A More Sophisticated Expression Of The Traditional Margarita
Alas! The mezcal margarita is one of the most popular cocktails that incorporates mezcal.
You'll likely see it at almost any Mexican restaurant or bar that has a good cocktail program.
It adds a smoky dimension to the traditional margarita and is a great way to introduce your friends to your new mezcal obsession.
We prefer to serve this drink "up," shaken with ice and served in a chilled glass.
There is no need to salt the rim, blend the cocktail, or adding ice to the glass.
When dealing with complex flavors, we believe the most simple way is often the best way. That is definitely the case here.
Lucky for you too that this drink easy to make and does not require that many ingredients.
Serving Size: One serving
Time: 5 minutes
Cocktail Type: Shaken
1 ounce tequila
1 ounce mezcal
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1.2 ounce Cointreau
1/4 ounce simple syrup
1 small pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled and diluted, then double strain into a chilled margarita glass.
In the book "The Office: Classic Cocktails", Grant Achatz talks about how and why the the mezcal margarita is best served up.
We couldn't agree more. Also mixing the salt in the drink ensures that you get that salty taste with every sip.
Some recipes call for using 100% mezcal in the mix. We think that the flavor is mush better balanced when tequila is added.
Try infusing the mezcal with cut up jalapenos for 20 minutes to give it a little extra kick! Just add 1/4 of a jalapeno to the mezcal and let is sit. Strain when it is done.
We always suggest trying different mezcals for your cocktails too.
Mezcal cocktails are traditionally made with the popular espadin agave but don't be afraid to try is with a Tobalá or Cuishe variety of agave.
A chilled Martini-Style Margarita Glass
Since this drink is served "up," and is best enjoyed in martini-style margarita glass that is chilled.
This glass is perfect for drinking this cocktail and the portion will fit exactly so.
Have you ever had shrimp cooked with mezcal? If not, this is a must try!
We also love this drink with tacos al pastor, ceviche, or even a grilled white fish seasoned with lime.
It is believed that the traditional margarita was a spin off of the Spanish cocktail called the "Daisy" which included brandy instead of tequila. Around the late 1930's a few recipes have been found that started incorporating tequila in the drink.
The term "Daisy" refers to a sour cocktail where the sweetness also comes from a liqueur and not just simple syrup. Margarita also translates to Daisy in English.
Mezcal margaritas are not considered a "classic cocktail," but they did rise in popularity as mezcal was being introduced in the United States.
The way we always like cocktails is a little more boozy and that is also why we chose this recipe.
The Cointreau and the lime juice are a nice balance of sweet and sour.
The tequila and mezcal also balance each other with peppery, smoky, and spicy notes.
First Hand Account:
We've tried many different varieties of the mezcal margarita at different restaurants and at the home bar.
The truth is that this drink is hard to get exactly right. Most people use very smoky mezcals and the margarita basically becomes a smoke bomb.
Drinking mezcal has always been about tasting it. As your palate becomes more advance, you'll be able to draw its flavors from cocktails more easily.
When you are able to distinguish the flavors you definitely begin to appreciate it more, thus enjoying this tasty beverage for more than the smoky element.
But let's get off of our high horse for a moment.
This drink is an awesome way to impress your friends and guests. They will feel like they are trying something new and exotic for the first time.
Just like drinking the Oaxaca old fashioned, you instantly become more interesting by drinking the mezcal margarita.
Finding Mezcal - A Journey Into The Liquid Soul Of Mexico, by Ron Cooper
Mezcal - The History, Craft & Cocktails Of The World's Ultimate Artisanal Spirit, by Emma Janzen
The Office: Classic Cocktails, by Grant Achatz