Every Saturday, Mike Augustyniak helps kick off the weekend by checking out some of the best cocktail recipes from bars in the Twin Cities. This week, he’s checking out one of the hottest new craft cocktail spots. Today, we say “hola” to some “nueva bebidas de otono” — new fall drinks — at Hola Arepa, courtesy Ryan Barott and Nate McLemore-Raczkowski.

Oaxacan Manhattan

1 ½ oz Agavales Silver tequila
½ oz Del Maguey Vida mezcal
½ oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
½ oz Cocchi Di Torino
¼ oz falernum
1 dash habanero bitters
1 dash fig cacao bitters

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Combine all ingredients by stirring over ice. Strain into a lowball glass over ice, and garnish with a lime peel.

Taste Test

Mezcal in this form is a relative newcomer to the Twin Cities cocktail scene; though, if you’ve had tequila before, you’ve had another form of mezcal.  Put another way: all tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila.

This cocktail is a Latin take on a traditional “perfect” Manhattan.  The flavor is citrusy right off the top, thanks in part to the lime garnish, but a mild smoky flavor builds.  Bartender Nate McLemore-Raczkowski refers to this drink as “mezcal, but approachable mezcal,” that doesn’t hit you over the head with smokiness.

The fig-cacao bitters are made in-house at Hola; you can substitute store-bought chocolate bitters or mole bitters from Bitter Truth.

Stranded At Sea

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2 oz Pineapple-infused Plantation 5 Year Barbados**
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz Bonal Gentiane-Quina
½ oz Licor 43
1/4 oz (skinny) simple syrup
3 Dashes habanero bitters

Shake all ingredients over ice to combine; strain into a wine glass, and garnish with an orange peel.

**Core and chop one whole, fresh pineapple into coarse pieces, and steep for 24 hours in ¾ to 1 liter of rum.  Remove pineapple and use.

Taste Test

Pineapple-infused rum has become my obsession of the moment, after trying this drink.  The flavor that is imparted in just 24 hours of steeping is enough to transport you to the islands – perfect for hanging on to summer’s last gasps.

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All cocktails on the menu at Hola Arepa are $8.50; their entire menu is online at their website

Mike Augustyniak