Annals of rookie bartenders, Vol. XXVI.a.77: La Nariz Congelada 

A surprisingly drinkable mix of mezcal and rye. The presentation? Loco

Placed before me at a random mezcaleria in Healdsburg, California:

La Nariz Congelada: aka The Frozen Nose

Huh.

“Maybe that should be served up, without the ice cube?” said I.

The waitress baby-sitting the bar this early afternoon referred to the handwritten guide the head bartender had left behind the counter.

“No,” said she. “It says to serve with the big ice cube.”

“Maybe it should be served in an Old Fashioned glass?” I offered.

“No, he said to serve everything in a Margarita glass.”

Well.

When in Rome, etc.

Gamely, I took a sip. The ice cube brushed my nose.

The odd thing is, it was an unexpectedly arresting drink. It looked like a train-wreck on the menu — all those unrelated flavors in one place! — but it was at least a solid B, with extra points for originality.

I have no idea what it was called on the menu.

So I am naming it here.

La Nariz Congelada, or The Frozen Nose

  • 1.5 z mezcal
  • .75 rye
  • .5 Luxardo maraschino liqueur

Stir in a mixing glass, serve up in a coupe with one big ice cube, because…well, WTF. Brandied cherry garnish.

Frozen Nose cocktail tasting notes

  • Mixes two base spirits and a liqueur, each with vivid, distinctive flavors.
  • The smoke of the mezcal, the grainy edge of the rye, the high-pitched sweet of the Luxardo…somehow balance themselves.
  • Instead of a bar fight, this somehow comes off as a slightly edgy barstool conversation among three very strong-minded people who’ve never met.
  • Which is to say: A fascinating entertainment, but slightly dangerous.
  • Okay, so I tried this in an Old Fashioned glass. Worked much better.

Author: Craig Stoltz

Cocktail enthusiast with no professional standing, former Time.com Top 25 blogger, and ex-Washington Post editor. I live in Bethesda, Maryland.

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