Recipe: Mezcal Margarita (serves one)
- 1 1/2 oz. mezcal
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. Cointreau
- Lime twist
Shake liquid ingredients vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into glass, and garnish with lime twist.
The Mezcal Margarita is a smoky take on a traditional margarita, substituting mezcal for the silver tequila.
Mezcal and tequila are both made by fermenting the hearts of agave plants. In order to be sold as tequila, the spirit must come from a specific region of Mexico and be made from the blue agave variety. Mezcal can be made from other varieties of the plant; we used an El Silencio mezcal distilled in Oaxaca from espadin agave.
The main difference between mezcal and tequila production is the treatment of the agave hearts (called the piña) before fermentation. To make a tequila, the agave hearts are baked in an above-ground oven. For a mezcal, on the other hand, the agave hearts are roasted in underground pits, lined with wood and rocks, which impart the smokey flavor.
If you love margaritas but are in the mood for something smokier and more complex, this cocktail is for you.