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The cocktails at Comal may be as much of a draw as chef Matt Gandin's California-Mexican food. And the best of the drinks may be Scott Baird's take on the Paloma. By substituting mezcal for tequila and adding vermouth, Baird turned this breezy cooler into a smoky, exciting cocktail that is a natural fit for antojitos and grilled meats--or drinking on its own. For more 2012 Best Cocktails, click here.


Recipe adapted from Comal, Berkeley, CA

Yield: 1 drink


Honey syrup

¼ cup honey

¼ cup water



Thin grapefruit wheel


1½ ounces seltzer water

1 ounce Del Maguey Vida mezcal

1½ ounces Cocchi Americano

1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice

½ ounce fresh lime juice

Pinch of salt


1. Make the honey syrup: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add honey and water. Bring to a boil. Once the honey is dissolved, remove from the heat and cool.

2. Make the cocktail: Prepare an Old-Fashioned glass with the grapefruit wheel, and fill with ice. Add seltzer water to the glass. In a shaker, combine the mezcal, Cocchi, grapefruit and lime juices, and ½ ounce of the prepared honey syrup. Fill the shaker with ice. Shake to dilute, then double-strain into the Old-Fashioned glass. Serve.

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