By: Julieta Hernandez Photos by: Rachel Benavides
Stirring the zest of citrus into the tint of a blush sky, the YOLA Sol brings a suggestion of warmth, even on ice. Since YOLA Cocina Mexicana’s opening day, this craft cocktail has been a favorite. “I describe it as tart, spicy, and strong. A tad sweet,” says bartender A.J. Juarez. “One of the things you want to go with when making a cocktail is a mix of those experiences.”
The gin-based cocktail introduces the sipper to the spirit of blood orange with ginger by its side, a little bit of agave, and not much else. Through simplicity and specified measurements, the flavor palette blends seamlessly.
“Blood oranges have a nice, super sweet taste. Instead of adding sugar to the recipe, we just use a dash of agave,” says Juarez. “But the real sweetness that you taste comes from the blood orange itself.”
While the gin is accompanied by Solerno blood orange liqueur, the bartenders at YOLA also prepare and preserve fresh blood orange juice for this recipe. The ruby-hued fruit has a season that falls between winter and spring, ranging months depending on the region where it’s grown. “Whenever we get blood oranges in, we have to juice … a lot,” Juarez laughs.
The Cocina Mexicana has a detail-oriented bar filled with original cocktails and passionate mixologists who know how to make them. With an arm’s length of tequila and mezcal options, the cocktail selection isn’t limited to just a classic margarita.
YOLA honors tradition in cocktails, too, which is why their version of the original Caipirinha holds true to the national cocktail of Brazil, or why their Oaxacan Old Fashioned features Madre Mezcal imported from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Each cocktail at YOLA is shaken or stirred with the purpose of giving an authentic experience, just like their dishes.
“It’s like the chef intended, but as the bartender intended,” Juarez says. “Every drink should be the same. We hold a pretty high standard, not only with the aesthetics, but [we want people] to taste the same drink every single time. We make sure we have every ingredient on hand.”
3818 S Alameda St • 361.334.0020