Can You Make a Margarita with Mezcal?

A margarita is a popular cocktail made with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec. It is typically served in a glass rimmed with salt and is often garnished with a lime wedge. Margaritas are known for their refreshing, tangy flavor and are a popular choice at parties and social gatherings.

Mezcal is a type of agave-based spirit that is produced in various regions of Mexico. It is made from the hearts of various species of agave plants and is known for its smoky, earthy flavor. Mezcal is becoming increasingly popular in the United States and is often used in cocktails due to its unique flavor profile.

The purpose of this post is to explore whether mezcal can be used to make a margarita. While traditional margaritas are made with tequila, some people may be interested in using mezcal as an alternative. In this post, we will discuss the history of the margarita, provide an overview of mezcal, and explore the feasibility of using mezcal in a margarita.

What You Will Need

  • Mezcal: Choose a good quality mezcal for the best flavor.
  • Lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice is best, but you can also use bottled lime juice if needed.
  • Orange liqueur: This adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the margarita. Cointreau or triple sec are common choices, but you can also use Grand Marnier or another brand of orange liqueur.
  • Simple syrup or agave nectar: This is used to sweeten the margarita. Simple syrup is made by mixing equal parts sugar and water and heating until the sugar dissolves. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener made from the agave plant.
  • Salt: This is used to rim the glass. Any type of salt will work, but kosher or sea salt are both good options.

Can You Make a Margarita with Mezcal?

It is certainly possible to use mezcal in place of tequila to make a margarita. In fact, many people enjoy the smoky, earthy flavor of mezcal in cocktails and find that it adds a unique twist to the traditional margarita recipe.

Can You Make a Margarita with Mezcal?


Using mezcal in a margarita will likely have a noticeable impact on the flavor and overall taste of the cocktail. Mezcal tends to be stronger and more complex in flavor than tequila, so it may overpower the other ingredients in the margarita if not used carefully. Additionally, the smoky flavor of mezcal may not be to everyone’s taste, so it’s important to consider your audience if you’re planning on using mezcal in a margarita.

If you’re interested in using mezcal in a margarita, here are a few tips and suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Start with a small amount of mezcal and gradually increase it until you find a balance that you like. Mezcal can be quite strong, so it’s best to add it slowly and taste as you go.
  • Adjust the ratio of other ingredients in the margarita to compensate for the stronger flavor of mezcal. For example, you may want to increase the amount of lime juice or triple sec to balance out the mezcal.
  • Experiment with different types of mezcal to see which flavors work best in a margarita. Different types of mezcal will have different flavor profiles, so it’s worth trying a few different ones to see which you like the best.
  • Consider using a less smoky mezcal if you’re not a fan of strong smoky flavors. Some mezcals are aged in oak barrels, which can add a smoky flavor to the final product. If you prefer a milder mezcal, look for one that is aged in stainless steel or clay pots instead.
  • Don’t forget to rim the glass with salt as usual! The salt helps to balance out the flavors of the margarita and adds a nice textural contrast to the drink.

What Are Some Other Mezcal Cocktails

If you’re a fan of the unique, smoky flavor of mezcal, why not try mixing up one of these delicious mezcal cocktails?

  1. Spicy Margarita: For a bold and spicy twist on the classic margarita, try mixing together mezcal, lime juice, and a spicy pepper liqueur, such as Ancho Reyes. Rim the glass with cayenne salt and garnish with a few slices of fresh jalapeno pepper.
  2. Sparkle and Citrus: If you’re looking for a refreshing and zesty mezcal cocktail, try mixing together mezcal, grapefruit juice, seltzer, and real orange slices. Add a splash of orange liqueur for extra sweetness, and garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
  3. Scotch, No Soda: For a unique and smoky mezcal cocktail, try mixing together mezcal, scotch, ginger, agave nectar, and ice. The combination of these flavors will create a rich and complex drink that’s perfect for sipping slowly.
  4. Bright and Bold Berries: Mezcal pairs particularly well with fruity flavors, so why not try mixing it with some mixed berry juice and blackberry liqueur? Add a sprig of mint for a refreshing finish, and enjoy this bold and fruity mezcal cocktail all summer long.


Can I substitute mezcal for tequila in margarita?

Yes, you can substitute mezcal for tequila in a margarita. Mezcal is a type of alcohol made from the agave plant, just like tequila. It has a distinct smoky flavor that can add a unique twist to a margarita. Some people may prefer the flavor of mezcal in a margarita, while others may prefer the more traditional taste of tequila. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference.

Is mezcal tequila good for margaritas?

Mezcal can also be mixed with a variety of other ingredients to create cocktails. It is often mixed with citrus juices, such as lime or grapefruit, as well as with sweetness, such as agave syrup or honey. It can also be mixed with bitters, herbs, and spices to create complex and interesting flavors. Some popular cocktails made with mezcal include the Mezcal Margarita, the Mezcal Paloma, and the Mezcal Old Fashioned.

Can you use mezcal instead of tequila?

Yes, you can use mezcal instead of tequila in cocktails and other mixed drinks. Mezcal is a type of agave-based spirit that is produced in Mexico, just like tequila. It is made from a different type of agave plant and is often characterized by a smoky flavor that comes from the way it is produced.

What does mezcal mix well with?

In terms of mixing, mezcal goes well with a variety of ingredients, including citrus juices, such as lemon and lime, as well as fruit juices and purees, spicy peppers, and herbs like cilantro and basil. It can be used in cocktails like the Mezcal Margarita or the Mezcal Paloma or enjoyed on its own as a sipping spirit.


In conclusion, mezcal is an excellent addition to the traditional margarita recipe. It adds a unique smoky and earthy flavor to the drink and can be used in place of tequila for those who enjoy its unique taste. With a few simple ingredients, you can make a delicious and unique mezcal margarita in no time!


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