Oh, the joys of summertime margaritas! There is something about the smokey addition of Mezcal that just tastes right here in the Southwest. My husband seems to have always had an affinity for Mezcal, preferring to sip it neat, while I first realized how much I loved it after ordering a Mezcal Ranch Water at La Reina at El Rey Court. To be honest, I usually prefer wine, that is until I find myself somewhere with Margaritas on the menu. When entertaining (or just wanting a fun cocktail for the weekend) I love to make everything as relaxed and easy as possible. This Small Batch Mezcal Margarita is a wonderful way to go.
At first, one might be inclined to think (me until about ten minutes ago) that Mezcal is a type of Tequila. But in reality, Tequila is a type of Mezcal, defined as any agave-based spirit. While Mezcal is produced across eight states in Mexico, 85% of all Mezcal is produced in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. What differentiates Mezcal from Tequila is not only the “terroir” of where the plant has grown and matured, but also the process in which it’s made. Mezcal’s classic smokiness comes from slowly cooking the heart of the agave plant, piñas, in earthen pits lined with wood and rocks and covered to keep in the heat. When I saw photos of this process, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between this method and cooking a pig underground, or a clam bake on a beach. The first oven, as it has been for thousands of years, never disappoints in utility and hints of mystery. No wonder when I sip on Mezcal it somehow feels like I’m tasting a time and place in a single sip.
This recipe uses one part tequila and one part mezcal to soften the smokiness in the cocktail. This being said the smokiness of Mezcal varies greatly depending on the producer, so use your best judgment. We love Del Maguey’s Vida Clásico but there are so many great choices out there. You can easily skip the tequila and use 8 oz. of Mezcal in this recipe for a bit more smoke. I love a salted rim and always a big slice of jalapeno if I have one on hand. Even though this recipe serves four people, it can easily be stretched to serve more people and lightened up by adding sparkling water, making a light and bubbly version.Print
Spicy Mezcal Margarita
This spicy mezcal margarita combines the smoky and earthy notes of mezcal with the bright and tangy flavors of lime. Sit back and vibe out with friends with the smoldering allure that elevates this classic margarita experience.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 0 mins
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Cocktails
- Method: mix
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 4 oz. tequila
- 4 oz. mezcal
- 5 oz. cointreau
- 4 oz. fresh lime juice
- for garnish: medium coarse salt, lime wedges, jalapeno slices (optional)
In a glass jar, stir together tequila, mezcal, cointreau, and fresh lime juice. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. This mixture will keep for a few days. When ready to serve, If you want a salted rim, pour salt into a small, saucer-sized plate, rub a lime wedge around the entire or part of the rim, dip the rim of the glass into the salt, and add ice to each glass. Pour the mixed cocktail over ice and enjoy. Garnish with lime and/or jalapeno slices
Keywords: mezcal, cocktail, smokiness, summer drinks, spicy cocktails, margarita, Cointreau, lime, agave, oaxaca