Desert Botanical Garden has teamed up with Mezcal Carreño to challenge local mixologists to create desert-inspired mezcal cocktails. The rules are simple—each cocktail must include at least one desert ingredient and mezcal. Check back into Your Garden At Home for the latest concoctions developed by the very best in Arizona mixology talent.
Next up in the series is Tiffany Fowler, general manager of Cotton & Copper. Currently on the menu is the “Velvet Mizquitl,” which is a cocktail named for the velvet mesquite pods featured in and the Nāhuatl term for mesquite.
The heart and soul of this cocktail is mesquite. This desert tree’s pods have been used for a variety of sources for hundreds of years. When incorporated into recipes, it has a mild, nutty flavor with hints of molasses, caramel and chocolate. “Velvet Mizquitl” features a mesquite syrup, which Fowler says is made in-house at the restaurant. While this syrup is used in several cocktails at Cotton & Copper, “Velvet Mizquitl” includes Naran Mezcal, Mi Campo red wine barrel-aged Reposado Tequila, homemade mesquite syrup, plum Juice and black walnut bitters. This drink is dark, rich, smoky and fragrant.
Fowler is also sharing her recipe for mesquite syrup. Start with 1 gallon of water per pound of mesquite pods, and bring it to a slow simmer for 12-16 hours until the water is thickened up to a sweet molasses colored syrup. No sugar is needed, because the mesquite pods have a naturally sweet flavor. Strain the pods from the syrup, and refrigerate it until ready to use. Fowler says another benefit to making the syrup at home is that your house will smell like sugar cookies for days.
You can sample “Velvet Mizquitl” at Cotton & Copper through on-site dining and to-go orders.
Cheers to Mezcal Carreño, Cotton & Copper and Tiffany!