Campfire’s Charred Corn Cocktail is exactly what its name describes.
“We think the drink is delicious,” Campfire’s chief drink master Leigh Lecap says. “You smell corn in the aroma. Its appearance is mysterious — it’s a black drink and you’re wondering, ‘Is it safe for me to consume?’”
The drink is more than harvest flavors over an open fire — although it is that for sure — Lecap says. This chthonic cocktail is also a lowball coup of mixological subtlety.
“We use a highland tequila with that grassy agave flavor and a little citrus,” Lecap says. “But the charcoal mellows that fancy taste so you get a smooth texture with hints of citrus in the tequila, which also gets amplified by the fresh lime juice. Then you taste the corn. If you’ve ever bitten into an ear of corn coming off the grill, it’s slightly sweet with a roasted flavor and a touch of the wood. Really, we see it as a roasted margarita.”
Corn season may have come and gone, so odds are that Campfire customers will have to wait until next season to take this drink by its ear. But fear not, Lecap says, Campfire’s crew is stalking a wintering root with the same idea.
“We want to do a reincarnation,” he says. “We’re hoping to find the same sweetness and same amount of wood and char flavor with parsnips. We’ll see where it goes.”
2725 State Street, Carlsbad
Campfire's Charred Corn Cocktail
- 2 oz. charcoal-infused tequila blanco*
- ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. charred corn syrup**
In ice-filled cocktail shaker, pour ingredients, shake, strain into salt-and-charcoal-rimmed Old Fashioned glass with fresh ice, and garnish with lime wedge.
- *Charcoal-infused tequila
- 1 liter of tequila blanco
- 4 teaspoons food-grade activated charcoal (bamboo or coconut)
- Mix charcoal with tequila; let sit for 24 hours.
Charred corn syrup
Shuck corn, leaving one layer of husk as a “jacket.” Place jacketed corn on grill set at 800–1600 degrees Fahrenheit for six minutes (longer at lower temperatures), remove jacket, and return corn to grill until kernels are charred brown. Shave kernels into measuring cup and add to mixer with equal parts water and sugar (1:1:1). Blend smooth and strain syrup from mixture with cheesecloth.