This spicy mezcal margarita recipe is not a cocktail for everyone. It’s smokey with a bit of sweetness and bite from the lime juice. And please, please don’t mistake mezcal for tequila.

Though mezcal is considered the “cousin” of tequila by some, it is altogether a different spirit. True, it’s made from agave – but mezcal is (at its best) a fine, hand-crafted spirit. Think of it this way: Mezcal is to tequila what calvados is to applejacks. Similar, but very different. To make it, Mexican villagers use ancient techniques and a wide variety of wild agave plants. The agave pinas then are chopped and roasted, but here is one difference: the pinas are buried in pits with hot rocks and smoked with the woods of local oak or mesquite, before they are crushed and then go into the fermenter. The result: a smoky and earthy flavor, and it’s absolutely amazing in cocktails.

The key to this great recipe is simplicity – and the salt garnish adds some heat to the drink and helps bring out the smokiness of the spirits, while the fresh lime juice and blood orange extract adds a brightness that you normally don’t get in a standard margarita mix.

Need photos of how to rim a glass like this with out cocktail salts or sugars? Check out our easy to follow recipe tutorial here.

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Spicy Mezcal Margarita Recipe

  • Author: David Beets
  • Yield: 2 cocktails 1x



4 oz Mezcal

2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 teaspoon orange extract

1 oz Cointreau or other triple sec/orange liqueur

1 oz agave nectar or simple syrup

Simple syrup for moistening the glass rim

Chile lime salt



Pour a little bit of the chile lime salt into a shallow dish. Brush the simple syrup along the rims of two cocktail glasses and dip them into the salt. Set aside.


Add the mezcal, freshly squeezed lime juice, Cointreau or other orange liqueur, orange extract and agave or simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into the prepared glasses.


This recipe may have affiliate links to the products we bought and used to make this recipe.