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21 Mezcal Cocktails to Drink, Because the Spirit Is More Popular Than Ever

If you’ve been noticing mezcal on menus everywhere, you’re not just imagining things—the spirit is more popular than ever, with production up 10 percent from 2019 to 2020. Derived from the Nahuatl word for “oven-cooked agave plant,” mezcal is defined as an agave-based liquor, and while it’s best known stateside for its smokiness, there are a ton of varieties out there that range from earthy to fruity to peppery. (And for the record, it’s not tequila.) Read on for our favorite mezcal cocktails to drink at home, including picks for margarita lovers and Bloody Maria stans alike.

What Is Mezcal? (Hint It’s *Not* a Type of Tequila)


Salt & Wind

1. Guava Mezcal Mule

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, no cook

Sweet, spicy and oh so refreshing. If you want to tame the bite of the ginger beer, add a bit more guava juice, or use ginger ale instead.

Laura Wing and Jim Kamoosi

2. Xantolo Cocktail

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy

Buckle up, friends: This simple sipper has a sneaky kick. Here, a duo of mezcal and tequila meets fresh lime juice and chipotle-pineapple syrup.

Karen Wise/Tiki with a Twist

3. Bloody Mango Cocktail

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Love Bloody Marys? If so, this tropical twist on the bev deserves a spot at Sunday brunch. Substitute the vodka with your favorite mezcal for a hint of smoke.

Salt & Wind

4. Mezcal Aperol Spritz

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, no cook, special occasion-worthy

Complete with sliced blood oranges and strawberries for garnish. Go the extra mile by squeezing your own orange juice (we suggest cara cara oranges for extra sweetness).

Cookie and Kate

5. Mezcalita

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Fresh citrus juices cut through the intensity of the mezcal in this refreshing sipper. Finish the drink with a few dashes of orange bitters and a generous Tajín rim.

Dude That Cookz

6. Spicy Paloma

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy

Bitter, acidic grapefruit juice + homemade jalapeño simple syrup = a match made in sour-spicy heaven. The bubbles from the grapefruit spritzer make it ten times as revitalizing.

Half Baked Harvest

7. Lemony-lime Island Mango Mezcal Breeze

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

Don’t let the combo of silver tequila and mezcal intimidate you. Mango juice sweetens the libation just enough to soften its booziness.

Feasting at Home

8. La Cura

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, <30 minutes

Think mezcal margarita meets the penicillin, a traditional whiskey drink made with ginger, honey and lemon. Make the honey-ginger syrup ahead so you can mix one on the fly later on.

Salt & Wind

9. Hibiscus Berry Mezcal Ginger Margarita

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy

The three-ingredient syrup is the key to this cocktail. Raspberries and hibiscus tea leaves are boiled and mashed to extract their tart flavor and vibrant color.

Half Baked Harvest

10. Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy, make ahead

Take your pick of basil or mint for this summer stunner—both offer the optimal dose of herby flavor. Prepare the watermelon juice in advance, plus the chipotle-lemon salt while you’re at it.

The Modern Proper

11. Charred Grapefruit And Mezcal Paloma Sour

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

This elegant drink is so impressive, down to the foamy egg white. Use the open flame of your stove, a broiler or a kitchen torch to char the grapefruit. Its smokiness will pair beautifully with that of the mezcal.

Salt & Wind

12. Jugo Antigripal

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

You can also call this a ginger-basil mezcal toddy. Instead of standard lemon, this rendition leans on fresh lime juice for acidity.

The Endless Meal

13. Mezcal Negroni

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

We love gin just as much as the next negroni stan, but you’d be surprised what a great substitute mezcal makes. Crown each glass with a dehydrated orange wheel or a twist of orange peel.

Gimme Some Oven

14. Mezcal Margaritas

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly

It contains all the essentials of the O.G., only mezcal is used instead of tequila. Take your pick of traditional agave, simple syrup, honey or maple syrup to sweeten the bev.

How Sweet Eats

15. Smoked Strawberry Mezcal Margaritas

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, make ahead

Smoked strawberry juice is the secret to this sophisticated sipper’s flavor. Char the fruit on a grill pan, in foil on the stovetop or under the broiler, then blend and strain it into puree.

Half Baked Harvest

16. The Black Widow Smash

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

This blackberry-rosemary libation is destined for your next fall get-together (or a Halloween party). Tequila or mezcal can be used interchangeably here.

Salt & Wind

17. Charred Mango Ancho Mezcal Margarita

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

It’s just the starter for an unforgettable backyard barbecue. Infuse the tequila with toasted ancho chiles at least an hour before your guests arrive.

Culinary Hill

18. Paloma

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

If you prefer your palomas without spicy peppers and shaken egg white, stick to this classic recipe—just swap mezcal in for tequila.

Floating Kitchen

19. Smoky Carrot Mezcal Margaritas

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Trust us: Don’t knock a carrot cocktail ’til you try it. Blend them into juice yourself and reserve the carrot greens for an unexpected garnish.

Half Baked Harvest

20. The Grave Digger

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients

Bourbon may be your go-to when it comes to apple cider cocktails, but a distinctly smoky mezcal complements the fall fave seamlessly too. Bonus points for lighting the rosemary sprigs for a fancy finishing touch.

Feasting at Home

21. Oaxacan Hot Toddy

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes

Best served by a roaring fire. The drink itself is infused with cayenne, but the dried Thai chile floater really seals the deal.


Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.