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Try These 3 Easy Mezcal Cocktails

Tue, Sep 26, 23  |  recipes

Try These 3 Easy Mezcal Cocktails


First, let’s clear the air. We’ve all done it. Asked ourselves, our smartphones, or the friendly neighborhood liquor store,

“What is the difference between mezcal and tequila?”

As a self-respecting Kentucky-based liquor store, we’re here with an analogy that hits close to home: Just like bourbon and scotch are types of whiskey, tequila is a type of mezcal. So, every tequila is a mezcal (specifically, it’s a mezcal made from blue agave). But, the deliciously wide range of mezcals is *great news* for those who love variety and choice in our cocktails. Because mezcal is by definition “any agave-based spirit”, the many variations of mezcal can vary in flavor, smokiness, and the type of agave used to craft it.

Whether you’re new to mezcal (sometimes spelled mescal), or a long-time fan, you’re not alone in your interest: According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the US, agave-based liquors like tequila and mezcal were the fastest-growing spirits category of 2022, and are now poised to overtake vodka as the best-selling liquor in the United States this year. And we’re here to help you mix it up…literally…

What is Mezcal?

Before we dive into our mezcal recipes (and some of these are so good, we wish we could literally dive in), here’s a little history to drop as you sip with friends at your next BBQ….
Remember, mezcal is any agave-based spirit. It is also made through very traditional methods. We’re talking earth, rocks, and fire. The rich, deep smokiness is unlocked when the core (or piña) of the agave is fire-roasted, nestled into the ground in pits lined with rocks. The fire-roasting allows the floral, fruity notes of mezcal to be released. This complexity makes it a star candidate for cocktails…you can mix it with basic, straightforward flavors and still deliver a delicious, nuanced cocktail that tastes like you worked a lot harder!

How to Drink Mezcal

Purists will say that mezcal is best when sipped slowly, neat. But, much like we view our bourbon, we say the best way to drink mezcal is however you like it. With that in mind, we’re here to offer a lineup of mezcal cocktails and easy mezcal recipes to wow any palate.

Tequila and Mezcal Margarita Recipe

This option is perfect for those who want to give mezcal a shot, but keep it in a familiar drink and stay loyal to tequila at the same time. This is our simplified riff on the NYT Cooking’s recipe.

Recipe (makes 1 drink)

  • ¾ oz mezcal
  • ¾ oz reposado tequila (it’s lighter in flavor than anejo tequila)
  • ¾ oz orange liqueur (we recommend Cointreau or triple sec)
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice (usually the juice of 1 lime)
  • ¼ ounce agave syrup (if you’re new to this ingredient, you can find it at almost any grocery store these days!)
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge
  • Salt
  1. Prep your glass with your (optional) salt rim – pour salt onto a small dish, then run the lime wedge along the rim of the glass, and dip it into salt. *Want to kick it up a notch? Use a smoked salt, which will echo the flavors of the mezcal.
  2. In a shaker, combine your tequila, mezcal, orange liqueur, lime juice and agave syrup. Add ice, cover, and shake until the drink is well chilled, about 15 seconds.
  3. Fill the glass with ice, and strain the margarita into the glass. Add a lime wedge.

Mezcal Paloma Recipe

Welcome to your new summer staple. It’s citrusy, crisp, and refreshing with just the slightest hint of smoke, and can be made with just a few ingredients.

Recipe (makes 1 drink):
  • 2 oz mezcal
  • 3 oz grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed (about 1/2 grapefruit) or store-bought.
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/4 oz lime juice (about ½ a lime)
  • 2 ounces club soda, chilled, to top
  1. Add mezcal, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and lime juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled, about 15 seconds.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over ice.
  3. Top with club soda.

Mezcal Old Fashioned Recipe

We like to picture bourbon and mezcal high-fiving over their mutual contributions to this cocktail. While bourbon made it a classic, this twist invites mezcal’s subtle smokiness to take the place of whiskey, and we are here for it. It’s also a perfect stirred cocktail, so you can make it right in the rocks glass.

Recipe (makes 1 drink):

  • ¼ ounce simple syrup *You can also sub in agave syrup or honey
  • 3 dashes bitters (such as Angostura) *Try subbing in chocolate bitters for fun
  • 1 cup ice cubes or large ice ball
  • 1 oz mezcal
  • 1 oz anejo (aged) tequila
  • 1 (3 inch) piece orange peel
  • 1 Luxardo cherry (optional)
  1. Combine simple syrup and bitters in glass and fille with ice.
  2. Add mezcal and tequila and stir for about 15 seconds.
  3. Twist and squeeze the orange peel over the glass, then drop the peel in glass.
  4. Garnish with cherry (optional).
However you choose to enjoy mezcal, feel free to ask us at Cox’s & Evergreen Liquors for our favorite brands and bottles…we’re confident you’ll find a satisfying sip in such a stellar lineup of spirits. Cheers!
By inquiries@coxslouisville.com