10 mezcal cocktails
Melanie Symonds, owner of Quiquiriqui mezcal, shares her expert knowledge about tequila’s smoky sibling, plus we provide some mezcal cocktails to try at home
We've got some of the best mezcal cocktails for you try, including palomas and margaritas, as well as simple mezcal cocktails with just a few ingredients, from a mezcal, pineapple and jalapeño smash to a fruity Latinamericano.
What is mezcal?
Mezcal is the older brother of tequila and is different to it for three reasons: the agave used in its production, the region it’s made in, and the process used to make it. Unlike tequila (which is only made with Blue Weber agave), mezcal is made with all sorts of agave, the most common of which is Agave Espadin (genetic mother of the Blue Weber).
All artisan or traditionally made mezcals will have a sweet, roasted, earthy or smoky flavour. Traditionally drunk neat with a side of orange wedges and chilli worm salt, it’s perfect on its own, with a beer or in a cocktail. Think of it like a fine whisky: sip and enjoy, don’t shoot!
10 mezcal cocktail recipes
The smoky notes of the mezcal work wonderfully with the grilled pineapple and gentle heat from the chilli in this spicy drink. It’s simple to make and can easily be made into a jug cocktail for a crowd.
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Highlight the smoky notes of mezcal by complimenting it against the sweet and citrus notes of lime and pineapple juice. The spiciness of the tajin rim provides a counterpoint that amplifies mezcal’s distinctive allure.
Mezcal fans will love this potent cocktail of mezcal, pisco, aperitivo, egg whites, lime juice and cranberry bitters.
Check out this quick and easy summer cocktail recipe with mezcal, zesty limes and sweet yet slightly bitter grapefruit juice. A paloma is usually made with tequila but using mezcal instead adds a lovely smoky edge to the drink.
This Mexican-style cocktail boasts subtle, savoury notes of lemongrass, basil and lime.
Swap tequila for mezcal in this refreshing cocktail with added chilli warmth.
Mezcal’s spiciness is complemented by tangy pickled beetroot brine. The vibrant purple is sure to lift anyone’s mood.
Mezcal is lengthened with grapefruit soda and rose water in this floral cocktail, brought to you by Joia at Art’otel in London’s Battersea Power Station.
This punchy mix of gin, mezcal and vermouth is given a fruity twist with pink grapefruit soda. This recipe comes from Soho restaurant, Sucre.
Tommy's cut from Joyeux Bordel balances smoky mezcal with agave, sweet vermouth and zingy pink grapefruit.
Mix a jug of mezcal, kombucha and fresh apple juice for a super easy sharing cocktail that guests can help themselves to.