The Last Sip of Summer

Don’t let the summer lapse without tasting the Smoke and Mirrors cocktail at Capitol Chophouse


September is here, which means it’s now the obligation of every cocktail lover to pack in as much alfresco drinking as possible. As you make the rounds at porches, rooftops, terraces and stoops, don’t forget the patio at Capitol Chophouse. Grab a seat and order the Smoke and Mirrors, and you’ll be sipping the best cocktail of the summer. (Really.)

Here we have a drink that manages to be smoky, fruity, peppery and bright—all without tasting like the dregs of your liquor cabinet. Bartender Ethan Kaercher starts off with mezcal, which he fell for while traveling in Oaxaca. Then he adds Hum Botanical Spirit, a pot-stilled rum infused with hibiscus, cardamom, ginger and kaffir lime. Pomegranate plus muddled lime and mint, plucked from the restaurant’s garden, add sweetness and zip.

“Mezcal popped into my head almost immediately when I tasted the Hum Botanical,” Kaercher says. “This is the tequila cocktail for people who don’t like tequila.”

RECIPE: Smoke and Mirrors


1 1/2 oz. white mezcal, such as Los Nahuales
1 oz. Hum Botanical Spirit
3/4 oz. Pom Liqueur
1/2 oz. agave syrup
4 lime wedges
2 sprigs mint
For garnish: lime wedge dipped in salt, mint leaves


Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in shaker and muddle. Add ice; shake vigorously. Strain over ice into goblet. Garnish with salt-covered lime wedge and mint leaves.

Recipe courtesy of Capitol Chophouse, 9 E. Wilson St., 255-0165,



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