Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, is this Sunday. I reached out to Junior Merino, aka the “Liquid Chef,” one of the world’s most renowned mixologists, to get his favorite recipes for this special day. Born and raised on a family ranch in Puebla, Mexico, Merino learned from his parents as a young boy how to prepare dishes featuring local and indigenous ingredients. Today, Merino combines his skills at being a chef, sommelier, and mixologist. Mestizaje, the blending of diverse flavors, is what he has built his career on.
Merino heads up a consulting company, has Molecular Bars on Celebrity Cruises Solstice class of ships, a mixology school, and is in the Mexican pavilion at Disney’s World’s Epcot theme park.
Merino, as well as his Liquid Team, are available to make cocktails for private events and Merino is a highly sought after speaker for groups that are interested in learning about making the perfect drink, want a spirits tasting, or a cocktail pairing dinner.
Avocado is a tree native to Central Mexico, and Merino created a cocktail incorporating this fruit.
Avocado Mezcal Cocktail
• 1 1/2 oz. Mezcal Blanco
1 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
• 3/4 oz. Midori
• 1/2 oz. Cointreau
• 1 oz. Agave Nectar
• 1/4 Avocado, seeded and peeled
Place all of the ingredients into a blender and add 1 1/2 scoops of ice. Blend until smooth. Pour contents into a glass rimmed with Junior Merino’s Cactus & Lemongrass Rimmer (available online). Garnish with an avocado peel, creating an “organic spoon”.
Avocado & Rum Ice Cream
• 1 Avocado, Seeded & Peeled
• 6 oz. Condensed Milk
• 6 oz. Coconut Milk
• 4 oz. Horchata Liqueur (Rumchata) (available on the internet)
• 2 oz. White Rum
• 2 oz. Midori
• 4 oz. Oat Milk
• 2 oz. Coconut Cream
Combine all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Put in a container and cover and freeze for at least 8 hours. Defrost for 15 minutes and enjoy.