Though mezcal has been around long before tequila–for centuries, in fact–it’s only regained popularity in the past few years with a new generation of fans. It’s only natural there should be canned mezcal drinks as part of the enormous canned cocktails surge.
Enter Elenita, concocted by two friends in 2019 and named after their friend Elena, who apparently really liked mezcal. Jordan Dil and Mikel Noriega decided to enter the RTD market (that’s ready-to-drink for newbies) with two different experiences: a Cucumber Lime Basil mezcal cocktail, 12 ounces with 6.5 percent alcohol, 0 carbs/sugar; and a Pineapple Jalapeño mezcal cocktail, 12 ounces with 7 percent alcohol, 4G carbs/sugar.
“It evokes a euphoric buzz, a stimulating rush and an intimate vibe,” the brand shared on its website. “We’re an homage to mezcal and all of its mysteries…”
The Pineapple Jalapeño received the highest marks of the two for me. There’s no escaping the mezcal taste (that’s a good thing) and the jalapeño, while the pineapple was fainter. It’s not in the sweet category–neither is–but that’s not where you usually find mezcal lovers.
This “artisanal, sparkling cocktail” (they include sparkling water) are available online; they are only in California stores right now. Sold as an 8-pack of either flavor or also available in a variety pack (4 of each), the 8-packs sell for $35.99. Free shipping on two or more 8-packs.
When NY Magazine asked bartenders across the country for their favorite canned drinks, Elenita won the “best specialty cocktail” award. Said one of the judges, “They’re not trying to make cocktails for every drinker, but if you like mezcal in your cocktail, you’re set.” I heartily second that opinion!
Estrella Damm pairs with restaurants through Nov. 15
The Estrella Damm Culinary Journey is up and running in Broward and Miami-Dade counties through Nov. 15, which means at participating restaurants you’ll find menus paired with this Barcelona beer.
This long-lived beer (since 1876) is considered to have a versatile flavor, which makes it easy to pair with all kinds of food. Go here for a list of venues serving up these special menus: https://www.estrelladammjourney.com/