1 oz Gin
1/2 oz Cherry brandy
4 oz Pineapple juice
1/2 oz Lime juice
1/4 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/3 oz Grenadine
1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice and shake until the shaker is well frosted. Strain into a tall glass and garnish with a slice of pineapple and cherry.
This is the original recipe from Raffles Hotel, Singapore, where it was originally invented. Singapore Sling was created at Raffles Hotel at the turn-of-the-century by Hainanese-Chinese bartender Mr Ngiam Tong Boon. Originally, the Singapore Sling was meant as a woman's drink, hence the attractive pink colour.
1 Chunk ice, preferably crushed
Juice of 1 lime
8 cl Rum (Havana club)
1 shot Coca-Cola
Sit outside on the balcony, fill glass with crushed ice, sqeeze lime, hold glass up to the sky (best effect during sunset), pour rum up to horizon, add some coke to cover the sky (no overflow), stir smoothly, lean back and enjoy!
Mezcal is made from the fermented juice of other species of agave. It is produced throughout most of Mexico.
Mezcal (and Tequila) are prepared for distillation in similar ways. The agave, also know as maguey (pronounced muh-GAY), is cultivated on plantations for eight to 10 years, depending on the type of agave.
When the plant reaches sexual maturity it starts to grow a flower stalk. The agave farmer, or campesino, cuts off the stalk just as it is starting to grow. This redirects the plant growth into the central stalk, swelling it into a large bulbous shape that contains a sweet juicy pulp.
When the swelling is completed, the campesino cuts the plant from its roots and removes the long sword-shaped leaves, using a razor-sharp pike-like tool called a coa. The remaining piña ("pineapple"—so-called because the cross-thatched denuded bulb resembles a giant green and white pineapple) weighs anywhere from 25 to 100 pounds.
At the distillery the piñas are cut into quarters. For Tequila they are then slowly baked in steam ovens or autoclaves (oversized pressure cookers) until all of the starch has been converted to sugars. For Mezcal they are baked in underground ovens heated with wood charcoal
(which gives Mezcal its distinctive smoky taste). They are then crushed (traditionally with a stone wheel drawn around a circular trough by a mule) and shredded to extract the sweet juice, called aguamiel (honey water).
Mezcal and the Worm
The rules and regulations that govern the production and packaging of Tequila do not apply to agave spirits produced outside of the designated Tequila areas in Mexico. Some Mezcal distilleries are very primitive and very small.
The best known mezcal come from the southern state of Oaxaca (wuh-HA-kuh), although it is produced in a number of other states. Eight varieties of agave are approved for Mezcal production, but the chief variety used is the espadin agave (agave angustifolia Haw).
The famous "worm" that is found in some bottles of Mezcal (con gusano -- "with worm") is actually the larva of one of two moths that live on the agave plant. The reason for adding the worm to the bottle of Mezcal is obscure.
But one story, that at least has the appeal of logic to back it up, is that the worm serves as proof of high proof, which is to say that if the worm remains intact in the bottle, the percentage of alcohol in the spirit is high enough to preserve the pickled worm.
Consuming the worm, which can be done without harm, has served as a rite of passage for generations of fraternity boys. As a rule, top-quality mezcals do not include a worm in the bottle.