The Great Calabaza Recipe

The Great Calabaza Recipe

[Photographs: Autumn Giles]

Rich, smoky mezcal provides the base for this autumnal riff on a margarita.

Note: I followed this recipe for pumpkin butter, but you could also use something store-bought and adjust for sweetness as needed.

  • Yield:serves 2
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:5 minutes


  • For the Five Spice Salt:
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 3 ounces mezcal joven, such as Sombra
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 to 3 oranges
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin butter (see Notes)
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, from one lime


  1. 1.

    For the Five Spice Salt: Mix together five spice powder and salt. Store in a small jar until ready to use.

  2. 2.

    For the Cocktail: Moisten the rim of two rocks glasses with lime juice, rim with five spice salt, and set aside. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the mezcal, orange juice, pumpkin butter, and lime juice. Shake until well-chilled, about 20 seconds. Add fresh ice to prepared glasses and strain cocktail into glasses.