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21 Easy Mezcal Cocktails (4 ingredients or less!)

These mezcal cocktails only require four ingredients or less, and are so easy that anyone can make them. Whether you’re just getting into mezcal or are already an enthusiast, there’s a simple mezcal cocktail for every occasion and palate!

A bottle of Madre Mezcal outdoors surrounded by greenery.

It’s no secret that mezcal is an acquired taste, but once you’re hooked, you’re hooked for life! These mezcal cocktails are all easy to make, super delicious, and a great introduction to the spirit. From riffs on classic drinks to smoky, tropical margaritas to unique, unexpected cocktails, I’m confident everyone can find a mezcal cocktail they’ll fall in love with on this list!

What is mezcal?

Mezcal is a distilled spirit from Mexico made from the agave plant. While it’s known as tequila’s smoky counterpart, it actually predates tequila!

Mezcal gets its smoky flavor during the production process, where they roast the agave’s core (called the piña) in underground pits for several days. The roasted agave hearts are then crushed and fermented before being distilled at least twice. Traditionally, mezcal is served neat and meant to be a slow-sipping spirit, but it’s also great for adding smoky notes to cocktails.

It took a long time for mezcal to catch on in the states, but it’s experienced a huge surge in popularity over the past decade. Nowadays, there’s a mezcal variation on almost every classic cocktail you can think of, and countless original mezcal drink recipes are popping up everyday!

The difference between mezcal and tequila

Mezcal is defined as any spirit made from the agave plant, which means tequila is actually a type of mezcal! The relationship between the two can be compared to whiskey and bourbon, in that tequila is a type of mezcal that comes from a specific area with specific production rules. Below are their key differences:

  1. Type of agave: You can make mezcal with roughly thirty types of agave, while tequila can only be made from blue agave.
  2. Location: To be considered tequila, it has to come from one of five authorized Mexican states. The majority of mezcal comes from Oaxaca, but its production is a little more flexible and it can be made in ten different states.
  3. Production method: When making mezcal, you roast the agave’s core in underground pits, which is what gives it a smoky taste. With tequila, the agave cores are steamed in ovens instead, which results in a brighter, fruitier flavor.

What flavors pair well with mezcal?

Since mezcal essentially tastes like a smoky tequila, it goes wonderfully with a wide range flavors from bitter to fruity to herbal! Below are some flavors that are commonly paired with mezcal.

  • Citrus juice (like lime, lemon, grapefruit, & blood orange)
  • Tropical juice (like pineapple, mango, & passionfruit)
  • Apple cider
  • Honey syrup
  • Agave syrup
  • Amaro
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Jalapeno

This is just to name a few, so read on to see what else you can pair with mezcal and specific cocktail recipes! The roundup starts with mezcal riffs on classic cocktails, and progressively moves on to more unique, original drink recipes. Let’s go ahead and check them out, shall we!?

21 Easy Mezcal Cocktails (4 ingredients or less!)