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The Mayan: Featured Craft Cocktail

The Mayan

For this month’s contemporary cocktail we choose to feature the winning cocktail from the Mayan Cocktail PicGLWAS cocktail competition. The winning group consists of Bryan Smith, Jessica Mellon, Nikki Pollock, and Kim Kurzawa. Bryan shared with me their thoughts when crafting this tasty drink:

 “Originally, I wanted to create a cocktail loosely based on one of my favorite cocktails, The Manhattan, but one that completely turns it on its ear with opposing ingredients. To start, I wanted a base spirit that rivals the complexity of a bourbon or rye, but with a completely different taste profile. With its slightly sweet agave entry and long smoky finish, Los Amantes Joven Mezcal had the complexity I was looking for.

Next, I wanted to compliment it with a liqueur that has a balance of both tartness and sweetness. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur ticks both those boxes with the sweetness of blood oranges against the acidity of bright lemon. Next, akin to the last ingredient in a Manhattan, I wanted to finish my cocktail with a bitter, but one that would really make the drink pop with a unique but recognizable flavor. Chocolate Bitters provided the perfect complement, to both the smoky nature of the Mezcal along with the foodie favorite orange/chocolate combination.

We chose to serve the drink in a couple glass with a twist of orange peel, with the oils of the twist marrying all the flavors together.”

 Considering I wanted to reinvent The Manhattan, but used two ingredients more native to south of the border, we chose to name our new cocktail “The Mayan” instead. Voila!”


1 ½ oz Los Amantes Joven Mezcal

1 ½ oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

3-4 Dashes of Chocolate Bitters

Orange Peel


Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill it with ice and shake vigorously. Then, double strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe and garnish with an orange peel.

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