brings together big flavors with smoky mezcal, herbal-anisey Green Chartreuse, spicy ginger beer, and mole bitters. The cocktail will get you through one more snowstorm on its taste alone, but the thoughts of a Mexican sun certainly don't hurt.
It's a drink in balance, with no single flavor overpowering the others. A little sweet agave nectar helps to tie it all altogether, and mole bitters give it a dry chocolate note. And while it's not a bubbly drink, the effervescence of the ginger beer gives the Remontel Toddy an extra kick and tingle on your tongue.
This warm drink is a great use for mezcal, and the one Heugel uses, Mezcal Vago Elote, is particularly tasty. The smooth spirit has undertones of sweet citrus; it's infused with roasted sweet corn for a week and then distilled a third time, and though the corn flavor isn't necessarily obvious, the mezcal has a richness that helps support its smoky flavor.
About the author: Nick Guy is the accessories editor for iLounge, and covers barware and drinking accessories for The Sweethome. He is based in Buffalo, NY, and on Twitter is @thenickguy. Liquor samples for this series were provided for recipe testing.