Corn is widely considered a summer ingredient, but the cooler fall weather can actually produce a sweeter, more flavorful ear. Char it on the grill and muddle it in your shaker for a fresh, flavorful cocktail to make the most of the late season’s bounty.
Is anyone else getting a mild case of the winter scaries? A couple of weeks ago I was all “bring on the sweater weather!”, but now that we’re in the midst of our first real chill, I’m working up a healthy bit of dread for the true cold to settle in. Every time I go to the farmer’s market, I make sure to stock up on the last of the warm season produce before it’s going, going… gone.
This one is best with the Burnt Honey Syrup I used in these turmeric cocktails, but you can use the regular kind if you’re short on time. Pro tip: honey syrup takes even less time to make than simple syrup (which is super fast to begin with). You just shake honey and hot water together, and you can do it right in the bottle or jar you’ll be storing it in (so no extra mess to clean up).
You can make this fizz with either aged tequila or mezcal — use the latter if you like things a little bit smoky. I also add a tiny splash of cream to bring out the sweet corn and honey profile, because the fat molecules in cream act like little flavor catch-and-deliver modules straight to your taste buds. Seriously, if you’re up for an experiment, make this with and without the cream — you’ll be shocked at how much more the corn and honey stand out in the creamy version. But if you’re living the dairy free life, it’s still excellent (and slightly more tart and refreshing) without.
Finally, I garnish this with a huge bouquet of basil, because basil and corn just go together like PB & J. Mint works well too if you prefer (or have some in the garden that needs to be used). I pull a few stems through a lemon wheel to keep them anchored in place, then serve with a straw nestled as closely into the bouquet as possible for maximum aroma.
- 1 Ear corn
- 1 oz Anejo tequila or mezcal
- 1 oz Amontillado sherry
- .5 oz Fresh squeezed/strained lemon juice
- .5 oz Honey syrup (or burnt honey syrup)
- 1 Pinch salt
- 1 Splash heavy cream
- 1 Splash seltzer
- 1 Healthy pinch of basil to taste
- 128 g Very hot water
- 200 g Honey
- For the Corn Base: Heat an oiled grill to medium high, then char corn all over (about 2 minutes per side). Remove from heat and slice off the charred kernels from the ear.
- Add two heaping tablespoons of the charred corn to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the mezcal and muddle until the corn is completely broken down (the liquid will start to look creamy). Add the sherry, lemon juice, honey syrup, salt, and a small splash of cream, then fill with ice and shake hard for 12 seconds.
- Pour into an ice filled rocks glass, top with a splash (1-2 oz) of seltzer, and garnish with a large bouquet of basil or mint.
- For the Honey Syrup: Stir or shake in a sealed container rapidly until completely combined. Store in the fridge.
- *TIP*: If you don’t have a kitchen scale, use 2/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup hot water.