Shift Drink: Jason Eisner, Gracias Madre

This beverage director cools down with the ultimate summertime beer cocktail
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Jason Eisner, beverage director at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, knows a thing or two about tequila. He keeps the vegan restaurant’s bar stocked with well over 100 different organic tequilas and mezcals and routinely churns out 1,000 of their Purista Margaritas each day. But the classic margarita isn’t the only thing going. From housemade shrubs and bitters made from locally sourced produce to boozy snow cones, Jason always finds ways to reinvent the classics and bring a bit of fun to the party.

And the party doesn’t end when all the checks are closed. His craft beer micheladas garnished with a savory paleta (Instagram gold) are always on the menu and are particularly refreshing in this summertime heat. Read on to see which version he prefers to cool down with after a busy night behind the bar and how to make it for yourself at home (if you are so adventurous).

What’s your shift drink?
“After crushing a high volume well and bar top for eight straight hours, I really enjoy drinking a michelada. At Gracias Madre we specialize in craft micheladas and always have a minimum of three on the menu. Right now we have a twist on a Mexicana called the “Ring My Bell,” that is super refreshing after a long day.

The Ring My Bell has Uinta Extra Pale Ale as its base, and we add organic tamari, some fresh pressed lemon juice, a touch of our house habanero bitters, and a roasted red pepper and rosemary paleta. The cocktail is medium bodied, spicy, and savory. Micheladas are an anytime cocktail. They are low ABV and are a great way to get your night started with a bang, kill a hangover, or relax after a hard day at work.”

Cool down with this chilly (but spicy) Summer cocktail
Cool down with this chilly (but spicy) Summer cocktail

Photograph courtesy Gracias Madre

Ring My Bell
For the michelada:
12 oz Uinta Wyld XPA
1/4 oz jalapeño­-infused tamari (fine to use regular tamari)
2 dashes habanero bitters
1 oz lemon juice
1­2 tablespoons roasted red pepper granita (see recipe below) 1 roasted bell pepper paleta (see below)
1 pinch sea salt
Smoked Himalayan sea salt and toasted chile de arbol for rimming

1. Place salt and toasted chili arbol in a wide, shallow dish. Rub the rim of a pint glass with a lime wedge and dip glassware into the salt mixture. Add XPA, tamari, lemon, two dashes of habanero bitters, and granita to a pint glass. Give a gentle stir. Rest the paleta on the rim of the glass.

For the Granita and Paleta:
(Note: You’ll use the same base recipe for both. The methods are just different for preparing.)
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
2 pounds red bell peppers, roasted and peeled, seeded and stemmed, juices reserved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch ground cayenne pepper

For the Granita:
1. In a saucepan, heat water, sugar, and pepper juices until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat, stir in rosemary, cover, and steep for 20 minutes.

2. In a food processor or blender, puree bell peppers with lemon juice and cayenne. Strain the rosemary syrup and stir it into the pepper mixture. Pour into a bowl, cover, and place in the freezer.

For the Paleta:
1. In a saucepan, heat water, sugar, and pepper juices until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat, stir in rosemary, cover, and steep for 20 minutes.

2. In a food processor or blender, puree bell peppers with lemon juice and cayenne. Strain the rosemary syrup and stir it into the pepper mixture. Divide between ice pop molds and freeze for 6­8 hours.