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5 0 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t The first course is a play on a classic dish called to- stada de pata, made with pickled pig's feet. Scallops and shrimp are added to create a terrine with creamy black beans, crema de rancho and habanero chili aio- li. Hinojosa's first libation pairing, Puro Coco, is made with Cazadores Blanco, coconut purée, fresh passion fruit, habanero, cilantro, lime and agave syrup. The alluring tropical aromas fool you into thinking it will be sweet, but instead it's quite refreshing. The tart cocktail offers just a hint of sweetness that brightens the palate with each bite, and the habanero lingers at the end, elevating the hints of spice from the aioli. Chef Neto tells us, "My objective here was a refreshing cold appetizer that goes well with tequila: the seafood and the smooth pork flavor with chewy texture from the trotters." The next course is a stunning squid ink corn taco with octopus al ajillo, pork belly confit, smoked avocado mousse, morita chili and onion. In collabo- rating with the chef and formulating his cocktail pairings, Hinojosa says, "I like to play with a lot of the same flavors and ingredients." His goal is to balance the food, whether that be with greater spice, more citrus or sugar. For this pairing, Hinojosa prepared what he called The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: a blend of Cazadores Reposado, mezcal and amaro infused with roasted red bell pepper purée, lime and a salt rim made from a blend of hibiscus, guajillo and pasilla chilies. Like the taco, the concoction hits every note on the palate. The smoky aromas from the protein and mezcal lure you in, and the bitter- ness of the amaro is balanced by the sweetness of the roasted red pepper, which pairs deliciously with the The pork and scallops are buttery, matching the creaminess of the coconut in the cocktail and cool- ing the heat from the chili. Simple in form, yet explosive in taste, squid ink adds a pliable quality to the tortilla, locking in the juices from the proteins. The savory, sweet and smoky cocktail serves to elevate the many flavors in the taco. Charred vegetables and a chili and citrus cock- tail made for a truly local pairing, as both the spirit and all ingredients were sourced within the state of Jalisco. While the concept of local and seasonal is familiar when talking about food, cocktail pairings can offer an additional opportunity to support local and seasonal ingredients, reducing a restaurant's carbon footprint and increasing sustainability. Course 1 Course 2 Course 3 Five Flavorful Courses

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