The first week of February always makes me think about Heartbreak Hill: This is the tough slog. The lion’s share of the winter is behind us, but there’s still a lot of work to do and endurance is required to make it through to the first dew-dropped morning of spring. A light therapy box helps. So does shopping for warm-weather clothes. And switching up any sort of routine can do wonders in alleviating doldrums, especially when it comes to what you eat and drink. Those Manhattans and Old Fashioneds and the rest of the suite of warming whiskey cocktails you’ve been sipping since the first Halloween decorations appeared in your local chain drug store are, and always will be, dependable, beloved go-to’s, but right about now, a change will do you good.
That was the rationale that moved Brittney Dunne, beverage director at Time Out Market Boston, to create the Smoke Show. The mezcal-based drink summons with the same smokey, come-hither siren song as a glass of peated Scotch whisky. And from there things get interesting: The herbaceous quality of Cynar, an artichoke-based Italian amaro, plays off the mezcal’s earthiness. Cinnamon syrup brings a vibrant snap to the proceedings. And to bring it home, a pour of apple cider from Carlson Orchard in Harvard not only provides a measure of leveling acid, but ensures the drink is in synch with the sensibility of so much else in this Massachusetts-minded Fenway food hall. So take sip and cast your gaze on the finish line.
Makes 1 drink
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
2. Let cool, then strain into a clean glass jar for storage
1 ounce Xicaru Mezcal (or any mezcal)
1 ounce Cynar
½ ounce cinnamon syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
Carlson’s Apple Cider, to top
1 cinnamon stick, 1 orange slice to garnish
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Stir 20 seconds.
2. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.
3. Top with apple cider. Garnish with cinnamon stick and orange slice.
Adapted from Time Out Market Boston
Liza Weisstuch can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @livingtheproof.