The Story Behind The Naked and Famous
One of the best cocktails to emerge in the period since the “cocktail renaissance,” the Naked and Famous blends equal parts mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, dayglo-orange Aperol, and lime juice, creating a refreshing drink that mixes the spirit of Oaxaca with Italian apéritifs.
This drink was invented in 2011 by Ecuador-born, Miami-raised bartender Joaquín Simó at New York’s Death & Co. Simó has described the drink as “the bastard love child of the Last Word and the Paper Plane conceived in the mountains of Oaxaca.”
The cocktail’s name may have been inspired by the Indie electronic band of the same name or the 1994 song “Naked and Famous” by alternative rock band The Presidents of the United States of America. The song explores the personal cost of exposing oneself, or rather, selling one’s soul in exchange for fame and celebrity status. What that has to do with mezcal, Aperol, Yellow Chartreuse, and lime juice leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but the cocktail is delicious and noteworthy nonetheless.
To let the mezcal truly take center stage here, make as Simó originally intended, using Del Maguey Chichicapa. Twice fermented in wood-fired copper stills, it makes for an assertive, higher-ABV mezcal. A bottle will currently set you back around $70, but it’s not a bad one to have on hand.
So indulge in a little vanity. Try the Naked and Famous.