We honor this smoky spirit, originating from the Oaxacan hills of southwestern Mexico over 400 years ago, with Mezcal Day on October 21.
Unlike, tequila, which is only made from blue agave, its older and more sophisticated cousin can be made from maguey, or other varieties of agave plants. After the extracted plant juice has been fermented, the heart of the agave plant, or the pina, is oven-roasted with charcoal and stone. This is how mezcal achieves its distinct smoky flavor.
Traditionally, is meant to be sipped slowly and enjoyed down to the agave worm found at the bottom of the high-proof bottle. The gusano, or worm, which lives on the agave plant, is eaten when the last drop is poured for good luck.
Today, mixologists relish mixing both artisanal and traditional mezcal into any drink that originally called for tequila. Here are some tasty examples of such fine cocktails to enjoy in Miami on Mezcal Day:
National Mezcal Day Cocktail in Miami
Mezcalero at Sweet Liberty
Ingredients: Mezcal Vida, Aperol, Cocchi Rosa and Grapefruit Bitters.
237 20th Street #B, Miami Beach, FL 33139, mysweetliberty.com, @mysweetliberty
Mezcal Aviation at Sugar Miami
Ingredients: Amaras Mezcal, Crème de Violette and Lemon.
788 Brickell Plaza, Miami (the rooftop at EAST, Miami Hotel), sugar-miami.com, @EASTMiami
Beets By Bro at The Anderson
Ingredients: Ilegal Mezcal, fresh Beet juice, pressed Lime Citrus Bitters, sage and pickled beets.
709 NE 79th St, Miami (MiMo District), theandersonmiami.com, @theandersonmiami
Lavagave at Beaker & Gray
Ingredients: Don Julio Blanco Tequila, Gracias A Dios Mezcal, Lavender Syrup, Egg Glair, Grapefruit & Vanilla Bitters, and served to the rim of a coupe glass.
2637 North Miami Avenue, Miami (Wynwood District), beakerandgray.com, @beakerandgray
Anana Al Asador at Leynia
Ingredients: Mezcal, Casamigos Tequila, Lime, Smoked Pineapple and Habañero tincture
1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (at the Delano Hotel), sbe.com/restaurants/leynia, @DelanoSouthBeach, #LeyniaRestaurant
Besame Mucho at Cantina La Veinte
Ingredients: Montelobos Mezcal, Grapefruit Juice, Maraschino Syrup and Lime Juice. Garnished with Maraschino Cherries and a Tajin Rim
495 Brickell Avenue, Miami (at the Icon Brickell), cantinala20.com, @la20miami
Brass Monkey at Meat Market Miami Beach
Ingredients: Nuestra Soledad Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, Banana Liqueur, Citrus, Agave and Pineapple
915 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, meatmarket.net/miami_beach, @MeatMarketMiami
Oaxaca Sour at Matador Bar
Ingredients: Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Lemon, Basil, and Egg White. Shaken, and garnished with fresh Basil Leaf.
2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach (in the Miami Beach Edition hotel), matadorroom.com/matador-bar, @MatadorRoom
Smoke & Mirrors at Forte Dei Marmi
Ingredients: Anejo Mezcal, Vermouth and Campari
150 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach (South of Fifth), fdmmiami.com, @fdmmiami
El Chapo at Jezebel Miami
Ilegal Mezcal, Don Julio Reposado Tequila, Fresh Lime Juice, Pineapple, and Arbol Chile Syrup
1625 Michigan Ave, Miami Beach (off Lincoln Road), jezebelmiami.com, @jezebelmiami
Piña Basil Margarita at Ball & Chain
Ingredients: Zignum Mezcal Reposed, Cointreau, fresh Basil, fresh Lime Juice, Agave Nectar and Pineapple juice, with a Sal de Gusano rim.
1513 SW 8th St, Miami (Calle Ocho/Little Havana), ballandchainmiami.com, @BallandChainMiami