It’s now been a whole year since our world got flipped upside down, but sometimes everything still feels abnormal. A virtual hug and high-five to all our friends out there—you’re doing great! We’ve picked up new hobbies, developed new skills, learned about new things, and so much more. With all the constant change we’ve been subjected to over the last year, we’ve gotten pretty good at just going with the flow.
Well, we hope you aren’t too tired of change just yet because we have another new thing to share with you. If there’s ever been a time for trying something new or thinking outside the box, it’s right now. Today, we’re thinking outside of the standard cocktail recipe box. We’ll always love and respect the classics, but it’s time to shake things up.
It’s basically a given that guests will love any of the go-to-cocktails you usually serve. But don’t you want to see how impressed and excited they’ll be when you walk out with a tray full of Mezcalitas? “Mezcalita? What’s that?!” they’ll ask. To which you’ll slyly reply something like, “Just go ahead and take a first sip.”
It’s Like a Margarita, Only Better
Mezcalita is the new girl in town. She’s like a margarita, except she’s not. She’s bright, beautiful, and even better than a margarita (or at the very least, different and equally as delicious).
Mezcalitas bring a spicy, mysterious twist to the classic margarita. Mezcalitas also feature more citrus, bringing us a particularly bright and brilliant summer feel with every sip. And just when you think you’ve gotten the Mezcalita figured out, she hits you with a hint of smoke and layers of spice.
Can’t figure out what this drink has up her sleeve? That’s the point—she’s the mysterious and surprising new girl in town, remember? But because we’re so proud and want to show her off, we’ll give you the top-secret rundown.
What is a Mezcalita? We like to explain the Mezcalita by contrasting it with her better-known cousin, the classic margarita.
A classic margarita recipe often goes something like lime juice, tequila, sweetener, and some type of citrus or orange liqueur. Margaritas usually have a dominating flavor of sour or acidic, accompanied by the bitter taste of lime (with a little bit of semi-sweet tequila sprinkled in somewhere). Oh, and margaritas are typically a shade of pale green, unless you’re adding some other funky flavors. Do we even need to mention their staple garnish of a lime wheel and salted rim?
Okay, so you know what a margarita is all about, and after that recap, you can probably just about taste one too. With this fresh in your mind (and maybe your mouth), we’ll tell you how a Mezcalita is different and why these differences make it that much better.
Our Mezcalita uses orange juice, Mezcal Rosaluna, lime juice, and garnishes with a lime wheel and tajín clásico seasoning.
It’s a lot of newness, but it’s also a lot of excitement. We’ll go over each of these ingredients and show you how they work together to make this Mezcalita better than the margarita of yesteryear.
First of all, we all know orange juice is a top-grade cocktail mixer. Mimosas, Palomas, and any drink with the word “sunrise” in it are just a few of the top hits that feature orange juice. Are Mezcalitas just another ploy for orange juice to take over the world of alcoholic beverages? Maybe, but OJ works so well in Mezcalitas, we’re not even mad about it.
In this recipe, orange juice takes center stage and pushes lime to the back row. Fear not—lime juice doesn’t completely get the boot; it’s just not the main character. Summer is right around the corner, and while a classic margarita is suitable any time of year, summer really is OJ’s time to shine, so let it! And to top it all off, the citrus brilliance of orange juice is a match made in heaven with the unexpected notes Mezcal has up its sleeve. This leads us perfectly to our next ingredient…
Mezcal Rosaluna. Perhaps the biggest plot twist in this recipe is the use of Mezcal rather than tequila, and hear us out: while Mezcal is often thought of simply as tequilas smoky cousin, there’s so much more to Mezcal than just its smokiness—all of its other features are just as buzzworthy.
Mezcal Rosaluna brings three flavor profiles to the table, all of which complement other elements of the Mezcalita. Good things come in threes, right? How about these: earthy agave, complex aroma, and a smooth finish.
Earthy agave: roasted agave hearts and their delicious caramel notes lead the way, while spices like ginger and cinnamon are woven throughout. Complex aroma: with notes of citrus, tropical fruits, pineapple, and pear, these bright notes are enjoyed by everyone. Smooth finish: leading with a hint of agave smoke, Mezcal Rosaluna finishes with subtle layers of sweet fruit and baking spice. Mmm.
Hopefully, it’s becoming clear that yeah, nothing’s wrong with tequila; Mezcal just has so much more to offer.
The final ingredient going into the shaker along with OJ and Mezcal is lime juice, which any cocktail connoisseur knows is a crucial ingredient. Before it's even considered, let's just clarify that store-bought lime juice is almost worse than no lime juice at all. Fresh lime juice is always a must for any and all alcoholic drinks, because it’ll really give you that bright, acidic zing that you need. While so many people enjoy these beverages regularly, it’s surprising how few know how to choose a ripe lime. Good thing we’re always here to help.
Limes do not continue to ripen after they have been picked off the tree. So, unlike bananas, you can’t pick up just any old one and bring it home to finish ripening—it just won’t happen. To choose the best, ripest lime with the most oomph, we must evaluate the color, weight, smell, and texture; a bright green color is best, and the heavier, the better—a ripe lime will smell like a lime. And finally, the skin should be extra smooth and shiny.
Doesn't this all sound so exciting? What an amazing lineup of ingredients.
To Rim, or Not to Rim
No cocktail is complete without its finishing touches.
The finishing touch on any respectable Mezcalita is a salted rim. But, not just any salted rim, a spicy salted rim. *Mic drop.*
The signature feature of this drink (one of its many) is a spicy, salted rim. Well, we only salt half the rim, but still. This Mezcalita recipe calls for Tajín Clásico Seasoning. Tajín Clásico is a chili-lime seasoning blend made with mild chili peppers, lime, and sea salt. Like, seriously?! It’s like this seasoning was explicitly made for Mezcalitas—it’s almost absurd.
So, to rim, or not to rim? Definitely rim (but only halfway).
The Magical Mezcalita
Grab your orange juice and gather your limes. It’s time to make the best Mezcalita ever.
What you’ll need:
- 2 oz Fresh orange juice
- 1.5 oz Mezcal Rosaluna
- 1 oz Fresh lime juice
- Garnish: Lime wheel and Tajín Clásico Seasoning (half the rim only)
How it’s done:
- Combine and shake everything together with ice
- Strain and pour into a chilled glass with extra fresh ice
- Garnish with a lime wheel and Tajín on half the rim
And you know how to make a lime wheel, right? Okay, good. A cocktail umbrella is super cute in a Mezcalita, too. (It just pairs perfectly with the drink’s summer vibes is all).
Pair It with a Snack
Snacks are pretty much essential for any happy hour, and luckily for us, this Mezcalita pairs well with just about anything.
Sweet desserts are a great match because their sweetness blends with the fruity, caramel, and baking spice elements of the Mezcal. Fatty foods such as dark meats and cheeses can balance this cocktail’s acidity and bring out the very best in both. Tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa are another essential for happy hour, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try Mole Negro as another side dip, too.
Try Something New with Your New Best Friend
It’s time to spice things up on the homefront. No, really—this recipe is spicy.
You may not know it yet, but Mezcal is your new best friend. Maybe this will be your first time having Mezcal, or maybe it will be your first time actually liking it. People really do have it all wrong; Mezcal is more than just smoky; you just have to get to know her! And once you do, oh man—there’s just no going back.
From our family to yours, we hope you enjoy this Mezcalita recipe as much as we do.