The Maximilian Affair Cocktail Drink

The Maximilian Affair

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If history piques your interest, then The Maximilian Affair cocktail recipe is for you! It’s a complex blend of smoky mezcal and floral liqueur, perfect for a great fall evening.

The Maximilian Affair Recipe

Mix up some excitement with The Maximilian Affair recipe! This fall cocktail combines Mezcal, elderflower liqueur, Punt e Mes and fresh lemon juice and makes for a great, unusual drink.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

181 kl

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Mezcal
  • 1 oz St. Germain
  • ½ oz Punt e Mes
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer
  • Cocktail Glass (Martini or Coupe style)
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Fill a cocktail glass (coupe or Martini style) with ice and set it aside.
  • Squeeze a lemon and pour ¼ oz fresh lemon juice into the shaker.
  • Add ½ oz Punt e Mes.
  • Add 1 oz St. Germain liqueur into the shaker as well.
  • Finally, add 1 oz Mezcal to the mix.
  • Fill the shaker with ice, close it and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).
  • Discard the ice inside the cocktail glass. Using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the mixture into the chilled glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist (express the lemon zest on top of the drink and then place it on the rim of the glass).

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Mezcal: If you don't have mezcal, use tequila instead. It won't have the same smoky flavor, but it will still work well with the other ingredients.
  • St. Germain: This is an elderflower liqueur, and it's pretty unique, but if you can't find it, you could try using a different floral liqueur or even a splash of elderflower cordial mixed with a neutral spirit like vodka.
  • Punt e Mes: Any Sweet Vermouth can be a substitute for Punt e Mes, but you might want to add a touch of Angostura bitters to balance the sweetness.

Making a Pitcher of The Maximilian Affair:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 8 oz of mezcal, 8 oz of St. Germain, 8 oz of Punt e Mes, and 8 oz of lemon juice.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher with ice and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into chilled coupe glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Mezcal Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic spirit that has a smoky flavor. Several brands on the market make these types of products.
  • St. Germain Substitute: Elderflower cordial can be a non-alcoholic substitute for St. Germain.
  • Punt e Mes: Use a grape concentrate with a touch of tonic syrup.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

This cocktail is already vegan-friendly as it doesn't contain any animal products. Just make sure to check your ingredients' labels to confirm they're suitable for vegans.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
181
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
0.4
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
12
g
4
%
Fiber
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Potassium
 
8
mg
0
%
Protein
 
0.03
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
0.4
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
0.4
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.02
mg
0
%

 

The Maximilian Affair Cocktail Drink

The Maximilian Affair Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Mix up some excitement with The Maximilian Affair recipe! This fall cocktail combines Mezcal, elderflower liqueur, Punt e Mes and fresh lemon juice and makes for a great, unusual drink.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 181

Ingredients
 

  • 1 oz Mezcal
  • 1 oz St. Germain
  • ½ oz Punt e Mes
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer
  • Cocktail Glass (Martini or Coupe style)
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Fill a cocktail glass (coupe or Martini style) with ice and set it aside.
  • Squeeze a lemon and pour ¼ oz fresh lemon juice into the shaker.
  • Add ½ oz Punt e Mes.
  • Add 1 oz St. Germain liqueur into the shaker as well.
  • Finally, add 1 oz Mezcal to the mix.
  • Fill the shaker with ice, close it and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).
  • Discard the ice inside the cocktail glass. Using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the mixture into the chilled glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist (express the lemon zest on top of the drink and then place it on the rim of the glass).

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Mezcal: If you don't have mezcal, use tequila instead. It won't have the same smoky flavor, but it will still work well with the other ingredients.
  • St. Germain: This is an elderflower liqueur, and it's pretty unique, but if you can't find it, you could try using a different floral liqueur or even a splash of elderflower cordial mixed with a neutral spirit like vodka.
  • Punt e Mes: Any Sweet Vermouth can be a substitute for Punt e Mes, but you might want to add a touch of Angostura bitters to balance the sweetness.

Making a Pitcher of The Maximilian Affair:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 8 oz of mezcal, 8 oz of St. Germain, 8 oz of Punt e Mes, and 8 oz of lemon juice.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher with ice and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into chilled coupe glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Mezcal Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic spirit that has a smoky flavor. Several brands on the market make these types of products.
  • St. Germain Substitute: Elderflower cordial can be a non-alcoholic substitute for St. Germain.
  • Punt e Mes: Use a grape concentrate with a touch of tonic syrup.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

This cocktail is already vegan-friendly as it doesn't contain any animal products. Just make sure to check your ingredients' labels to confirm they're suitable for vegans.

What is The Maximilian Affair?

The Maximilian Affair is a spirit-based cocktail made of mezcal, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, and Punt e Mes. It’s relatively easy to make, as it only requires measuring ingredients accurately and mixing them effectively. However, its unique combination of flavors can be challenging for those unfamiliar with mixing cocktails.

A side shot of a The Maximilian Affair cocktail in a cocktail glass on a wooden coaster placed on a metal tray surrounded by white bottle with a plant and a plate with three lemon pieces.

What is The Maximilian Affair made of – The ingredients

If you’re making a The Maximilian Affair, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Punt e Mes: Adds a layer of complexity with its rich, bittersweet, and herbal characteristics. It enhances the depth of flavor in the cocktail.
  • St. Germain: An elderflower liqueur, it balances the rest of the ingredients with a sweet and floral touch. 
  • Mezcal: A distilled alcoholic beverage from Mexico, it gives a smoky flavor to the Maximilian Affair, adding an intriguing twist to its overall taste profile.
  • Lemon juice: It adds a fresh citrus taste and aroma that enhances the sensory experience of the cocktail.

