Mezcal Margarita

Mezcal Margarita

By Sina Torner / Last updated on October 1, 2022 

First published on March 19, 2022 

The Mezcal Margarita is the perfect cocktail if you like a good Margarita but want to try something different. With Mezcal adding a smoky element, this recipe is just what you have been looking for.

Alongside Tacos, the Margarita is one of Mexico's most famous food and drink exports. And both are among the first things that come to mind when thinking about the Latinamerican country. Well, that's the case for me. And why not make it a Mezcal Margarita?

The classic Margarita recipe calls for Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, a sugary component, and salt for the rim. A Mezcal Margarita follows the same principle but is a more smoky version of the popular summer cocktail. 

In my opinion, the Mezcal Margarita is a drink that every true Margarita lover should have tried at least once. -Also, the Mezcal fanbase has only been growing in recent years. So here is what the fuss is all about. 

What is Mezcal?

Mezcal is an agave spirit, just like Tequila. But the production of Tequila is more restrictive regarding the plants used and the place of production. 

There's also a difference in the production process that lends Mezcal its characteristic smokiness. So, if you expect them to taste the same, you are mistaken. There are similarities, but Mezcal is smoky and less sweet than Tequila.

Anyway, technically, Tequila is a subtype of Mezcal. Still, you will never get a Tequila when ordering a Mezcal. Sounds interesting? Then read more about the different types of spirits from Mexico and how they compare:

A complete guide to Mezcal

Mezcal vs. Tequila: What is the difference?

The difference between Sotol and Tequila and Mezcal

Pox - What you need to know about the ancient Mayan spirit

Best Mezcal for a Mezcal Margarita

The level of smokiness of a Mezcal depends on the individual product.

Unfortunately, there's no official scale indicating the degree of smoke in a Mezcal. So finding that out is down to try-and-error - or reading our recommendations.

Like for a Mezcal Old Fashioned, the most common choice for a Mezcal Margarita is a Joven style Mezcal. But because the other ingredients in the cocktail will counterbalance the flavors and smokiness to some extent, you can be brave and go for something bolder even if you're not entirely the smoky type. 

Ilegal Mezcal Joven

Ilegal Mezcal Joven

Style: Joven 
Origin: Oaxaca
Level of smokiness: low
ABV: 40%
Taste: Eucalyptus, apple, citrus, red chiltepe

This one is a good choice for everyone new to Mezcal. Illegal Joven is not overly smoky and comes at a reasonable price.

Montelobos Espadin

Montelobos Mezcal Joven

Style: Joven 
Origin: Oaxaca
Level of smokiness: high
ABV: 43%
Taste: green maguey, nuts, herbal, smoke

Montelobos is a brilliant choice if you want to experience the true Mezcal vibe. It's definitely a smoky spirit. Too smoky for me to have it neat, but perfect in a Margarita.

Mestizo Mezcal Añejo

Mestizo Mezcal Anejo

Style: Anejo, aged 16 months 
Origin: Oaxaca
Level of smokiness: medium
ABV: 40%
Taste: oak, caramel, molasses, spice

Some might argue that an Añejo is wasted in a cocktail. -No matter the type of liquor. Nevertheless, it will improve your drink. So if you want something special and have some bucks to spare, Mestizo is a Mezcal to consider for your next Margarita.

Other ingredients for a Mezcal Margarita

The other elements remain the same as in a classic Margarita. So you basically only substitute Tequila with your favorite Mezcal, and you're good to go.

For the Triple Sec, I prefer Cointreau. As for the syrup, you can either do agave syrup only or one part agave and one part simple syrup. 

For the classic version, I like half simple syrup, half agave. But for the Mezcal Margarita, 100% agave pronounces the difference in taste even further - in a good way. 

And don't forget to use freshly squeezed lime juice and a decent quality salt for the rim - fleur de sel is our favorite. It rounds the cocktail up beautifully. 

If you like to start your Mezcal experience a little more cautiously, you can also opt for a split base with half Mezcal and half Tequila. But, if you go for a Mezcal with little smoke, the effort is not worth it, and you might end up not tasting a notable difference. 

Our Margarita Mezcal recipe is a single base one. Nonetheless, split-base is a good option if you mispicked perhaps and ended up with something too smoky for your liking.

Make it spicy

You can also create a cocktail that beautifully combines smoky flavors with some extra spicy by adding a bit of chili to your Mezcal Margarita. Simply chop up some jalapeños and add a few of the small wheels to your drink. 

Alternatively, you can also go with a habanero chili. We had that once in Tulum. It really packs a punch. But don't overdo it. One or two thin wheels of habanero are enough for the average person.

And if you can't get enough of Mezcal, try another one of our favorite Mezcal Cocktails.

Mezcal Margarita

Mezcal Margarita

A smoky and intriguing take on the classic Margarita recipe.
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mezcal
Servings: 1
Calories: 236kcal
Cost: $4

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Mezcal
  • 1 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz Triple sec
  • 0.5 oz Agave syrup
  • 0.25 cup Fleur de sel

Instructions

  • Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of a glass.
  • Dip the glass rim generously in fleur de sel and add some ice cubes to chill it.
    0.25 cup Fleur de sel
  • Put the Mezcal, lime juice, Triple sec, and agave syrup into your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Then shake well and strain it in the prepared glass.
    2 oz Mezcal, 1 oz Fresh lime juice, 0.5 oz Triple sec, 0.5 oz Agave syrup
  • Garnish with a lime wedge.

Nutrition

Serving: 4.25oz | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.2g | Protein: 0.15g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1.05mg | Potassium: 39mg | Sugar: 16.7g | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 4.5mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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