Marrakesh Express (Pomegranate Mezcal Cocktail With Harissa) Recipe

© Kelly Puleio 2018, resized for publication

Why It Works

  • Fresh pomegranate juice gives the drink an intense pomegranate flavor and brightness.
  • Harissa adds a savory spiciness that complements the pomegranate juice.
  • A splash of aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas) adds a delicately foamy texture while keeping the drink vegan-friendly; egg white is a fine substitute if you don’t have chickpeas around.

This mezcal cocktail, created by Los Angeles bartender Gabriella Mlynarczyk, has a remarkably complex flavor without using any bitters, fancy syrups, or liqueurs. Instead, it calls for pantry ingredients, pairing the earthy agave spirit with tangy pomegranate, savory, warming harissa, and a touch of rose water for a delicate floral aroma.

Reprinted with permission from The One-Bottle Cocktail: More than 80 Recipes With Fresh Ingredients and a Single Spirit by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Recipe Facts

Active: 2 mins
Total: 2 mins
Serves: 1 serving

Rate & Comment


  • 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) mezcal

  • 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) pomegranate juice (fresh preferred, see notes)

  • 3/4 ounce (22ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 3/4 ounce (22ml) 1:1 simple syrup (see note)

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (3 to 5ml) harissa paste, either homemade or store-bought (such as DEA)

  • 3/4 teaspoon (4ml) rose water

  • Splash aquafaba or egg white (about 1 tablespoon) (see note)

  • Pinch each pomegranate seeds, cracked pink peppercorns, and flaky salt (black, smoked, or Maldon), for garnish


  1. Combine mezcal, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, harissa, rose water, and aquafaba in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously without ice for 20 seconds to emulsify.

  2. Add ice, reseal shaker, and shake until chilled and foamy, about 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.

  3. Garnish with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, cracked pink peppercorns, and flaky salt.

Special equipment

Citrus juicer, cocktail shaker, cocktail strainer


You can buy unsweetened, 100 percent pomegranate juice at many grocery stores, but the fresh stuff is easy and better: it's both brighter and more intense in flavor. It's also remarkably easy to get at—you can put chunky quarters or sixths of a whole pomegranate directly in your manual citrus squeezer and press the juice right out, no seed-gathering required. To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. If you're getting aquafaba from a can, purchase low-sodium chickpeas.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
179 Calories
1g Fat
23g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 77mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 9mg 46%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 182mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)