You win some. You lose some. Some get rained out. This is the way of life, in three simple, easy to swallow sentences. What it doesn’t tell you is how to deal with things depending on the vagaries of fate and weather. Today, it rained. I couldn’t do anything about that. I could, however, control my response, so I walked on in the storm with my head held high and when I got home I dried off and made a drink. In the spirit of not letting your conditions control your attitude, won’t you please join me now, as we stand and make the El Coronel.
This drink is super intriguing. It is a mezcal and apple cider thing with an unusual ingredient, mustard powder. We had great luck before with the mustard based Wild Card, so I am hoping for lighting to strike twice. I have concerns, though. This drink originated at San Francisco’s, Trick Dog. They have a really cool aesthetic and an incredible menu. They also have some very tempting LuvHaus Mugs available in their online shop that I may have to indulge in. Normaly, I would be all over a drink with such cool origins. However, the recipe I was sent is not from Trick Dog, but was “inspired” by their cocktail before being shared, almost exclusively, on Pinterest boards. I am not saying things won’t work, I am just saying that we have had less than stellar experiences from drinks that can’t achieve escape velocity from the pinterest orbit. Let’s put it together and see how things turn out.
The “inspired” recipe said to add all the ingredients and stir to mix up the mustard powder and then shake. We did that and were terribly disappointed in this drink. It had all the grit of the mustard without the flavor. Rather than give up, we went back to the drawing board to see what we could salvage and came up with a new method that improves this one dramatically. To save you time and heartache I’m not going to share their way, we are just gonna skip to the good part.
Before you grab your tins, grab a small glass and pop in 1/2 an ounce of honey, we went with some Captain Rodney’s Whiskey Infused, 1 ounce of apple cider, we used Red Jacket Orchards and 3/4 of a teaspoon of Dry Mustard, we chose Sauer’s. Give that a good stir, then microwave for 20 seconds till warm and stir again. This really incorporates the honey and cider and helps the mustard flavor to bloom into a nice spiciness. With that made, grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of Mezcal, I went with Del Maguey; 1/2 an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice and your honey-cider-mustard infusion. Add ice and give it a good shake to “You’ll Never Walk Alone“, but since it is nearly St. Patrick’s Day, go with the Dropkick Murphy’s version. When your tins are good and cold, strain into a rocks glass over one big king cube and garnish with several inches of lime peel.
That is more like it. I still feel like this drink is missing something, probably a healthy shot of bitters, but it is nice. The heat really made that mustard blossom and it gives this one a nice kick on top of that smoky mezcal base. I am sure we will revisit this one, hopefully we can just travel to Trick Dog once the world reopens and try the original. That would be nice. I mean, that will be nice.
When we made that first version, I was ready to throw in the towel. The only real decision was whether to write about a drink that did not work, or to switch to something else. Which was frustrating, because I was really just not feeling it today. Laura was insistent though, asking me questions, making me work through it in my head, talking about what was wrong, and how we could fix things. A few minutes later we were trying to improve this drink. She does that a lot, manipulates me into being better. I was perfectly content to kick some rocks and complain, but she wasn’t hearing it. That’s the secret. That’s how I do all this crazy, larger than life bullshit, with her support. My grandpa always said that about 90% of whether you succeed or fail at things in your life, was going to depend on who you choose to share it with. That’s not just your partner, but your friends, your acquaintances, your co-workers. Those people you spend your time on and with, that time that measures out your life. So try to choose well and appreciate the folks who make you better, especially when you don’t want to be. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.