Because of mezcal’s dark, earthy and smoky taste, it may be difficult to think about what will pair well with it. Here are some ideas of mixers to blend with that bottle of mezcal you’ve been curious about.
When drinking mezcal in Mexico, it’s traditional to consume it with salt mixed with ground chiles and powdered moth larva, called “sal de gusano.” Fresh guava or oranges garnish the drink.
But, if you’re like most people, dead bugs don’t sound very appealing. So, you can go for straight salt but make sure it’s high quality. It’s even better if you can get a smoky-flavored salt, because it brings out mezcal’s natural flavors.
If you want to taste harmony, mix non-alcoholic ginger beer with mezcal. You’ll get the best of both worlds: the earthy, smoky flavor of mezcal mingling with the herbaceous sweet spiciness of ginger beer. Add a bit of lime and you have yourself a Mexican Mule.
The spicier the ginger beer, the better the cocktail. Make sure the ginger beer is spicy, pungent and pure. It should be free of high-fructose corn syrup and derived from real ginger.
For a mezcal with a taste of Texas, try making Ranch Water. It’s only a mixer of mezcal and seltzer water but it’s an absolute party on your palette. The seltzer used will affect the flavor in dramatic ways, so you want to ensure it has a superb mineral constituency or has salt added.
If you go for flavored seltzer water, make sure it will taste well with the smoky, earthiness of mezcal like watermelon, lime, lemon or orange. Garnish with a twist of your favorite citrus.
Simple, easy and affordable, almost any white soda will pair well with mezcal. If you can find one with citrus in it, like grapefruit, lemon-lime or orange, all the better. Just ensure the white soda is high quality, free of high-fructose corn syrup and made with non-GMO, organic ingredients.
You can use a cheaper soda, but it may not match up well with the flavors of mezcal. So, you’ll have to experiment a little to see what you like best.
Almost any floral extract will be perfect with mezcal. Have fun experimenting to see which ones your mouth most enjoys. Anything like lavender, elderflower, elderberry, chamomile, rose, hibiscus, jasmine or lilac are interesting alone or combined. You want to make sure that the flower extract is pungent and organic.
If you’re into herbalism, you can make your own extract using mezcal instead of vodka or grain alcohol. Of course, you can purchase a standard one and it will make your cocktail tasty, flowery and light with the smoky strength of mezcal.
The Perfect Mixer
Mezcal is malleable with a myriad of mixers but not everything will work well. Of course, these are only ideas and should play with whatever fancies your palette. Play around with it and have fun!