Mezcal, a smoky version of the well known sister tequila, has been gaining popularity in America for the past few years. Most people are turned off by the overwhelming flavor of smoke when they first try mezcal, but some grow to love the complexity of the flavors that are uncovered after the initial taste. It’s one of the most diverse spirits in the world because the main ingredient in mezcal is the agave plant, a plant of many varietals.
Despite the influx of mezcalerias in the US, well balanced cocktail recipes using this hip spirit are rare. If not mixed properly, it can easily play bully in cocktail recipes and you will end up with a drink that only tastes of smoke. Lots of bartenders still have no idea how to mix with mezcal because it has never appeared in classic cocktail recipe books. If you want to start mixing with mezcal, we highly recommend purchasing Del Maguey Vida. It’s affordable and high quality and makes some really nice mezcal cocktails.
This mezcal cocktail is named after one of my favorite areas of Mexico City, called Coyoacán. It’s where Frida Kahlo lived, and is also where I fell in love with mezcal. After numerous failed attempts at mixing with mezcal, I realized that bitterness (Campari) pairs well with the smokiness, thanks to the Naked and Famous cocktail. Laird’s Applejack was used to add more refreshing fruitiness to the heavy flavors of bitter and smoky. Each aspect of the cocktail melds together beautifully and is truly one of my favorite cocktails. Enjoy!
- 1 oz mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)
- 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 oz Laird’s Applejack
- 1/4 oz Campari
- 1/4 oz agave nectar
- brandied cherry for garnish
Combine everything except the garnish in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until both tins are well frosted over. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with one brandied cherry.
If you liked this drink, check out our mezcal and Chareau (aloe liquor) cocktail as well!