Hot Dish

One of the noteworthy features of John Kenyon's new bad-boy Red Jacket Nightclub is the mezcal boutique in the bar. Mezcal, the cactus-based liquor from Oaxaca, has always been a bad-ass drink: harsh going down, hallucinatory in its effects. As if to prove what a bottom-of-the-barrel drink it was, there used to be a drowned worm in every bottle. Nevertheless, mezcal has become the affluent post-hippie sipper's choice. Encantado Mezcal de Oaxaca, a premium mezcal crafted as carefully as brandy, is meant to be savored slowly like a single-malt Scotch. Monica sells it; so does Sambuca, Dakota, Primo's, and Martini Ranch, among others. You can buy it at a lot of liquor stores (Majestic in Fort Worth, Sigel's in Dallas), too, if you want to try this at home. By the way, no worm.

--Mary Brown Malouf

Red Jacket Nightclub, 3606 Greenville, 823-8333.

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