If you aren’t already aware, mezcal is an increasingly popular liquor among the craft cocktail crowd. It’s distilled from agave, like tequila, but while all tequila is mezcal, not all mezcal is tequila.
Let’s differentiate mezcal from tequila. You remember hearing about a “worm” in a tequila bottle? Some brands of mezcal do that, but I don’t think tequilas do. From there, the flavor is where you really start to tell a big difference.
I hadn’t tasted mezcal until recently (hear us taste Don Amado for the first time on the podcast). Compared with agave-brother-tequila, mezcal is much smokier. Much smokier. I heard someone say “mezcal tastes like a campfire,” and I think that’s a great description. From what I’ve read, that flavor has to do with the way the agave is baked to prepare for distillation. There is less muggy-ness to mezcal, too, as the smoke is predominant. If you like smokier scotches, mezcal might be an interesting liquor for you to try.
Traditionally just served on the rocks, mezcal is appearing on cocktail menus now, and there is a lot of ways to experiment with it. At Tales of the Cocktail, we tried the following cocktail. Tasted alone, it was overly smoky, but that smoke paired perfectly when the drink was served with ribs.
Sealed Deal (by Ivy Mix)
- in a shaker, add:
- 1 1/2 oz Jägermeister
- 1/2 oz mezcal
- 1/2 oz orange juice
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/4 oz maple syrup
- a dash of bitters
- shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, top with a splash of champagne
- garnish with an orange twist