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Smoky Mezcal Margarita

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

Yield

Makes 1 cocktail

Mezcal, like tequila, is an agave-based spirit. When making mezcal, the heart of the agave plant (the piña) is slow roasted in pits, lending a more rustic, smoky tone reminiscent of a beach bonfire. I add dried crushed red pepper to the kosher salt on the rim of the glass for heat.  

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) orange liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) mezcal
  • 3 to 4 ounces (6 to 8 tablespoons) fresh grapefruit juice or lime juice (or a mixture of the two)
  • Ice
  • Garnish: cilantro sprigs

How to Make It

  1. Combine orange liqueur, mezcal, and juice in an ice-filled cocktail shaker; stir 30 seconds or until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish, if desired.