In a city that could be considered the melting pot of the world, it's only fitting that our pick for a St. Patrick's Day cocktail is Mexican. Created by mixologist Gilbert Marquez for Santa Monica's nouveau Mexican restaurant Mercado, the drink is called the Irish Poet. The spicy libation is fueled by the smoky flavor of mezcal, the heat of seeded poblano peppers, the zing of fresh lime juice and a lick of chipotle pepper-infused salt. Inspiration for the drink struck Marquez after a riotous tequila-drinking session with a loquacious Irishman in Mexico.
Mercado, 1416 4th St Santa Monica, (310) 526-7121, http://www.mercadosantamonica.com
Total time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Note: Adapted from Mercado in Santa Monica. To make chipotle pepper-infused salt, mix 2/3 cup kosher salt with ½ ounce puréed chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, then spread out on a baking sheet and dry before using.
Slice of fresh seedless poblano pepper
2 ounces mezcal, preferably Ilegal
1 ounce lime juice, plus more for salting the rim
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Chipotle pepper-infused salt
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the pepper with the mezcal, lime juice and nectar. Strain over ice into a double old-fashioned glass with a chipotle salt rim and serve immediately.
Each cocktail: 176 calories; 0 protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 1 mg sodium; less than 1 gram sugar.