Smoky mezcal replaces vodka in this jalapeño-spiked take on the classic Bloody Mary. Served with a crisp bacon swizzle stick, it's the kind of savory, spicy cocktail that's equally at home on the brunch or dinner table.
'Mezcal' on Serious Eats
If you've spent any time at a cocktail bar lately, it's likely you've seen jiggers of mezcal going into the drinks. Long past are the days when the US only had access to cheap, rough versions of this agave spirit. What you can find now is fascinating stuff: herbal and savory, sometimes smoky, and definitely worthy of tasting straight up. We love it in cocktails too, and recommend grabbing a bottle for this year's Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Here are nine recipes to get you started.
Mezcal will play nice as long as you have some strong players to mix it with, like bittersweet Aperol, the herbal orangey liqueur that some call Campari's little sister.
This mezcal drink, made with bittersweet Aperol and fresh lemon, can go two ways: with Angostura bitters, it's spicy-earthy-cinnamony. Or try chocolate bitters, which play up the sweet and bitter orange flavors in the Aperol.
In this simple drink, smoky mezcal offers a savory quality that unfolds on your tongue, and apple soda provides a bracing tartness.
Often overshadowed by its more popular brother, tequila, mezcal doesn't usually get a fair shot. Maybe it's the smokey flavor that polarizes people, or the association with worms, but this often misunderstood spirit really makes for some great cocktails.
Smoky mezcal is a wonderful pairing for elderflower and ginger liqueurs in this frothy egg-enriched cocktail.
It's easy to get friendly with mezcal when you're drinking this refreshing cranberry and basil-flavored spin on a classic julep.
This simple variation on the classic Last Word swaps out the gin for savory mezcal and tosses in a slice of serrano pepper, making for a smoky and spicy variation on the drink.
Think you don't like mezcal? Try this cocktail and you might change your mind.
Pairing smoky mezcal with briny sherry and vegetal Cynar makes for one tasty drink with a great tobacco-laced scent. A pinch of salt and a grapefruit twist help bring out the flavors.
If you haven't experimented much with mezcal, this cocktail, made with grilled mango and ancho chili peppers, is a great place to start.
Smoky ancho chili peppers and grilled mango sound like the start of a salsa, but here they serve as the base of a deliciously sweet and earthy cocktail made with mezcal.
At The Pastry War in Houston, Bobby Heugel brings together big flavors with smoky mezcal, herbal-anisey Green Chartreuse, spicy ginger beer, and mole bitters.
This hot toddy takes a swing south of the border. It's spicy and smoky, just a little bit sweet, and a perfect companion for a cold night.
Is it a bartender's duty to make sure drinks possess mass appeal? Guy Smith, bar manager of Philadelphia's High Street on Market, doesn't think so. Combining the juice of an already-divisive brassica with smoky-mouthed mezcal and dry seasonings more often found on ribs than in rocks glasses, he's created a vegetable-based cocktail so green it could double as a Kermit the Frog-inspired paint swatch.
What's the strangest thing you've seen someone do while drinking? I mean, on purpose, not just because they're drunk and disorderly. Booze-makers and drinkers all around the world have certain practices that might seem odd to an outsider. This week, we'll look at a few.
Rich, smoky mezcal provides the base for this autumnal riff on a margarita.
The bar at La Urbana in San Francisco is already stocked with 56 different mezcals, with another dozen or so on the way.
While mezcal's outsider status is attractive to those who seek out and consume hard-to-find booze, limited distribution and publicity also makes it difficult to penetrate the mass market. Mezcal from Oaxaca, a partnership between 11 independent mezcal brands and the Oaxacan government, seeks to change all that.