Pierre Picaud Cocktail

This time of year, I really enjoy the flavors of mezcal with the warm spices of the season. Mezcal can be very underrated and misunderstood, but with its subtle smokiness along with its earthy charm, it’s perfect in a warming cocktail. Most people remember a trip to Mexico sometime in their late adolescence where a few shots of cheap mezcal ended their debauchery abruptly. But mezcal of the modern age are without the gimmick of the worm, the “hallucinogenic ” properties and the stigma of mass-marketed, mass-produced schlock. 

While mezcal can be hard to find, a few local stores such as The Strath Liquor Store & Vintage Spirits have an amazing selection of artisanal mezcals from multiple small producers in Oaxaca. They all vary from the earthiest, smokiest mezcals to subtly noted floral and grassy toned bottles. The main characteristic of most mezcal is an inherent smoke, almost campfire, to the liquor. This makes an amazing backbone in the cocktail world and can be substituted for many spirits in cocktails ranging from gin to scotch and everything in between.

Cocktail versatility has been a big selling point for bartenders in the US and Canada for the last few years. I have enjoyed many a Mezcal Negroni, Mezcal Last Words and beyond. It can be paired with bright flavours such as grapefruit and deeper flavours such as chocolate (especially spicy Mexican chocolate) and coffee.

The Pierre Picaud (a character from the The Count of Monte Cristo) is a different take on the classic coffee drink, the Monte Cristo. I love using darker, older añejo for the base of rich drinks and this uses both citrusy and deeper flavours that go well with mezcal. I’m using generic crème de cacao but you can make your own relatively simply by infusing some brandy with cocoa nibs and lightly sweetening it. This drink can be served hot or cold; for the winter warmer version substitute the cold brew for a shot of hot coffee and serve in a heat proof mug.

Pierre Picaud

  • 1 1/2 oz Agave Cortes Anejo
  • 3/4 oz Crème de Cacao
  • 1/4oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Discovery Coffee Cold Brew

Shake with ice and serve over fresh ice

— Shawn Soole

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one of the most recognized bartenders in his homeland of Australia at the time, and relocated here for love with the city’s honest and unpretentious food and drinks (and for his lovely now-wife). In his years here, Shawn has ...

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