Oyamel’s two-week Tequila & Mezcal Festival wraps up tomorrow, so we stopped by find out more about the two cocktails made specially for the occasion.
The Mexican Americano is a variation of the classic Americano cocktail; it does away with the sweet vermouth and instead incorporates cherry Heering and añejo tequila with Campari. The other cocktail, dubbed Black and Blue, has tequila as its base spirit, mixed with a combination of muddled fresh berries and mint. The drink, a twist on the rum-based mojito, is topped with Sprite and mezcal, a spirit similar to tequila but with a stronger, smokier taste. (For a mezcal-based cocktail, check out Bourbon manager Owen Thomson’s Los Rudos.)
“After a couple tries, we found that the smokiness of the mezcal on top evened out the citrus in the cocktail,” says Oyamel bar manager Dave Andersen, who’s been at the restaurant more than four years.
“We wanted to make a drink that integrated the restaurant’s concept of fresh ingredients with one of our popular drinks.”
Originally from outside Philadelphia, Andersen moved to Washington five years ago. He started working at Oyamel (then in Pentagon City) as a server and later as bartender. When the restaurant moved to the District, Andersen came along as bar manager.
Check out the video of Andersen making the Black and Blue below, and make sure to stop by Oyamel before the festival ends tomorrow.
Black and Blue
Dave Andersen, Oyamel
2 lime wedges
1 tablespoon sugar
3 mint leaves
1½ ounces Siembra Azul blanco tequila
2 ounces Sprite
½ ounce Del Maguey’s Chichicapa mezcal
Combine berries, lime, and sugar in a pint glass. Add mint leaves and tequila. Shake. Strain into highball glass filled halfway with ice. Add Sprite. Top glass with mezcal. Garnish with mint leaves and three blueberries.