Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Ready Fire Aim

A coupe rests on a marble surface. It’s filled with an orange drink with a thin white head on which red peppercorn floats.
Image: / Tim Nusog

As mezcal became increasingly popular to mix with during the late 2010s and into the 2020s, bartenders discovered that the smoky Mexican spirit paired beautifully with flavors like honey and pineapple. Those ingredients shoot to kill in the Ready Fire Aim, from world-traveling bartender Steve Schneider. This smoky cocktail is bolstered by smoked chile bitters and a homemade honey-pineapple syrup for balance.

Schneider starts his recipe with a joven mezcal, which means the mezcal is unaged. That is the overwhelmingly popular style of mezcal available in the United States, especially for bartending, so it should not be a problem to find. He doesn’t specify a brand, so any nice quality mixing mezcal will do. Because the Ready Fire Aim is essentially a mezcal sour, similar to a Margarita with mezcal, it also gets lime juice and a sweetener. In this case, the sweetener is a honey-pineapple syrup that’s spiked with peppercorns. Once made, home bartenders can use this sweet and zesty syrup in other drinks. Try swapping out the usual simple syrup in your favorite Margarita or Daiquiri for a peppery twist on a classic.

Fresh pineapple juice (or canned) amplifies the flavors of the syrup, and also provides an extra level of foaminess. Pineapple juice foams considerably when shaken, which means the Ready Fire Aim doesn’t need an egg white to provide a surface on which to float the pink-peppercorn garnish. The pepper enhances the spice of the five dashes of smoked chile bitters from Hella Bitters. If you’re making this recipe for someone with a low tolerance for heat, you can reduce the amount of bitters used, but omitting them all together will significantly change the flavor profile of the cocktail.


  • 1 3/4 ounces joven mezcal
  • 1 ounce honey-pineapple syrup*
  • 3/4 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 5 dashes Hella Bitters smoked chile cocktail bitters
  • Garnish: pink peppercorn, ground


  1. Add the joven mezcal, honey-pineapple syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice and bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  3. Garnish with a grind of pink peppercorn.

*Honey-pineapple syrup: Add 2 cups honey and 1 cup hot water into a bottle or jar, stir or shake to combine, and set aside. In a separate container, crush together with a muddler 50 pink peppercorns and a cubed whole pineapple. Add the peppercorn-pineapple mixture to the honey-hot water mixture and let stand overnight. Strain out and discard solids. The syrup will keep, tightly covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.