There are a number of ways to look at this cocktail created at New York City’s now-shuttered Empellón Cocina, which was once the flagship of chef Alex Stupak’s Mexican-restaurant empire and known for its experimental takes on the country’s cuisines.
You might see the drink as a Margarita variation of sorts, with a number of swaps: Mezcal replaces tequila; pink grapefruit juice stands in for lime; a splash of Campari is added. The orange liqueur and the overall vibe remain the same.
You might instead see an agave spirit combining with grapefruit juice and think of a non-bubbly Paloma, with the orange liqueur standing in for simple syrup and, of course, without the soda water. There’s still the matter of that splash of Campari.
Perhaps the best way to view it, however, is as a totally unique creation, in a category of its own. It may have been partially inspired by the two Mexican classics, but the addition of the bitter liqueur spins it off into a totally new direction, flavor wise as well as aesthetically, its vibrant pink hue giving a hint of the complex flavors found within.