With warmer temperatures finally here, you might be searching for a cocktail that’s a bit lighter and brighter than your rainy day go-to. While in some cases summer cocktails recall sickly sweet vodka-and-juice concoctions or one-note margaritas, Michael Cerretani, beverage director at Boulder’s Blackbelly Market, understands that a refreshing cocktail needn’t shy away from deep flavors.

Octavio’s Word is Cerretani’s twist on the Last Word cocktail, typically mixed with gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice. Cerretani swaps smoky Sombra mezcal for gin, and then plays up the agave spirit’s vegetal qualities with the clever additions of cucumber and jalapeño. Thanks to the vibrancy of the lime juice and bite from the jalapeño, the pale green cocktail has the easy-sipping qualities of a great margarita. But the layers of flavor provided by the earthy mezcal and herbaceous green Chartreuse give this cocktail the sort of heft you don’t normally associate with summer sippers.

Cerretani named the drink after Blackbelly Market’s executive sous chef, Octavio Canales, who happens to be a huge fan of cucumber and jalapeño. As Cerretani tells it, he mixed up the drink and walked it back to the kitchen for taste test. After just one sip Canales declared it a keeper. We’d have to agree.

1606 Conestoga St., Boulder, 303-247-1000, blackbelly.com

Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.