El Naranjo, Austin’s exclusively traditional Mexican restaurant, helmed by 2022 James Beard Award winning Chef Iliana de la Vega, her partner Ernesto Torrealba, and daughter Chef de Cuisine Ana Torrealba, announce the launch of their limited time and exclusive signature Mezcal, a masterpiece lovingly created in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico. This specialty Mezcal is poised to become a collector’s item for connoisseurs and aficionados alike, an embodiment of the rich cultural heritage that El Naranjo represents. Additionally, the restaurant adds November specials to the menu this month, featuring an orange cocktail honoring Dia de los Muertos, an octopus appetizer, Mole Manchamanteles, and more.
El Naranjo Signature Mezcal
Gusto Histórico, in partnership with Mezcal Master, Ignacio Juárez, and the team at El Naranjo, crafted an exceptional orange-scented mezcal specially for El Naranjo.
This limited 35-liter batch produced in Miahuatlán, Oaxaca is a harmonious blend of Espadín de Milpa Agave angustifolia and Bicuixe agave, enriched with oranges during the second distillation. Bicuixe agave, Agave Karwinski, takes 15 years to mature and is prominently cultivated in Miahuatlán. Espadín matures in seven to eight years and grows amidst a multi-cultivar environment surrounded by corn, beans, chiles, tomatoes, squash, and other edible plants. Both agave varieties are artfully cooked in a conic-shaped earth-oven, followed by fermentation with natural yeasts and pristine well water.
The collaboration between El Naranjo and Gusto Histórico mezcal brings to life a delicately balanced orange-scented “puntas” mezcal yielding 67.8% Alc. Vol., capturing the essence of Oaxaca’s mezcal-making traditions.
This signature Mezcal holds a special place in the hearts of El Naranjo’s culinary team. Chef Ana Torrealba shares her sentiments: “Our signature Mezcal is a tribute to our heritage and a testament to the passion and continued evolution of our kitchen. It was crafted specifically for my mother, Chef Iliana de la Vega, in our hometown of Oaxaca and each sip transports you there.”
El Naranjo’s signature mezcal is handcrafted by skilled artisans in Oaxaca and embodies the region’s time-honored techniques and dedication of those who craft it. It’s a reflection of the Torrealba de la Vega family’s commitment to preserving and sharing the authentic flavors of Mexico with the world.
The signature Mezcal is available for purchase exclusively at El Naranjo, offering patrons the opportunity to take home a piece of Mexican culinary history, it’s a testament to El Naranjo’s dedication to authenticity and excellence in every aspect of their cuisine.
To fully appreciate El Naranjo’s Mezcal Gusto Histórico, it is best enjoyed straight up and can be paired with any of El Naranjo’s menu items. The restaurant’s culinary team has highlighted a few specific pairings from the menu: Pulpo y Papas, Queso Fundido Huitlacoche, Mole Negro, and Cochinita Pibil. Additionally, the delicate orange aroma of the Mezcal complements any of the desserts, enhancing their unique flavor.
Cocktail of the Month
La Muerte No Espera
Pear puree, Mexican cinnamon, star anise infused sotol, agave syrup infused with Mexican vanilla and orange blossom, lime juice, activated charcoal, and orange dust
Appetizer of the Month
Pulpo y Papas
Tender octopus in achiote (annatto seeds) oil with potatoes and X’ni pek salsa.
Main Course of the Month
A lighter mole thickened with almonds, sesame seeds and pecans, served with a choice of protein (chicken, duck or fish), a roasted sweet potato, and pineapple and apple puree.
Dessert of the Month
Calabaza en Tacha
Nixtamalized individual sized pumpkins cooked in a rich syrup made with piloncillo (raw sugar), Mexican cinnamon, cloves and orange rind and served with yogurt foam and roasted pumpkin seeds.