Mezcal is one of our favorite summer cocktail ingredients. The smoky spirit pairs perfectly with a hot day, and it tastes delicious mixed with tropical flavors and party foods like salty, spicy barbecue. The only thing that could possibly make mezcal more perfect for hot weather sipping is throwing it into a blender and whipping it into a frozen cocktail. If you want to kick summer off right, try your hand at one of these refreshingly tasty frozen mezcal cocktails.
3 Frozen Mezcal Cocktails to Kickstart Your Best Summer Drinking
In our humble opinion, the Last Word is one of the most underrated classic cocktails of all time. And it turns out that Eric Trousdale, the beverage director of Arbella in Chicago, feels the same way. But when he realized that he didn’t quite get along with gin, he swapped the juniper spirit for something smoky—mezcal. “I love gin, but it is, however, the one spirit that doesn’t love me back,” Trousdale says. “Makes me a bit weird after a few. A bartender friend turned me on to Mezcal Last Words a few years ago, and I have since then played with replacing gin with mezcal in every gin classic.” His frozen take on the Mezcal Last Word adds muddled jalapeños for spice, making this a seriously sippable new summer classic. This recipe serves six, so whip up a batch for your next taco night or during a summer bash.
While many cocktails on the tiki spectrum are on the sweeter side, not all tropical beverages are packed with sugary fruit juice. In fact, this drink from Portland, Oregon’s Hale Pale is downright earthy. “I love fresh mint and mezcal in cocktails, and I wanted to make a refreshing summer cooler that incorporated both,” says bartender Sierra Kirk. “The ginger syrup and lime bring tart and tangy flavors to the cocktail, while the orgeat and rum provide a richness.” Though you could certainly go out and buy a quality bottled orgeat, we’re partial to this homemade recipe, which features a “lazy” variation if you’re short on time. If you feel like getting funky, try a peanut orgeat or pistachio orgeat to change up the game.
At first glance, the ingredients in this exotic frozen cocktail may seem strange. Apple cider? Aperol? And mezcal? But when they come together, you get a perfectly balanced, crowd-pleasing cocktail you can serve all summer and into the fall. Created by Adam DelGiudice from Ron Barceló, the refreshing drink is as easy to make as it is to gulp down. “The smoke and earthiness of the mezcal counterbalances the richness of the rum,” DelGiudice says. “I wanted two spirits that were opposites to complement each other by finding ingredients that brought them together to make something unique.” Unique it is, with ginger and lemon juice adding some tang, while Aperol lends a bittersweet note to the frozen libation. Cinnamon syrup and apple cider round out the drink and give it a flavor that wouldn’t be out of place during football season’s early tailgates.