Mezcal is a little like the old man drink of the agave world: It a bit more sophisticated than the rest and makes you think of some hoity-toity aristocrat sipping it from a short glass while reclining cross-legged in a four-post chair.
But this distilled beverage is more accessible and drinkable than you might think. And one of the Castro’s newest—and most delicious—eateries has a cocktail menu featuring this leathery beverage in all its glory.
We’ve been singing Hecho’s praises since it first opened its doors a few months ago. If you haven’t tried the concoctions in their bar against the window facing Market Street, you’re missing out. Here’s a look at the mescal menu at Hecho,
First, for sipping: If you aren’t sure about getting a spendy cocktail with mescal in it just yet, perhaps trying a few sips of it first will help make up your mind. You do have to have a bit of knowledge about the different types of mescal agaves before you start putting it into things. Hecho’s menu offers four mescals:
-Del Maguey, an organic agave, is a good “starter” mescal, and it available in four variations to give your taste buds a variety to work with;
-Vago is offered in “elote” which has hints of smoked corn, and “mexicano” which has a nose of cinnamon and peaches;
-Pierde Almas is a rare breed that gets bottled every November, so whatever variation you drink is going to be newly-bottled. The “tobaziche” and “tobala” variations are earthy and plant-like while the “do-ba-daan” boasts wood and autumnal fruits;
-Leyeda boasts a bit of sweetness.
Senor Swayze: Now that your brain has been inundated with all these different flavors that mezcal can offer and you’re like but I just want a mixed cocktail! Not to fret, Hecho has you covered. Scan through their agave-fueled cocktail menu and you will come across the Senor Swayze. This is the perfect cold-weather cocktail, mixing Del Maguey Vida with sherry, ginger beer and cucumber. Its leathery taste makes you want to curl up next to a fire on a cool night—while chowing down on Hecho’s ceviche, since the two pair together so well!
Smoke On The Water: Mezcal aficionados will diss the term “smokey” when describing how these drinks taste—why that is I don’t know, because that really is the best way to describe how it tastes—but they can’t get away with that snobbery with this cocktail. Mostly because there is, in fact, smoke and fire coming out of this cocktail. This Del Maguey cocktail with anchos and angostura bitters is served lit on fire. Balance it out with a Hecho’s duck mole and you have a full dinner-and-drink combo for your night out at this Castro eatery.