It seems like everyone is switching to agave spirits these days. Tequila and mezcal are taking over drink menus and backbars from coast coast. And though many prefer to drink them neat or as shooters, they can add something special to drinks with fruit, peppers or even chocolate. Don't believe us? Try one of these 11 tequila and mezcal cocktails for yourself.
Say hello to summer (no matter what season it is) with this blue take on a Tequila Sunrise. Homemade raspberry syrup takes the place of grenadine, while a healthy dose of blue curaçao lends its vibrant color. Both combine with tequila, Grand Marnier and fresh lemon juice to make a drink you won't be able to resist.
Take your Moscow Mule south of the border with this spin. The classic combination of ginger beer and lime juice gets a smoky kick from mezcal, while a dash of passion fruit purée adds sweetness, and cucumber cools everything down. Garnish with candied ginger and a pinch of ground chile for an extra little kick.
If you're looking for something to fill that savory craving, this drink is sure to do the trick. Red bell pepper juice is the unexpected, but totally perfect, base for tequila, lime juice and honey syrup. A handful of fresh cilantro completes the profile, and a lime wheel garnish ties everything together.
This Daiquiri is a far cry from the neon, overly sweet tropical concoction you’d find at a chain Tiki bar. Instead, it’s a fruity-smoky-hoppy concoction that’s neither too sweet nor too boozy. Mezcal and bianco vermouth mix with lemon and lime juice, malt honey syrup and hopped grapefruit bitters for a perfect afternoon drink.
A cocktail inspired by corn soup? Don’t knock it till you try it. Tequila and jalapeño-infused mezcal are tamed by homemade fresh corn purée and agave syrup. A few drops of basil oil help to add to the savory-sweet flavor and round everything out with a light herbal note.
This spin on an Old Fashioned incorporates the whiskey and orange flavors you’d expect, with a little south-of-the-border spin. Mezcal, bourbon, orgeat, Angostura bitters and Aztec chocolate bitters, plus a garnish of grated cinnamon, an orange twist and a cocktail cherry, make a one-of-a-kind cocktail you’ll love.
Two kinds of booze make this Margarita-fied version of a New York Sour sneakily potent. A simple base of blanco tequila, fresh lime juice and simple syrup is given a devilish twist when topped with half an ounce of red wine. Make sure you skip the salted rim, as it will clash with the wine's natural acidity.