Everyone likes a good margarita.
Hell, most of the world will even settle for a bad margarita.
There’s something about that combination of tequila, lime, and orange that leads you to relaxing days – no matter how bad things are in “real life”.
I’ve made my thoughts on artificial mixes pretty clear, and the margarita is no different. If you’re going to do it, do it properly.
Fresh fruit and good booze. Its your call if you want it frozen or on the rocks. Salt or no salt? Your call.
Caveat: There is a time and place for crappy frozen margaritas. The usually involve a vacation and a beach.
You can even get really fancy and try this ridiculously good avocado margarita.
But sometimes you want to mix it up a little bit.
You want something with a bit of a kick, or frankly, maybe a drink that’s a little less familiar and more unique.
But you still want to take a virtual trip to the beaches of Mexico.
And for you, I’d offer the mezcal margarita.
What is a Mezcal Margarita?
Just like a traditional margarita, a mezcal margarita simply switches out the tequila for its smoky sibling, mezcal.
There are hundreds of different variations for doing this.
Some call for simply switching out the tequila for mezcal and calling it good.
Others use a split base with both tequila and mezcal.
I’ve also seen people float a 1/2 ounce of mezcal over the top of a margarita – which also is fantastic.
There’s no right or wrong way, but I’ll share with you how I usually make it.
Related: Love mezcal cocktails? Try the Smoking Banana, a delicious simple mezcal cocktail.
How to Make a Mezcal Margarita
I love this drink because there are so many ways you can play it depending on how much smoke you like in your drinks.
Here I’m going to share the recipe that I make most often which is a fairly mellow mezcal margarita, that uses my favorite margarita recipe and then just uses a split base of 1.5oz mezcal and .5oz tequila.
I feel like it still gives you a strong mezcal drink, while adding a little bit of extra complexity that you wouldn’t get by just going straight mezcal.
My go to mezcal for this is Casamigos, which I’ve been loving lately. But it isn’t super cheap, so a Vida or other mid range mezcal will work wonderfully as well.
I’d encourage you to experiment. Try using all mezcal, a split base of 1 to 1, and this one which is 3 to 1 mezcal to tequila. Figure out what you like and then report back and let me know.
But my go to recipe is as follows:
- 1.5oz Mezcal
- .5oz Reposado Tequila
- 3/4oz fresh lime juice
- .5oz Triple sec or Cointreau if you wanna be fancy
- .5oz simple syrup
Throw it all in a shaker and double strain over a big cube.
In practice this truly feels like a “slightly pretentious” margarita. It feels more refined with the big cube than what you often think of when it comes to margaritas – and I’m totally fine with that.
Feel free to salt the rim if that’s your preference as well.
Remember, if you like it? It’s a great drink, so experiment with what you like and go from there.
Mezcal Margarita (You Won't Regret This)
- Cocktail Shaker
- Hawthorne Strainer
- 1.5 oz Mezcal Any mid range will do
- .5 oz Reposado Margarita I like Espolon
- .75 oz Fresh lime juice
- .5 oz Orange Liqueur Triple Sec or Cointreau if you want to be fancy
- .5 oz Simple Syrup
- 1 tsp Salt Optional for rim
- Combine all ingredients into shaker
- Shake for 20 seconds
- OPTIONAL: Salt the rim of a rocks glass
- Double strain into rocks glass over a big cube