Division Bell Cocktail


Published: 02/11/24

division bell cocktail
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The Division Bell cocktail stands out as a captivating fusion of flavors, blending the smokiness of mezcal with the bittersweet notes of Aperol, complemented by the delicate essence of maraschino liqueur and lime juice.

The Division Bell cocktail was created in 2009 by the renowned bartender Phil Ward at Mayahuel in New York City. Phil Ward, a luminary in the New York City cocktail scene, crafted this masterpiece at Mayahuel, a revered establishment known for its innovative approach to cocktails, particularly those featuring agave spirits. Inspired by the well-known Last Word – a revered cocktail made with gin, lime juice, green Chartreuse, and maraschino liqueur – Ward sought to reimagine this classic with a distinctive twist.

The Division Bell substitutes gin with mezcal, a bold choice that infuses the cocktail with a rich, smoky flavor profile characteristic of this agave-based spirit.

Aperol, a quintessential Italian aperitif with a bittersweet taste, replaces the green Chartreuse in Ward’s reinterpretation. This substitution introduces a refreshing brightness to the cocktail, harmonizing seamlessly with the earthy undertones of mezcal while imparting a subtle complexity.

Maraschino liqueur, derived from the distillation of Marasca cherries, adds a nuanced sweetness and depth to the Division Bell, contributing to its multidimensional flavor profile. Finally, fresh lime juice provides a welcome acidity, balancing the sweetness of the liqueurs and enhancing the cocktail’s overall taste.

Tasting Notes and Sensory Experience

Upon the first sip, the Division Bell enchants the senses with its intriguing interplay of flavors. The smoky aroma of mezcal beckons, drawing the imbiber into a sensory journey enriched by layers of complexity. The mezcal’s smoky essence remains ever-present, providing a lingering warmth.

The initial sip reveals the bittersweet notes of Aperol, tinged with hints of citrus from the lime juice. As the flavors meld on the palate, the subtle sweetness of maraschino liqueur emerges, lending a velvety smoothness to the cocktail’s texture.

Cultural Significance and Impact

Beyond its magic, the Division Bell holds cultural significance within the realm of mixology, serving as a testament to the evolving tastes and trends shaping contemporary cocktail culture. As consumers increasingly seek out unique and adventurous libations, cocktails like the Division Bell exemplify the spirit of innovation driving the industry forward.

Moreover, the Division Bell underscores the growing appreciation for agave spirits and their versatility in mixology. Mezcal, once a niche spirit relegated to the margins of the cocktail scene, gained popularity in recent years and is known for its distinctive flavor profile. By incorporating mezcal as the focal point of the Division Bell, Phil Ward showcased the spirit’s potential to transcend traditional boundaries and redefine cocktail conventions.

Furthermore, the Division Bell’s association with the Last Word pays homage to the rich heritage and lineage of mixology. While honoring tradition, Ward’s reinterpretation breathes new life into a beloved cocktail archetype, demonstrating the enduring relevance of timeless recipes in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Division Bell Recipe

  1. 30 ml mezcal

  2. 22.5 ml Aperol

  3. 15 ml maraschino liqueur

  4. 22.5 fresh lime juice

  5. Ice

  6. Garnish: grapefruit twist

the division bell cocktail

How to Make a Division Bell Cocktail

  1. Add the mezcal, Aperol, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice into a cocktail shaker.

  2. Add ice and shake for at least 10 seconds, until chilled.

  3. Strain into a coupe or Nick and Nora glass.

  4. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

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