Mezcal, St. Germain, Punt e Mes, lemon juice and lemon laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Maximilian Affair?

Follow our uncomplicated steps to learn how to make a The Maximilian Affair:

1
<p>Start by filling a coupe glass with some ice. This will ensure the cocktail will be served at the right temperature.</p>

Start by filling a coupe glass with some ice. This will ensure the cocktail will be served at the right temperature.

2
<p>Squeeze in a shaker ¼ of lemon juice. The lime The lemon juice adds a tangy kick to the cocktail, cutting through the sweetness of the St. Germain and adding a refreshing element.</p>

Squeeze in a shaker ¼ of lemon juice. The lime The lemon juice adds a tangy kick to the cocktail, cutting through the sweetness of the St. Germain and adding a refreshing element.

3
<p>Add ½ oz of Punt e Mes to the mixture. This vermouth delivers complexity to the cocktail, enhancing the overall flavor profile.</p>

Add ½ oz of Punt e Mes to the mixture. This vermouth delivers complexity to the cocktail, enhancing the overall flavor profile.

4
<p>Add 1 ounce of St. Germain to the shaker. This elderflower liqueur adds a sweet and floral note to the cocktail, balancing out the strong flavor of the mezcal.</p>

Add 1 ounce of St. Germain to the shaker. This elderflower liqueur adds a sweet and floral note to the cocktail, balancing out the strong flavor of the mezcal.

5
<p>Pour 1 ounce of mezcal into the shaker. The mezcal serves as the base of the Maximilian Affair, providing a robust and earthy flavor.</p>

Pour 1 ounce of mezcal into the shaker. The mezcal serves as the base of the Maximilian Affair, providing a robust and earthy flavor.

6
<p>Fill your shaker with ice cubes.</p>

Fill your shaker with ice cubes.

7
<p>Shake the mixture vigorously for about 20 seconds. This will ensure that all the ingredients are well combined and the cocktail is appropriately chilled.</p>

Shake the mixture vigorously for about 20 seconds. This will ensure that all the ingredients are well combined and the cocktail is appropriately chilled.

8
<p>Fine strain the cocktail into your chilled glass. This removes ice shards or pulp from the lime, resulting in a smooth and enjoyable drinking experience.</p>

Fine strain the cocktail into your chilled glass. This removes ice shards or pulp from the lime, resulting in a smooth and enjoyable drinking experience.

9
<p>Garnish the cocktail with a lemon zest by squeezing it over the cocktail glass. </p>

Garnish the cocktail with a lemon zest by squeezing it over the cocktail glass.

10
<p>Then, placed the lemon zest on the rim of the glass. This adds a pop of color to the drink and provides a hint of extra flavor with each sip.</p>

Then, placed the lemon zest on the rim of the glass. This adds a pop of color to the drink and provides a hint of extra flavor with each sip.

History and Origin of the Maximilian Affair

The Maximilian Affair cocktail was invented by Misty Kalkofen in 2008. The name of this delightful blend of Mezcal, St. Germain, vermouth, and lemon juice, comes from an intriguing history that dates back to the 19th century. The story begins with Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph, an Austrian archduke who became Emperor of Mexico in 1864.

Maximilian’s reign was short-lived and fraught with conflict. He was a foreign ruler imposed by Napoleon III of France during the French intervention in Mexico. Despite his efforts to win over the Mexican people, he faced strong opposition from forces loyal to the ousted president, Benito Juarez. After three years on the throne, Maximilian was captured and executed.

A The Maximilian Affair cocktail, shot from above, in a cocktail glass on a beige surface surrounded by Mezcal, St. Germain, Punt e Mes, lemon juice and lemon

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FAQ

How many calories does The Maximilian Affair cocktail contain?
The Maximilian Affair cocktail typically contains around 200 calories. However, this can vary slightly depending on the specific brands of alcohol used.
How strong is The Maximilian Affair cocktail?
The strength of The Maximilian Affair cocktail can vary based on the ratio of ingredients, but it generally has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of about 20%. This translates to approximately 40 proof, making it a moderately strong cocktail.
What type of alcohol is used in The Maximilian Affair cocktail?
The Maximilian Affair cocktail primarily uses mezcal as its base spirit. Additionally, it includes St-Germain elderflower liqueur and Punt e Mes vermouth to add complexity and depth to the flavor profile.
In which glass is The Maximilian Affair served?
Traditionally, The Maximilian Affair is served in a chilled coupe glass. This type of glass helps maintain the drink's temperature and enhances the overall drinking experience.
What does The Maximilian Affair taste like?
The Maximilian Affair offers a unique blend of flavors. It has a rich, smoky taste from the mezcal, balanced by the sweet floral notes from the elderflower liqueur and the bitter-sweet undertones from the vermouth. Overall, it's a well-rounded cocktail with a sophisticated flavor profile.
What is the ratio of ingredients in The Maximilian Affair?
The typical ratio for The Maximilian Affair is 1 oz Mezcal, 1 oz St. Germain, ½ oz Punt e Mes, ¼ oz Fresh Lemon Juice. This ratio ensures a balanced taste where no single ingredient overpowers the others.
How is The Maximilian Affair served with ice?
The Maximilian Affair is usually served up, meaning it's shaken with ice to chill, diluted slightly, then strained into the serving glass without ice. This method helps to achieve the perfect balance of flavors and temperature.

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