With temps in the low 100s this weekend and fire season barreling down upon us, a light, refreshing drink is in order to celebrate the season. We hit upon a winner yesterday in the cocktail kitchen. It uses some of the summer's fresh produce, mezcal and Aperol, the wonderful Italian bitter orange aperitif. Mezcal and Aperol get along quite well together in a glass.
Muddle 2 slices of cucumber, a quarter lemon or lime, a few leaves of basil and two or more pitted cherries in the bottom of a tall glass. Add 1 ounce mezcal (I used a mid-shelf espadin, no reason to use that $80 bottle as the complexity of the maguey will just be lost in this drink), and 2 ounces of Aperol. Stir to combine. Fill the glass with ice and top off with sparking water of your choice. Give it a stir and go stand in the sprinkler.