Strawberry Mezcal Margaritas

Smoky mezcal mixed with summer’s sweet strawberries and a salt spiced rim—it’s a match made in cocktail heaven. Mezcal can be made from a number of different agaves (unlike its sister Tequila) and gets its smoky characteristics from agave hearts (piña) burned in underground pits. Espadín is the most common type, and it’s ideal for mixing into drinks like this one. If you want to sip neat I recommend Vago Elote Espadin or Del Maguey Tobala.

For this recipe you can also use an immersion blender for quick muddling—just a few pulses will do the trick!

Strawberry Mezcal Margaritas

2 cocktails

1 tablespoon Spiced Rimming Salt (see recipe in my book, Lush Life)

1 lime wedge

1 cup strawberries, hulled, cut in half

1 chile de árbol, toasted in a dry skillet

4 ounces (1/2 cup) mezcal Espadín, such as Vago or Pierde Almas

2 ounces (1/4 cup) Cointreau

2 ounces (1/4 cup) fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)

2 ounces (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)

2 whole strawberries with stems (garnish)


Sprinkle salt on a small plate. Run a lime wedge around the rim of 2 glasses; dip glasses in salt.

Smash the halved strawberries and chile in a cocktail shaker using the end of a wooden spoon. Fill the shaker 3/4 full with ice. Add mezcal, Cointreau, and citrus juices and shake vigorously. Strain the cocktail into small spice-rimmed glasses (filled with ice, if desired). Garnish with whole strawberries.