A mango mezcal margarita may be the closest I get to a warm, sunny vacation for a while. As I type this, I’m sitting under an extra thick blanket with multiple layers of clothes on, wearing a toque, and with cold fingers. Yep, it’s the dead of winter in Edmonton, Alberta and if it were any other year, I’d be in some warm semi-tropical locale on our family’s annual mid-winter thaw. But its a COVID year, and the best I can do is recall last year when we visited San Antonio, Texas for a week of warm weather, sight-seeing, and, my favourite: good food and drinks.
Sure, San Antonio is thought of as home to The Alamo and River Walk, and while those two tourist destinations definitely made it on our itinerary, what I remember most from our trip was the endless amounts of authentic Tex Mex and Texas BBQ. I ate my way through the week with tacos, enchiladas, chile con carne, and pulled pork. I was in my happy place.
The highlight of our trip was one glorious afternoon when the stars aligned and God smiled down on us to give us two sleeping toddlers during a late afternoon adult lunch. I have twin daughters who were, at the time, just 1.5 years old, so you can imagine how our meal times usually go. But this afternoon was heaven-sent. They napped ever so peacefully in their stroller as my husband and I sat at a table along the River Walk at the famous Casa Rio. We each ordered adult beverages and enjoyed a relaxed lunch. My beverage of choice that afternoon was a mezcal margarita and it stole my foodie’s heart!
Since I’m stuck in this winter wonderland indefinitely (thanks for nothing, Covid), I’m making my own mezcal margarita. Now let me give a little caveat here. I am by no means any sort of experienced bartender. My knowledge about liquor is about as extensive as my knowledge about astrophysics. But being in Covid-19 lockdown for the better half of a year has given me ample time to expand my bartending and liquor knowledge — if only by a margin.
With that, let me give you a quick 101 about mezcal. Mezcal, like tequila, is made from agave plants. And actually, tequila is considered a type of mezcal. Tequila, however, can be made from only a single type of agave — blue agave — whereas mezcal can be made from any number of different agave plants. The main difference that one notices between the two spirits is the flavour. Mezcal has a unique smokey flavour profile that I typically don’t taste in tequila. This smokey flavour is what caught my taste buds’ attention when I had my first mezcal margarita. There are many other distinctive differences between tequila and mezcal including where in Mexico they are made and how they are distilled, but this is mezcal 101, so my teaching stops here.
Because of that smokey profile, I think it works well to be paired with a tropical, fruity base. So the concoction I’ve made most often is a mango mezcal margarita.
Mango Mezcal Margarita Recipe:
- 60 ml Tequila
- 30 ml Mezcal
- 30 ml Galliano
- ½ Lime, juiced
- 120 ml mango juice
- Tajin seasoning
Combine tequila, mezcal, Galliano, lime juice and mango juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Rub cut lime over the rim of your glass. Combine Tajin and sugar to your taste. Dip the lime-rubbed rim in the Tajin and sugar mixture. Pour margarita into glass. If you prefer, add a few ice cubes to the glass first.
With the leftover mango juice, you can even make a fun drink for the kiddos. My littles love the mango juice just as it is, but you could easily add a little club soda and lime juice to their mango juice for a fun kids’ drink. If your kids like spicy, add a little of the Tajin and sugar on the rim of their glass.