As the seasons change, so do ingredients, appetites and staff.
A recent visit to the Adrift Hotel’s Pickled Fish, located four floors above a sand-swept edge of the Long Beach Peninsula, coincided with the launch of a new fall bar menu. This rejuvenation is pastry cook and recently appointed bar manager Shelby Dodson’s first stab at a new, seasonally rotating cocktail list.
One standout in the current lineup is the La Mistycal.
Dodson said this cocktail was christened after a deliciously confused typo on the Mezcal Yuu Baal website, which suffers somewhat magically when translated into English. Quoted in full, the description reads, “the traditions of the native Oaxacan producers of mezcal, that of which the complete process of production is artesanal impregnating in each of its products the mistycal, the exotic, and the absolutely delightful taste that makes this majestous drink.”
And really, who wouldn’t want the word “misty” locked inside of their “mystical” as the rains and fog return to the Lower Columbia?
As it’s been said many times before, autumn is all about transitions, though there are always some folk resistant to change. For those not yet ready to give up their summer tequila, the La Mistycal is a perfect stepping stone into fall weather. Keep your tequila base, but let the rich, sunken smokiness of the mezcal and the sweet sting of the spiced apple shrub, a drinking vinegar percolating with the mulled flavors of cinnamon, clove and all spice, usher you into the season and prepare you for the warm treats that await during the upcoming holidays.
1 1/2 ounces Zapopan tequila
1/2 ounce Mezcal Yuu Baal
1 1/2 ounces spiced apple shrub*
Spiced apple wedge
Pour the tequila, mezcal and shrub into a cocktail shaker. Shake until cold and strain into a stemmed port or cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon rind and spiced apple wedge.
*Pickled Fish makes this autumnal shrub in-house. Wedges of Granny Smith apples are soaked in a combination of apple cider vinegar and Calvados apple brandy spiked with a mix of cinnamon, clove and all spice. Bring the pot just to a boil, remove from heat and then let steep for fifteen minutes before straining out the liquid into a nonreactive container for storage. Use the leftover spiced apple wedges as garnish.
—Recipe courtesy of Shelby Dodson, bar manager, Pickled Fish, Adrift Hotel, Long Beach, Washington