About 10 years ago when I was down in Mexico City, I was introduced to mezcal and fell head over heels! If you like tequila, chances are you will like mezcal. I’ve heard it described as tequila’s smoky, ancestral cousin! Mezcal is made from different varieties of the Agave plant grown throughout Mexico whereas tequila is made only from the Blue Agave plant grown in Tequila Valley of Jalisco. There are mezcals for every palate. They can range from fruity to savoury to smoky. I particularly like the smoky ones as a substitute tequila in margaritas. Shake it up (pun intended) and try a mezcal margarita!

This recipe is from www.feastingathome.com – check it out if you would like to learn more about mezcal.

Ingredients:

Juice from 1 lemon

Juice from 1 lime

Juice from 1 small mandarin – optional

3 oz mezcal

1 ½ oz triple sec

1 – 2 tsp maple syrup

4 – 6 slices of jalapeno

Handful sprigs of cilantro – optional

Instructions – makes 2 glasses:

Fill a shaker with jalapeno and cilantro. Muddle. Add ice to 2/3 full. Squeeze in the lemon, lime and mandarin. Add the mezcal, triple sec and maple syrup.

Shake well and taste. Adjusting the sweetness and lime.

Divide into 2 salt rimmed glasses (I usually use either martini or old fashioned), pour over ice.

(To make the salt rim, rub the rim of a glass with the used, squeezed lime half and dip into plate of salt.)