During the Month of Agave at Capella Ixtapa in July, I had the pleasure of learning a lot about Mexican spirits, and also tasting some of the best tequilas and mezcals. While I like to sip them straight, I also enjoy the delicious new cocktails our Mixologist Miguel prepared for the event. Miguel shared with me a recipe for a godly martini, but before I share with you, I need to tell you a legend about mezcal and Mayahuel, the ancient Mexican goddess of maguey, a plant from which they make mezcal, tequila and pulque.
According to the legend, when the earth first began there was a goddess in the heavens named Tzintzimitl. Tzintzimitl was an evil goddess who devoured light, plunging the earth into darkness. She had the earth in darkness and forced the natives to do human sacrifices in order to give them a little light.
Quetzalcoatl, the God of Redemption, got tired of her evil reign. He believed in honor, so he flew up into the sky in search of the evil goddess, Tzintzimitl. Instead of finding her, he found her lovely granddaughter Mayahuel, the goddess of fertility. Quetzalcoatl fell in love with the granddaughter, and instead of killing the evil goddess, he rescued Mayahuel, brought her back to earth and married her. After their marriage, Mayahuel became a beautiful Aztec Goddess.
Mayahuel’s evil grandmother, Tzintzimitl, was angered by this, and was determined to find them, and kill them. Because there was nowhere else to hide Quetzalcoatl and Mayahuel turned into trees, one beside the other, so that when there was wind their leaves could caress one another.
Tzintzimitl, however, was relentless in her pursuit. Eventually the couple was found, and Mayahuel was killed in a big fight. Sad Quetzalcoatl flew to the sky and killed the evil goddess, and brought back the light to Earth. He buried the remains of his lover, and every night he would go her grave and cry. The other gods saw this and thought they should do something to comfort him. At the burial site the first agave plant was born, and it’s sweet nectar, aguamiel, was believed to be the blood of the goddess. The gods gave the plant some hallucinogenic properties to comfort the soul of Quetzalcoatl. When Quetzalcoatl consumed the elixir from the plant, it gave him great peace and comfort. From that point forward, the nectar from the agave plant became a ritual beverage and a ceremonial offering to the Gods and all Holy beings.
1 ½ oz. Mezcal
½ oz. Curaçao Azul liquor
¼ oz. Chartreuse yellow
¼ oz. Lychee liquor
1 oz. Lemon juice
¼ oz. Agave nectar
Pour mezcal, Curaçao, Chartreuse, lychee liquor, lemon juice and agave nectar in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Serve the content in a martini cup with a sugar rim (you can also use Splenda). Garnish with one basil leave.