Last month, El Mercado Modern Cuisine in downtown SanTana celebrated one year of alta cocina desmadre. To mark the occasion, go visit, because not enough of y’all do: I’m there three times a week, and I’m usually alone at the bar. Tell you what: you see me there, mention this review and I’ll buy you a drink!
And the drinks! Head barman Cesar Cerrudo changes his menu seasonally, and they’re always winners. I tend to go through every drink before settling on a favorite, which usually involves something with more alcohol than Bacardi 151 and more bitter than the OC GOP. That’s why I was shocked when I immediately fell in love with the elegant, hilariously named I’m Not Fancy.
The Drink Cerrudo lists this cocktail on the Sours, which is what happens when you use orange juice, lime and chamoy as a base. But then comes the booze: the smoky Los Javis Silver Mezcal and an amazing guanabana liqueur Cerrudo secured from Jalisco. The results are more savory than sour, but absolutely spectacular: a bit of sweet, a touch of tart, and all #borrachoproblems. Congrats, Mercado, and to many more years!
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El Mercado Modern Cuisine, 301 N. Spurgeon St., Santa Ana, (714) 338-2446; www.mercadomodern.com