Courtesy Jorge Guzman, The Black Ant, New York City
At The Black Ant in New York City, owner Jorge Guzman incorporates a number of Oaxacan staples into dishes and drinks, including sal de hormiga, or salt with ground-up leaf cutter ants. It is used to rim the glass of this mezcal-based sipper, lending an earthy tang to the drink.
Since powdered ants are hard to obtain in the U.S., try a salt-and-pepper rim to approximate the visual effect.
- Coarse salt and pepper in equal parts (or sal de hormiga) to rim glass
- 1 lime wedge, for rim
- 2 ounces mezcal
- 1½ ounces Mexican sweet corn juice*
- 2 leaves of Epazote and Hoja Santa (wild Mexican herbs)
- ½ ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce agave nectar
In a small dish, combine salt and pepper (or salt and powdered ant). Moisten the rim of a rocks glass with the lime wedge. Roll the edge of the glass in the salt/pepper mix. Place glass in the freezer to chill. Add remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, and strain into the prepared glass over fresh ice.
One ear of corn yields about 3 ounces of juice. Cut the kernels off of 1 ear of sweet Mexican corn, and blend with 1 tablespoon of water.