Pleasant avenue: A RECIPe

Rogerio Reyes-scandela

Illustration: Rogerio Reyes-Scandela

Illustration: Rogerio Reyes-Scandela


I've been working in bars since I was 19, so I've been in all kinds of bars from dives to cocktail. I worked at Row House before working at Lion Lion, and I had done La Marina for the past two summers. Those two were opposites of each other.

I've always had a love for the craft of cocktail making, especially for the classics. I was lucky enough to bump heads with some of the best and to be trained by one of the guys that was trained by Sasha Petraske himself.

I was born in Venezuela and raised in the uptown Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood. So what we wanted to do was to create a cocktail that was both bold and refreshing. It took me a few tries to get it just right. When I think summer, I think ice cream, lemonade, and if you're from uptown, you'd know about the "icies" or "Frío Frío" that are sold in every corner of Washington Heights and Inwood. It is a staple in the community.

I decided to implement a fruit by adding some cucumber, orange, lime and an herby amaro, Montenegro. That would take care of the refreshing part, but I was still missing the bold. Mezcal was, to me, the logical choice – it's a very smoky spirit and either hated or loved. All of this topped with crushed ice. 


The recipe for the cocktail is as follows:

  • 1 oz Mezcal 
  • 1 oz Montenegro
  • 1/4 oz PX Sherry
  • 1 oz fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • Muddled cucumber on crushed ice

The drink is garnished with a cucumber wheel and a cocktail cherry.