Illegal cocktail with shaker and jigger

Illegal cocktail

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 24, 2022 
The Illegal cocktail is a delicious Mezcal-based cocktail. It takes quite some ingredients to mix this complex drink which makes it so well-balanced.

The Illegal cocktail is a new addition to the list of IBA standardized cocktails. A boozy mix of Mezcal, Rum, Maraschino liqueur, and a few more ingredients. It's a unique mix of bold flavors that brings sunshine to your mind, even on rainy days. This drink immediately transports you to Mexico, the home of Mezcal.

So let's check out how you can bring those exotic vibes of the Illegal cocktail to your home.

The unknown history

As you might know already from previous articles, I like to add a few historical facts - or at least assumptions. I believe this brings a bit of context to the recipe and makes it easier to grasp the drinks. The Illegal cocktail, however, seems to be a bit under the radar. When I first heard about it, I was surprised that there hardly is any information available about it.

The only interesting fact I discovered is that the Illegal cocktail traditionally is served in clay mugs. -Just like the clay vessels that are also commonly used to drink Pox, an ancient Mayan spirit. And other Latin American drinks like the Canchánchara or the Cantarito are also usually served in those traditional mugs.

But as unknown as the history of the Illegal drink is, the ingredients and preparation method are widely available. So let's talk about what you need to create this Mezcal cocktail.

Ingredients of the Illegal cocktail

This cocktail celebrates summer, sunshine, and beaches. It's boozy, smoky, tart, and refreshing. And the list of ingredients is quite long when compared to other drinks. So I think it's best to start with the base of the Illegal cocktail, Mezcal.

Mezcal is an agave-based Mexican spirit. Besides an obvious kick of agave, it usually has a strong smoky flavor. Apart from Tequila, it's the most important spirits export from Mexico. And although Tequila is technically also a Mezcal, there are some differences in what defines both spirits. If you're interested in that, read about the differences between Mezcal and Tequila.

Yet, Mezcal is not the only high-proof alcoholic ingredient. White Jamaican Rum is also part of the recipe. White Rums are typically relatively clean, fresh, and crisp. Therefore, this adds a touch of freshness and some fruity notes to the drink.

The Illegal gets its sweetness from three different ingredients: Falernum, Maraschino liqueur, and simple syrup. Freshly squeezed lime juice balances these sweet components.

Illegal cocktail with shaker and jigger


A refreshing cocktail based on Mezcal and Rum.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mezcal, rum
Servings: 1
Calories: 188kcal
Cost: $2.70


  • 1 oz Espadin Mezcal
  • 0.5 oz Jamaica Overproof White Rum
  • 0.5 oz Falernum
  • 1 bsp Maraschino Luxardo
  • 0.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
  • Few drops Egg White (Optional)


  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
  • Shake until the drink is well-chilled and strain the cocktail into an Old Fashioned glass or coupe glass. Alternatively, a traditional clay mug would be a great choice. Enjoy!


Serving: 3.75g | Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 83.3g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.125g | Sodium: 13.35mg | Potassium: 194.75mg | Sugar: 78.03g | Vitamin C: 22.5mg | Calcium: 61.5mg | Iron: 0.18mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Subscribe to Cocktail Society!

Receive our latest recipes, reviews, and insights - straight to your inbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

Related Posts

Three Chelada cocktails with lime and Tajin

Classic Chelada - A Mexican Beer Cocktail made with Lime

Read More
Mt Fuji Shochu Martini

Mt Fuji Shochu Martini

Read More
Flying Frenchman cocktail

Flying Frenchman

Read More
Mezcal Mule cocktail

Mezcal Mule

Read More
Old Fashioned Samurai made with Shochu

Old Fashioned Samurai

Read More
Best beer cocktails

The 8 Best Beer Cocktails

Read More
Privacy PolicyContactAbout us
Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from