The Mezcal Margarita has earthier and bolder flavors than the classic margarita cocktail. The Mezcal liquor used in this beverage is made from the same plant used for tequila, but it is prepared in an entirely differently way. Those who love smokey, rich tones will love this beverage!
History of the Mezcal Margarita
The original inception date of the margarita is disputed, but historians believe it was created sometime between 1936-1938 in Mexico. At the time, mixed beverages were grouped together based on their core ingredients.
A daisy cocktail was its own branch of beverage that was created in the Victorian era. The staple ingredients of a daisy cocktail included: juice from any citrus fruit, paired with some type of sweetened syrup, and mixed with a fortified spirit.
The beverage could then be altered to include preferred flavors. This is where originality started to spread across the cocktail scene, and eventually unique recipes were being made!
As the story goes, a bartender accidentally grabbed tequila while preparing a daisy cocktail for a patron. The guest loved the beverage, and the Tequila Daisy was created.
In Spanish, the word daisy is actually directly translated into margarita, which is how the modern name for this cocktail came to exist.
The exact date that Mezcal was substituted into a margarita drink is not officially documented. Mezcal has been created in Mexico for approximately 400 years.
I would safely assume people had been making ‘mezcalitas’ (an unofficial name for a mezcal margarita) for quite a while, maybe without even knowing it!
Nowadays Mezcal continues to grow in popularity, and can be seen also in Mezcal Mules (a variation of the Moscow mule).
Mezcal Margarita Ingredients
The core difference of a mezcal margarita compared to a regular margarita is the type of liquor used. Regular margaritas use tequila, which is made from the blue agave plant that is native to Mexico. This distillation process includes steam and natural fermentation processes.
Mezcal uses the same blue agave plants, but it is cooked in large earthen pots filled with wood, lava rocks, and charcoal. The addition of these materials and the extended cooking process significantly enhances the flavor of the liquor. The term ‘Mezcal’ derives from cooked agave. We love Casamigos Mezcal for this recipe!
If you love strawberry margaritas (see also: Strawberry Lemonade Margarita)and other sweet cocktails, this beverage may not become one of your new favorites. It is a divisive drink, and people who love mezcal really end up loving mezcal.
More often than not, these are the same people who enjoy scotch and whiskey (see: mezcal manhattan).
This drink also includes tripe sec, lime juice, agave syrup or simple syrup, with the option to include a salted rim. As you can see, this version of the margarita lends itself towards a savory and umami profile.
For those who have never tried triple sec before, it is a clear orange flavored liquor. It tends to be sweet, and will add citrus tones to your beverage. It is often a staple for fruity based cocktails, and is a great liquor to keep on hand if you enjoy mixing cocktails at home.
Helpful Tips for Making the Perfect Mezcal Margarita
The most controversial ingredient in this cocktail is actually the salt rim. Some cocktail makers say that a salt rim will dull your palate, while others love the salty addition.
There are many flavored salts that are appropriate for this beverage, including chipotle salt and lime infused salt. Ultimately the choice to include or abandon a salt rim is yours to make.
If it is your first time ever trying this beverage, I suggest ditching the salt rim so you can experience the unaltered taste of the mezcal margarita. You can always add salt later if you think it is warranted.
If the earthy tones of the mezcal feel too heavy, you can always brighten it up by changing up the citrus fruits you use. Grapefruit, lemon, lime and orange are all appropriate options.
Add small amounts of juice, stir, and sample the beverage again until you find the perfect ratio. Adding more sugar will also cut through any bitter tones that might be overwhelming your palate.
This cocktail typically is served over plenty of ice. Typically, a citrus fruit wedge is added to the rim of the glass as a garnish for the cocktail.
Margarita Fun with Mezcal
People who love their margaritas are always looking for fun ways to customize the drink! Popular options to customize the mezcal margarita include adding fresh jalapeño slices directly into your drink, and even fresh cilantro.
With certainty, mezcal will cost more than regular tequila products. Distilling this liquor is labor intensive. Many traditional companies based in Mexico still use their original distilling techniques, and rely on manual labour instead of automated machinery.
Certain mezcal varieties may carry the famous tequila-worm at the bottom of the bottle! The myths of receiving “special health properties” from eating the worm have been debunked: the worm is purely used for marketing purposes. Also worth mentioning is that the worm is not a worm at all! It is actually a type of caterpillar larvae, indigenous to Mexico.
Mezcal is usually served at family functions or party events. It pairs well with food, and it is a beverage that is meant to be shared. Consider adding this liquor to your liquor cabinet, and wowing your guests with a mezcal margarita! Chances are there people who have never even heard of this cocktail, and would love to try something new!
- 1.5 oz mezcal, we like Casamigos Mezcal
- 1 oz triple sec
- 1 oz agave nectar, add more if desired, can substitute simple syrup
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 wedge lime, to garnish
- salt, to garnish, optional
- Use a cocktail shaker, and add: mezcal, lime juice, triple sec, agave nectar and ice. Shake and taste the beverage. Add in more agave nectar if more sweetness is desired.
- Shake the beverage, and taste again. Fill your glass with ice, and drain mixture over the rocks. Add lime wedge for garnish, include a stir stick, and serve right away.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 958Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 590mgCarbohydrates: 189gFiber: 2gSugar: 178gProtein: 1g