Back to school season brings a snap in the air and dare we say, a spring in parents’ steps? Joaquin Meza, father of two, knows what this season means all too well, “Thank God for school! As much as we love our kids, summer is a heavier burden on parents. We enjoy summers with our kids, of course, but going back to school brings some calm to us parents.” ‘Tis the season, then, to raise a glass to you, parents. You’ve earned a drink or two.
Luckily for us imbibers, Joaquin also knows about seasonal drinks. He and his brother Marco hold down one of Providence’s most outstanding bars at a special spot we know and love: El Rancho Grande. I was lucky enough to sit with Joaquin recently and learn a little bit more about his approach to seasonality.
“Before, I didn’t understand the concept of pairing cocktails with food,” Joaquin humbly shakes his head thinking of his last 10 years developing El Rancho Grande’s bar program. “It shows good growth. The connection is there – looking at the seasonal part of it. It wasn’t natural for me. I’m starting to understand it more.” He credits his mother’s cuisine and traveling, as well as connecting with professionals in other cities, for his progress.
We can say, in the spirit of fall and back to school, he definitely did his homework. Try drinking his creations. Bet you’ll give him an A+.
What: Jalisco Autumn
1.75 oz Siembre Reposado tequila
.5 oz Cocchi Americano
.5 oz Aperol
.75 oz Cinnamon spice syrup (house made with cinnamon and cloves)
.5oz Lemon juice (fresh)
Make: Shake all of the ingredients with ice. Serve on the rocks with a mint sprig (to keep it brighter).
What: El Senor
1.5oz Anejo Tequila*
.75 Ancho Reyes liqueur
.5 oz Amantillado sherry
.5 oz Giffard Pamplemousse (grapefruit) Liqueur
Make: Stir the ingredients with ice. Strain and serve neat in a coupe garnished with lemon.
*(Or use mezcal. “We love mezcal and add Angosutra bitters for more body.” — Joaquin’s hint)