Alongside Tacos and Tequila, the Margarita is one of Mexico's most famous food and drink exports. So, why not use another Mexican favorite and try to make a Mezcal Margarita?
The classic Margarita recipe calls for Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, a sugary component, and salt for the rim. A Mezcal Margarita recipe follows the same principle but is a smoky version of the popular summer cocktail.
It 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.
Most elements remain the same as in a classic Margarita. Basically, you only substitute Tequila with your favorite Mezcal, and you're good to go:
- Mezcal - The smoky agave spirit is what gives this Margarita riff a beautiful edge. You can find more info and recommendations below.
- Triple Sec - I prefer Cointreau for the Triple Sec part. But you can also try other orange liqueurs like Grand Marnier.
- Syrup - you can either do agave syrup, one part agave and one part simple syrup, or simple syrup only. Yet, 100% agave pronounces the difference in taste even further - in a good way.
- Fresh lime juice
- Quality salt for the rim - fleur de sel is our favorite. It rounds the cocktail up beautifully.
Which Mezcal for a Mezcal Margarita?
Mezcal is an agave spirit like Tequila, but less restricted and with smoky flavors. Technically, Tequila is a subtype of Mezcal. Still, you will never get a Tequila when ordering a Mezcal. Sounds interesting? Read more here.
The level of smokiness of a Mezcal depends on the individual product. No official scale indicates the degree of smoke, so finding that out is down to trial and error - or check out 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.
Ilegal Mezcal Joven
Level of smokiness: low
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.
Level of smokiness: high
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
Style: Anejo, aged 16 months
Level of smokiness: medium
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.
How to make the drink
To make this Mexican cocktail, you need a cocktail shaker, a Hawthorne strainer, and a saucer for the salt
- Step 1: Put some fleur de sel on the saucer, then use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of a glass and dip it into the salt and set it aside while making the drink.
- Step 2: Pour Mezcal, fresh lime juice, Triple Sec, and agave syrup into your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
- Step 3: Shake well for about 8 to 10 seconds, and strain the drink over ice into the prepared glass.
- Step 4: Garnish with a lime wedge.
Our Margarita Mezcal recipe is single-based. A split-base of Tequila and Mezcal (1:1) is a good option if you mispicked perhaps and ended up with something too smoky for your liking. - Or if you like to start your Mezcal experience a little more cautiously. However, I only advise that for Mezcal with medium or high levels of smoky flavors.
You can also create a cocktail that beautifully combines smoky flavors with some extra spicy by adding a bit of chili. Chop up some jalapeños and add a few wheels to your drink. For the extra punch, go with a habanero. But don't overdo it.
Also, if you can't get enough of Mezcal, try another one of our favorite Mezcal Cocktails.
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Citrus Juicer
- 1 Margarita Glass
- 2 oz Mezcal
- 1 oz Fresh lime juice
- 0.5 oz Triple sec
- 0.5 oz Agave syrup
- 0.25 cup Fleur de sel
- Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of a glass.
- Dip the glass rim generously in fleur de sel and set it aside.0.25 cup Fleur de sel
- Add the Mezcal, lime juice, Triple sec, and agave syrup into your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Then shake well and strain the drink over ice 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.
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