It’s safe to say that the popularity of mezcal owes a lot to the bartenders who began to use the agave spirit in signature cocktail creations early on. It make sense, then, that for the US debut of newcomer Creyente Mezcal they would seek out a destination of unparalleled creativity in the food and drink sector. NYC’s Cosme might not be as well known for their drinks as they are for a superb menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine, but when placed in their hands, the spirit took on many unexpected forms. Creyente, developed by two celebrated mezcaleros—Pedro Mateo and Mijail Zarate—is actually a blend of two different 100% agave mezcals. Employing a model that’s been quite successful in the whisky world, the brand delivers a balance of fruit and herbs with a smooth body and a mezcal smoke to the finish. It’s good enough to drink neat, but the four cocktails below reveal just how dynamic it can be—all of which were developed by Cosme’s beverage director Yana Volfson, and designed to be paired with Enrique Olvera’s cuisine.
A refreshing variation on the Michelada, the Mezcalada offers a thorough bite. The addition of sour gose-style beer allows for a smooth, rich body to the cocktail but at the core is mezcal and spice.
1 oz. Creyente mezcal
3/4 oz. Michelada mix
Top with Evil Twin Geyser gose beer
Garnish with worm salt
Shake Creyente mezcal and Michelada mix on ice and pour into a worm salt rimmed glass. Top with gose beer and serve.
Bright and floral, the Purple Maize makes good use of Japanese shochu, Dolin Blanc and St Germain—all of which lift the concoction to a sweet and vibrant level. Very easy to sip but packing a substantial booze backbone means it’s necessary to keep an eye on how many you drink.
1 1/4 oz. Creyente Mezcal
1/2 oz. St Germain
1/2 oz. shochu
1/2 oz. Dolin Blanc
1/2 oz. lime juice
Muddle cucumber slice with Creyente mezcal. Add all other ingredients and shake over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a jasmine pearl.
In many ways, the Small Dose tastes like a Negroni variation. There’s ample amounts of airy spice and botanicals, but the Paul Beau VS cognac lends it weight. Rounded out with Yellow Chartreuse and Demerara syrup, the cocktail has a lot going on but it all works in harmony.
1 1/2 oz. Creyente mezcal
1/2 oz. Paul Beau VS
1/8 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
1/8 oz. demerara syrup
3 dash Peychauds bitters
2 dash Angostura bitters
Stir Creyente mezcal, Paul Beau VS, Yellow Chartreuse in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a rocks glass. Top with bitters. Garnish with discarded lemon twist.
An ideal dessert cocktail, the Improved Carajillo pairs the vanilla and citrus of Licor 43 with heavy cream. With the mezcal at its base, there’s enough smoke wafting through to the finish that it’s far more substantial than one would expect.
1 1/2 oz. Creyente mezcal
1/2 oz. Licor 43
1/2 oz. heavy cream
Mix Creyente Mezcal, Licor 43 and Americano coffee. Top with heavy cream.
Images courtesy of Creyente Mezcal