Mezcal is quickly becoming the most popular Mexican drink in America. At one point in time, this spirit was known for containing a hallucinogenic worm inside of its bottle.
Nowadays though, you will hardly ever see a bottle of mezcal with a worm in it; especially if it's from a quality brand. Today, this drink is known for being more than just a gimmick.
Though tons of Americans love tequila, many bartenders nationwide are now shifting toward the smoky version of the drink.
For those that don't know, tequila is actually a type of mezcal. It is made from the blue agave, one of hundreds of different species of the plant. Meanwhile, mezcal can be made from dozens of agave types.
With how many options you have with mezcal, you can find some incredible expressions of the drink. For this reason, many people consider mezcal a more complex drink than tequila. It also doesn't have the reputation that tequila does as a college drink.
During the production process, the agave of mezcal is roasted in an underground pit. It is then crushed, mixed with water, and fermented. This is where the smokiness of mezcal comes from.
On the other hand, the agave of tequila is not cooked at all. This results in a much more plain, smooth flavor profile.
When it comes to cocktails, there is no contest between the two. Mezcal is going to be the winner, every single time.
There's no better time to enjoy some mezcal than on a warm, summer day. For the best end of summer mezcal recipes, keep reading below!
This spin on a martinez fuses the smokiness of mezcal with sweet, fruity flavors. This drink uses mezcal as its base liquid, mixing it with cynar, cherry liqueur, and cocoa bitters.
To really give it some sweetness, garnish the drink with some orange peels. You can also use sweet vermouth to help balance out the taste.
This Cuban-inspired drink blends mezcal and sweet dark rum with bittersweet campari and cherry liqueur. Add in some cinnamon syrup for some additional spice and warmth.
Grilled Pineapple Margarita
The margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world. However, it's a little bit played out. Why not spice things up a bit by adding some mezcal?
Grab some orange liqueur and throw out that bottle of tequila. Mix in your orange liqueur with mezcal, add in a few drops of lime juice, and you're good to go. Salt the rim for some extra flavor.
A mezcal margarita is delicious by itself, but it can benefit greatly from a grilled element. A few grilled pineapple slices will do the job! Drape the slices of pineapple around your glass, hanging over just long enough to touch your drink.
It only makes sense to include a Mexican cocktail in this list. The paloma is one of the most prevalent cocktails to come out of Mexico, typically featuring grapefruit juice, club soda, or a traditional Mexican grapefruit soda.
The paloma is almost always made with tequila. Trust us though; the mezcal in this one creates a blend of flavors like no other.
By name, the el diablo sounds like a spicy drink, sure to fire up your taste buds. In reality though, this cocktail is perfect to cool you down on a hot, summer day.
For this recipe, you'll need some crème de cassis, ginger beer, and of course, mezcal. Play around with the ratios of your ingredients. For extra sweetness, use more crème de cassis. For extra bitterness, use more ginger beer.
For those who enjoy bitter, robust drinks, the mezcal negroni is the cocktail for you! This recipe blends mezcal with sweet vermouth and campari.
You don't even need a cocktail shaker to make this drink. Just mix it up in a glass and serve.
Honey and Smoke
Just like the name suggests, this cocktail combines the smokiness of mezcal with the sweetness of honey. For this drink, you'll need mezcal, ginger beer, lime juice, and honey or honey-flavored simple syrup.
The Moscow mule is ??a bold, punchy drink that is easy to make and delicious. However, some people don't like vodka.
The remedy? Swap it out for mezcal. This recipe calls for ginger kombucha and lime juice, as well. You don't have to feel guilty about indulging in this drink. With this cocktail, at least you're getting some probiotic goodness from the kombucha.