Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Kol Zero-Lime Margarita

Kol Zero-Lime Margarita cocktail
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Kol Mezcaleria

The Margarita is many drinkers’ favorite agave-spirit cocktail. But the limes used in the popular drink generate waste, especially when it’s made in cocktail-bar quantities. Many bars and restaurants have started heading away from using fresh citrus in their drinks because the fruits, once squeezed for their juice, get discarded and almost certainly head toward a landfill.

So how do you get that fresh, tart flavor and, just as importantly, that hit of bright acid in a Margarita without using lime juice?

Kol Mezcaleria in London has one answer. The bar takes an unorthodox approach to crafting its house Margarita by replacing the usual lime juice with yuzu sake and verjus. The yuzu sake adds a citrus-like element, while the verjus bolsters the drink’s acidity. A rim that’s equal parts sweet, salty, and acidic enhances the flavors within. 

The sustainability considerations don’t stop at the lime (or lack thereof), though. Matt Varona, the beverage manager at Kol, notes that the bar purchases its verjus in five-liter bag-in-boxes to be less wasteful with packaging as well. And it’s important to choose your spirit carefully: Using a mezcal that employs best practices in its distillation processes is also important. Many industry pros recommend Del Maguey Vida as a quality espadín made for mixing that also sticks to good sustainability standards.

Note that unlike a conventionally made Margarita, this drink is stirred rather than shaken. That’s because as a rule, cocktails made without a citrus (or dairy) component don’t require the aeration that shaking provides.

Ingredients

  • Sweet/sour/salty mixture*

  • 2 ounces espadín mezcal

  • 1/2 ounce premium triple sec (Kol uses Muyu Chinotto)

  • 1/2 ounce Yuzushu (yuzu sake)

  • 3/4 ounce verjus

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

Steps

  1. Wet half of the outer rim of a rocks glass and dip into the sweet/sour/salty mixture. Set aside.

  2. Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled and slightly under-diluted.

  3. Strain into the prepared glass over fresh ice.

*Sweet/sour/salty mixture: Combine 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of citric acid.