March 17, 2013

Mezcal on the Rise

By Ed Avis

Mezcal is no longer taking a backseat to tequila. Many Mexican restaurants are incorporating mezcal cocktails into their bar menus.

Authentic mezcal is handcrafted in Mexico’s Oaxacan provinces using the maguey plant, a form of agave. The maguey bud is roasted in a fire pit before it is distilled, providing the distinctive smoky flavor.

Many mezcals are designed for sipping, but others – particularly the unaged “silver” or “joven” varieties -- are ideal for cocktails.

“You can use the reposado and anejos in cocktails but have to be careful because the oak barrel aging can come through,” says Barbara Sweetman, international sales manager at Cabelleros, Inc., which makes Scorpion Mezcal. “The silver is perfect and not oversmoked.”

For more information about mezcal, click here to read Martin Cabrera’s column in the Winter issue of el Restaurante Mexicano. For information on becoming a master mezcalier, click here to read about mezcalier certification classes.

Here is a list of eleven fun mezcal recipes you can use at your bar, followed by a links to a number of quality mezcal producers.

Mezcal Mai Tai

A mai tai cocktail featuring Scorpion Silver Mezcal, rum, and almond syrup. more »

El Huehuete

A cocktail featuring Wahaka Mezcal, passion fruit and ginger syrup, from Junior Merino, the Liquid Chef in New York City. more »

Oaxacan Old Fashioned

A cocktail made with El Buho mezcal, tequila, and bitters. more »

Fidencio Martini

A classic martini with a mezcal twist. Made with Fidencio mezcal. more »

The Jet Set Girls

A tasty cocktail made with warm cider, El Buho mezcal, and Jaeger. more »


A cocktail featuring ginger liqueur and Fidencio mezcal. more »

Margarita Al Pastor

A margarita featuring Ilegal Joven mezcal, muddled cilantro, and chile en adobo puree. more »

Jamaica Ahumada

Mezcal cocktail featuring Ilegal Joven and jamaica syrup. more »

Hot Smokin Chocolate

This is a perfect winter drink featuring Scorpion mezcal. more »

La Sangre Maria

A bloody mary made with El Buho Mezcal. more »

The Smoky Roja

This cocktal features mezcal and St. Germain liqueur. more »

Quality Mezcal Distillers


El Buho




Del Maguey


Pierde Almas

Do you have a mezcal cocktail recipe you would like to share? Please send it to Ed Avis, Ed Avis is the publisher of el Restaurante Mexicano.

March 17, 2013

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