Rancho de la Luna sits on a hill surrounded by the otherworldly desert landscape. The unassuming adobe home has hosted sessions with many of the true legends of rock and roll since 1993 and is the full-time residence of studio cofounder and music icon David Catching.
Three decades’ worth of liquor (and stories) are soaked into the sand here, but for a bottle to bear the Rancho de la Luna name, it would need to be truly special. Catching and Bingo Richey (music producer and lead singer of desert rock band Mojave Lords) believe they’ve found that bottle.
“We found one of the greatest in the world,” says Catching of their partner palenque (mezcal distillery) in Oaxaca, Mexico, “and worked together on the recipe.” The Espadin maguey is processed using tahonas pulled by mules and then fermented in oak and distilled in copper in small batches.
Numbered bottles of Rancho de la Luna’s first release became sought after by music and mezcal fans alike. Catching and Richey have since increased production. “We have matching, rocket-powered roller skates,” says Richey. “We’re going into 23 states by the end of 2020.”
The pure, handcrafted nature of this mezcal makes it delicious served neat. However, it’s also excellent in a cocktail, such as a New Old Fashioned or a Mojave 8-Ball—concoctions inspired by the desert, blended with a soundtrack of gritty rock and roll, and served with the legendary hospitality of Rancho de la Luna Studio.
1-oz of Mezcal
1 teaspoon of agave syrup or nectar
Strip of orange peel, 1 inch wide
1 dash of Angostura Bitters (about 4 drops)
1. Combine liquids into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir until chilled—strain into a rocks glass with ice to taste.
2. Hold a lit match over the drink in one hand and the orange peel, in the other hand, with the orange peel side facing the flame about an inch apart. Pinch the orange to release the oil until it sparks. Put out the match, and drop the peel into the cocktail.
1/2-oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2-oz of Mezcal
1. Pour 2 ounces of Kahlua into a cocktail, or shot glass.
2. Float 1/2 ounce Bailey’s Irish cream
3. Float 1/2 ounce Rancho de La Luna Mezcal on top.
Optional: serve on the rocks.
How to “Float” or “Layer” a Cocktail
Hold a spoon over of the drink—upside down works best in our opinion, but people have different methods. While you can use any spoon, the bowl of a bar spoon is thinner than the average spoon and should fit inside most glasses, including shot glasses. Slowly and steadily pour the liquor over the spoon, allowing it to flow on top of the drink. Begin to move the spoon up as the glass fills.