Cooking with Mezcal: Tips and Recipes

Cooking with Mezcal: Tips and Recipes

You already know how to cook with wine and vodka. Now it’s time to master a new liquor in the kitchen: Mezcal.

Before we get into it, how about a little refresher… Mezcal is an agave spirit hailing from Mexico. People commonly think of it as tequila’s smoky cousin, but it’s really so much more than that. It’s made purely with agave, water, and lots of love. With only these three simple ingredients, Mezcal makes a versatile and fun ingredient to play with in the kitchen.

Don’t be shy. The unfamiliar is ~ exciting ~ and could introduce you to a whole new world (or at least, your new favorite recipe). Not sure where to start? We’ll start from square one and give you the full low-down on all things cooking with Mezcal. Grab your pen and pencil (or iPad?) and get ready to take some notes.

Consider Flavor Profiles

Mezcal has a strong personality—seriously. Mezcal is the girl who walks into the room and is impossible to ignore. Why? Because of its distinct and unique flavor profile.

Mezcal Rosaluna’s flavor profile consists of earthy agave, a complex aroma, and a smooth finish. The earthy agave comes from the roasted agave hearts, with their delicious caramel notes and spices like ginger and cinnamon. The complex aroma consists of citrus notes, tropical fruits, pineapple, and pear; it’s the variety of these bright notes that everyone can enjoy. Lastly, Mezcal finishes with a hint of agave smoke and subtle layers of sweet fruit and baking spice. Mmm...

If Mezcal doesn’t sound like she has a strong personality, we don’t know what does. This robust flavor profile goes well with salty, sweet, and rich foods. Talk about versatile, right?

Salty pairings, such as a plate of tortilla chips or snacking nuts, will go particularly well with a bolder Mezcal—one with a good amount of smoke and a not-so-shy kick to it. Remember that Mezcal is traditionally enjoyed neat—it makes for the perfect apéritif. Looking to relax after a long day at work? A plate of tortilla chips (nachos are acceptable too, BTW) and a glass of Mezcal will do the trick.

Sweet desserts are another perfect match because Mezcal’s tropical fruit and caramel flavors complement sweetness oh so well. When pairing Mezcal with desserts, opt for one with a slightly lighter essence and flavor (as to not overpower the sweetness with the smokiness). Our suggestion? A warm slice of gingerbread will feel like a hug for the soul and keep your taste buds happy, too. Also, honestly... chocolate is perfect, too. Need we say more?

For the savory lovers out there, you’re in luck. The bold flavor of Mezcal meets its match with hearty meats such as beef, lamb, and pork. Fatty meats like these balance out the acidic notes of Mezcal, resulting in nothing less than perfection and mouth-watering goodness. It’s the best of both worlds.

We hope everyone enjoys and loves Mezcal as much as we do, so we’ll let you in on our best suggestion of all: a charcuterie board. We’re talking salty, sweet, AND savory, all in one aesthetically pleasing arrangement. Mezcal is somehow even better with good company, so be sure to give your *small* group of friends a ring to see if they’d like to join you. It may have to be a Zoom party, but that’s ok—as long as the charcuterie and Mezcal are in sight.

Make the Switch

Mezcal doesn’t need its own unique recipe to be enjoyed; it’s easy to swap in for recipes that originally call for other liquors.

Mezcal's strongest essence is its smokiness. With this in mind, think if the recipe in question would go well with this characteristic. It may take a little bit of trial and error, but we’re always up for a challenge.

There Are Plenty of Fish in the Sea

There are plenty of fish in the sea...and Mezcal goes well with just about all of them. In fact, we’re yet to find a seafood pairing we don’t like.

Mezcal matches the “rawness” of seafood flavors perfectly and provides the smoky finish you never knew you needed. The baking spice flavors that Mezcal finishes with helps to bring out the brininess in dishes like oysters and clams.

Salmon is another fish that takes well to Mezcal, again because of its smoky taste. Salmon marinated in Mezcal goes marvelously with sides of onion, mango, cucumber, or pineapple. Any ceviche fans out there? Try infusing your next dish with Mezcal to add depth of flavor and a balance to the citrus notes.

There are plenty of fish in the sea and plenty of ways to experiment with Mezcal and seafood. The spring is the perfect time to try new recipes, right? Right. Try experimenting, and remember to have fun with it!

Marinades for Days

There are a handful of good Mezcal marinade recipes out there, but Mezcal can also easily replace tequila for an extra fun, smoky bite. A Mezcal marinade works especially well on grilled chicken and other variations of roasted poultry.

Since we’re already dishing out all the perfect pairings, the best accompaniments for Mezcal in marinades are lime juice, garlic, and herbs (meat-choice dependent). You’re welcome.

Smoke Goes with Smoke, Right?

Smoked, grilled, or barbecued dishes: prepare to find your new best friend in Mezcal. Smoke definitely goes well with smoke.

Flavors like chili, chipotle, jalapeño, salt, and pepper intensify the smokiness of Mezcal in all the right places. Try roasting or smoking vegetables and fatty meats and incorporating Mezcal into the sauce. As always, you can thank us later.

The Best Tip of All: Pair It with a Cocktail

We know that Mezcal is intended to be sipped neat, but it doesn’t have to be. And even if it did, there’s nothing wrong with breaking the rules from time to time.

Let’s start off with an absolute classic—the margarita. The margarita is debatably one of the most popular cocktails ever. If you enjoy a good ol’ margarita from time to time, you’re going to love our fun twist on it: the Rule of Three Margarita.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 oz Mezcal Rosaluna
  • 1 oz Lime juice
  • 1 oz Agave syrup
  • Garnish: Lime wheel and pink sea salt (half the rim only)
  • 2 parts Agave nectar light
  • 1 part Water

How to do it:

  • Shake everything together with ice (go ahead and do a little dance with it)
  • Pour and strain into a chilled glass with extra fresh ice
  • Garnish with a lime wheel and salt for the real deal

We love Mezcal for its artful simplicity, and our take on the classic Mexican margarita is no different. With just three ingredients, a simple garnish, and a good shake, it’s almost too good to be true.

We’re so sure you’ll love this margarita, we’re going to go ahead and direct you to even more delicious Mezcal-cocktail recipes right here. Midnight Magic, All Buttered Up, Pink Moon Paloma, and so many more will dazzle your senses, warm your heart, and be the perfect treat for any and every occasion.

Cooking with Mezcal is easier than you think. Just give it a try and see for yourself. Remember that our Mezcal Rosaluna is made with only agave, water, and (lots of) love. It’s also handcrafted by a family who has been lovingly creating the spirit for over six generations. Not to toot our own horn, but we’re pretty sure we’ve nailed it —it’s the perfect drink for sipping, cooking, and everything in between.

From our family to yours, we hope you enjoy it.


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