The Spicy Mezcalita

The Spicy Mezcalita

I have a lot of books that I’ve picked up at Anthropologie over the years, although I’ve never actually gone there to buy a book.

Usually I’m walking in with the intention of purchasing a new maxi dress or a cardigan. But then I get caught up in the artisanal displays and before I know it I’m wondering why I never thought of turning an armoire into a bookshelf, or even a fully stocked bar.

An hour or two later I’m walking out of the store with 2 books, 3 Capri Blue Volcano candles, a set of hand-painted coasters, a(nother) set of colored pencils, a desk pad that I bought as a gift but we both know I’ll end up keeping for myself, and 2 knotted headbands that look dangerously close to the ones I bought the last time I was there.

Which explains why I end up ordering most of my dresses and cardigans online.

It also explains the growing library of random books that have taken up residence on my coffee table.

It's like tequila. Except it's not.

One of my particular favorites is Shake: A New Perspective On Cocktails. I often thumb through this book when looking for an interesting recipe to try, but this month I thought I’d branch out a bit into an area I typically avoid: Tequila.

There are generally two types of people when it comes to tequila. Those who love it, and can often be found sipping a Clase Azul Reposado - neat, of course - at an outdoor bar. And those who associate the smell of tequila with the shirt they threw up on the night before at a college block party. I typically tend to lean more towards the latter.

Save for the well-made margarita - on the rocks, with salt - I tend to avoid most cocktails involving tequila. But as I am determined to fully develop my palette for all types of liquor, I decided to start here.

I selected a recipe from Shake that looked interesting, and headed off to my favorite liquor store where they greet me by name and let Peace the Puppy sit on the counter and get endless pets from the employees while I peruse the aisles. After looking around for Mezcal - the only ingredient for the cocktail I was missing - I finally found it in the ‘shit you may or may not want to drink’ section.

Long story short, this is basically a tequila y tequila cocktail minus the salt. Apparently all tequilas are mezcals, but not all mezcals are tequilas. Sort of like how both scotch and bourbon are types of whiskey. Confused yet? Same.

Mi taco es mi taco.

That night I invited over two of my friends who are tequila connoisseurs. I thought it might help balance the opinions of the finished drink (they fall into the first category of people when it comes to tequila).

Two batches later and I’m happy to say that this drink is a hit. So much so that they’re hosting an encore gathering tonight for more Spicy Mezcalitas. And tacos. Because everything goes with tacos.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

I’d love it if you’d make a cocktail for yourself, too, and join me in the Unconventional Creative Facebook Group for happy hour.

And while you’re at it, make a second drink for a friend and invite them along. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

THE SPICY MEZCALITA

2 shots Tequila
1 shot Mezcal
1.5 shots Cointreau
1.5 shots fresh lime juice
2 slices fresh jalepeño

Garnish:
2 slices fresh jalepeño
2 slices fresh lime

Combine Tequila, Mezcal, Cointreau, lime juice, and 2 slices of jalepeño in a cocktail shaker.
Add ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Strain the mixture into two chilled glasses with ice, and garnish with remaining jalepeños and limes.
Makes 2 cocktails. So grab a friend or get a bigger glass.

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