There was a time many weeks back when I began to ask myself a question pregnant with meaning: “What happened to all the free booze?” It’s not that I’m greedy, particularly. Believe it or not, I actually spend a little money subsidizing this column. Of course, I get to drink those subsidies, but a guy still likes to make a profit on something he actually works on, so those freebies do help a bit.
In any case, in recent weeks the very nice freebies have been coming fast and furious and the latest is something pretty much completely new to me. Mariposa Agave Liqueur is made from the very sweet nectar produced from the agave plant, the not so sweet booze produced by the blue agave plant — I think they call the stuff “tequila” — and also some vodka. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth like I do, I have to say the stuff is not bad on it’s own over the rocks and with a splash of water. It’s kind of like drinking really good, boozy honey.
Anyhow, the Heaven Hill people who produce this stuff have been promulgating a few cocktails. Since we’re just seeing the end of a truly hellish week of record breaking 105+ plus temperatures here in vivacious Van Nuys, I went for the coldest, most refreshing choice available. This one is icy and relatively low on actual booze which, as you know, actually makes you feel warmer. (Of course, it also makes you care less that you too warm.) In any case, I rather like it.
The Mariposa Mojito
1 ounce Mariposa Agave Liqueur
1 ounce white (aka silver) rum
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
2-5 springs of mint
Club soda (roughly 2 ounces)
1/4 ounce agave nectar (optional)
Lime slice (optional garnish)
Combine all the ingredients except the club soda and the garnish lime slice in a cocktail shaker. If you’re going for the extra bit of sweetness with the agave nectar — this is my addition and not included in the original recipe, by the way — then you’ll first want to shake it without adding ice. Agave nectar has not only a honey-like taste but a honey-like consistency and it needs a bit of work to become properly dissolved.
Next, add lots of ice and shake like crazy. Strain into a large-ish Collins glass or something similar filled with fresh ice (i.e., not the same ice you used in the shaker). Top off with club soda, stir and remind yourself that the agave plant is actually not, as you might have heard, a member of the cactus family. Cacti are succulents; agave is a monocot, which I gather is closer to the yucca plant and, no, I don’t know the first thing about horticulture, except what Dorothy Parker said about it.
I’ve not much more to add to this drink except that I like it as a less labor intensive, somewhat less boozy, muddling-free spin on the classic mojito. I tried, however tweaking it a bit by adding more rum. Despite the fact that I was using some of the excellent Denizen Rum I have left over from when I was using to make such great classic drinks as the Mary Pickford a while back, the larger amount of booze really didn’t help the flavor at all and only diluted the already diluted sweetness of the Mariposa. A little extra sweetness from the increasingly popular cocktail ingredient of agave nectar was quite welcome however.
Those looking for a boozier drink to make with Mariposa however, won’t have long to wait. Stay tuned.