It's a hot summer afternoon in Mexico and Gordon Chaplain is here to pour a drink and tell us about his brand new book out in July, Paraiso.
Paraiso is the noir rescue tale of a gringo brother and sister lost in Mexico. Think Coen brothers south of the border.
The most important ingredient is the drink I've created to match the book is artisanal mescal, a locally brewed very powerful variation of tequila, made from the agave cactus. Mescal has magical qualities not to be found in run-of-the-mill tequila, so it’s a perfect fit with Paraiso, which is a magical narrative. Mescal is the most Mexican of spirits, and the recipe for this beverage, which I’ll call The Paraiso after the book, was developed in the little Baja town where I’ve lived off and on for thirty years by a local woman said to be a witch. Only the lucky few have ever sampled it, and it has changed their lives. I use it sometimes if I need x-ray eyes to see into an unfinished manuscript.
- 1/2 passion fruit
- 2 ounces mescal
- 1/2 ounce damiana liqueur
- Slice of Mexican lime
Cut one passionfruit in half, scoop out the seeds and juice and put them into a cocktail shaker with cubes, not slivers, of ice. Add 2 ounces of mescal, and one half ounce of damiana liqueur (made from the magical damiana plant of Baja) if you can get it…if not, cointreau will do. Stir, do not shake. When chilled, either pour into a highball glass or remove the ice with tongs and pour into a martini glass. The seeds will settle to the bottom. You can eat them with a spoon after finishing the beverage. The mescal will have changed their flavor into something quite magical. Garnish with a quartered Mexican lime