Tequila Mockingbird

Tequila Mockingbird

Funny man George Carlin once said: "One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor."

He must never have been to Mercadito.

Inside of this small, unassuming Mexican restaurant in Alphabet City lives a menu of tantalizingly intoxicating tequila cocktails. Even after three (or four or five or...dare I say, six!), one isn't left on the floor but rather sailing sky high. Too often tequila gets a bad wrap: Known worldwide for inducing brain-quaking hangovers and rousing the rowdiest behavior out of those who consume it, the liquor's softer, more subtle side is often overlooked.  The bartenders at this cabana-themed joint have unlocked the secret to coaxing out tequila's sweet charm.

All of the options on the tequila-centric cocktail menu pack a saucy, South-of-the-Border punch, but I'd like to give special attention to the show stealer: the little market cocktail. A hearty pour of tequila blanco is blended with pineapple juice and fresh lime after the glass is dusted in a chile piquín (a brilliant red mixture of crushed hot pepper and salt). The result is a citrusy, smoky flavor that elicits a joyful '¡Ay, caramba!' out of all who venture to sip.

The other tequila offerings include the pepino el pyu (tequila blanco, cucumber, hoja santa, cumin salt), tres cítros (tequila blanco, orange, grapefruit, lime, habanero), jamaica (tequila blanco, hibiscus, lime, orange juice) and—of course—a margarita (with the option to add fruit, smoke, heat or all three).

To slightly amend the words of the legendary Mr. Carlin: one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, heaven...

» Mercadito, 179 Ave. B, btw E. 11th & E. 12th sts., 718.535.7984