With characteristics that range from earthy and smoky to fresh and verdant, mezcal is a versatile spirit primed for mixing into cocktails. Here are 20 of our favorite recipes.
Roughly translating to “dry smoke,” this cocktail balances the earthiness of mezcal with the brightness of hibiscus and ginger.
All Jacked Up
One of Mayahuel’s boldest cocktails shines a light on the spirit’s favorable pairing with apple brandy, Fernet Branca, maraschino and sweet vermouth.
Bitters & Smoke
For amari and agave lovers, Portland Hunt and Alpine Club offers this cocktail combining mezcal, tequila, Cynar and Fernet.
Straight from Mexico City, this cocktail combines watermelon, mezcal, Strega, lime and ginger beer.
Carter Beats the Devil
Thai chilis lend a little heat to this tequila and mezcal classic from San Francisco bartender Erik Adkins.
A double dose of agave spirits anchors this cocktail from Brooklyn’s Faro.
Mezcal and sherry meet in this summery swizzle.
A mashup of mezcal and whiskey makes for a rich, smoky combo.
Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique
Named for the death blow in Kill Bill, this potent sipper from Erick Castro combines mezcal, Italian vermouth and coffee liqueur.
Hibiscus steals the show in this simple mezcal cocktail from Mexico City.
Juicy prickly pears bring an earthy sweetness and electric pink color to this cocktail.
Last of the Oaxacans
The classic gin cocktail meets mezcal.
This brunch cocktail from NIDO in Oakland explodes with fresh carrot and orange.
Mezcal, grapefruit and cardamom flavor this delicious sparkling cocktail.
A bold mezcal-based tiki cocktail inspired by the flavors of pineapple flan.
Spicy Dead Lady
Tinted by Aperol and sweetened with falernum, this equal-parts cocktail couldn’t be easier to make—or enjoy.
An inventive riff that’s a little tart, a little savory and a touch smoky.
A south of the border take on the classic tiki cocktail, the Zombie.
Oaxacan Old Fashioned
A Mexican-accented Old Fashioned riff, created by Phil Ward, mixes reposado tequila with mezcal and mole bitters.
A frozen cocktail inspired by one of San Francisco’s modern classics.