Likely named for the color of the moon during an eclipse, this drink comes from The NoMad. Besides being bright and vivid, the Eclipse provides both a lovely introduction to Aperol, as well as shows how well the Italian aperitivo can play with agave spirits like tequila and mezcal.
Aperol is an Italian bittersweet aperitivo. Lighter, brighter and more citrus-forward than its big brother Campari, the liqueur has boomed in popularity in recent years due to the proliferation of the Aperol Spritz, as the bubbly quaffer has become an essential item for afternoon drinking. However the liqueur is far more versatile than being relegated to spritzes; it plays especially well with tequila, bringing out some of the natural fruity notes from the agave spirit. While you could potentially substitute Campari or another bright red Italian liqueur, it won’t translate precisely.
The inclusion of cherry heering adds depth, a strong backbone and a touch of sweetness to the drink. Along with the slightly smoky tequila, the bittersweet Aperol and tart lemon juice, the drink is a lovely exercise in balance. The addition of a mezcal float brings a touch of smoke to the party, with the final product being complex and layered.
Using the proper ice, as in any drink, is a crucial part of building the Eclipse. Larger ice cubes, like the two-inch by two-inch cube that the recipe calls for, slow dilution in the drink, maintaining its deep flavors until the last dram. If necessary, regular ice cubes from the freezer can do the job, but those looking for the full experience should consider investing in some larger ice cube trays.
The large cube also provides a better service to float the mezcal on. However, unlike with drinks that feature something like a float of dark rum for contrast, the mezcal float isn’t as necessary to get perfect, as its light color blends almost imperceptibly with the drink. Its purpose, instead, is to provide some extra smoky richness with the first few sips. It will soon blend with the rest of the drink.
- 1 ounce anejo tequila
- 3/4 ounce cherry heering
- 3/4 ounce Aperol
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 1/4 ounce mezcal
Add all the ingredients except the mezcal to a shaker and fill with ice.
Shake well and strain into a rocks glass containing a 2-inch ice cube.
Float the mezcal on top.