When Topher Mikels took over the cocktail program at Sons of Essex nearly two years ago, he set out to create a menu—and a bar experience—that complemented the aesthetics and philosophy of the space.
“It’s a gorgeous spot,” says Mikels. “It’s decorated with repurposed wood and country artifacts: rusted-over farm tools, cooking tools that are all mechanical, lots of old pictures and other authentic stuff. When we decided to open up the bar, there were lots of scavenger hunts upstate to find these things—items that would lend the space a sincere energy and attitude.”
Look behind the bar and you’ll see signifiers of Mikels’s own sincerity: namely, his dedication to finding and serving only the best spirits, like Creyente Mezcal.
“Mezcal is one of my favorite spirits,” says Mikels. “You can taste it on so many different spectrums. It’s smoky, it’s sweet, it’s smooth. It’s just like a scotch. And so, in making this cocktail, I started to think about balance. I thought, ‘Okay, mezcal comes from a southern climate. It’s got an arid, smoky dryness to it.’ I wanted to come up with some balance of fruit, some kind of sweetness. Nature did a lot of the pairing for me, and then the Creyente did the rest. It’s a really great mezcal.”
And it’s especially great in Mikels’s cocktail, The Boneyard, mixed with pureed peaches, lemon juice, and maple syrup.
“Cocktails should be visually stunning and interesting from a flavor perspective,” says Mikels. “With a spirit as good as mezcal, it’s not a difficult job to do.”
2 ounces Mezcal Creyente
2 ounces fresh peach puree
1 ounce lemon juice
0.5 ounce maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Rim a rocks glass with salt blend. Strain into the rocks glass with fresh ice.
This post was made possible by Mezcal Creyente.