What could be better than a pineapple margarita? How about adding some spicy and smoky flavors? This margarita uses mezcal in place of tequila and a home made jalapeño syrup. Fresh ingredients make this an incredibly delicious drink that’s still pretty easy to make at home.
What is Mezcal?
Like tequila, mezcal is also made from agave. However, there are many different types of agave and the type of agave that tequila and mezcal come from is just one of the differences between the two. They also are produced in different regions of Mexico. The other main difference is how they are produced. Tequila is made by steaming agave inside industrial ovens and then distilling in copper pots. Mezcal is cooked inside earthen pits filled with lava rocks, wood and charcoal then distilled in clay pots.
To the consumer however, the biggest difference comes from the flavor. Mezcal has a smoky flavor that makes it distinctly different from tequila. It’s hard to hide the flavor of Mezcal in a cocktail.
There really is no substitute for mezcal and its smoky flavor. But if you want to make this recipe with tequila, it can still make a delicious sweet and spicy margarita. Some may prefer this if they don’t like the smokiness of mezcal.
This jalapeño syrup is easy to make at home with just three ingredients. I only used one jalapeño for this syrup however you may want to sue more if you like more heat in your drinks. You can also use other types of hot peppers such as chili or habanero. I also use hot peppers with caution the first time I make the recipe and then adjust it the next time. If you want to add more spice try adding fresh slices of jalapeños to the cocktail.
I used demerara sugar in this syrup. The rich flavor of raw cane sugar crystals pairs well with the smoky flavor of mezcal. You can use regular sugar for this syrup if you don’t have any other sugar available. It will change the flavor somewhat but it will still be sweet and spicy.
Spicy Pineapple Mezcal Margarita
- 1.5 oz Mezcal
- 1/2 oz orange liqueur
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz jalapeño syrup
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with pineapple fronds (or pineapple wedge) and jalapeño slices.
Jalapeño Demerara Syrup
- 1-2 slices jalapeños
- 2 cups demerara sugar
- 1 cup water
- Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool and transfer to a jar or container. Store in refrigerator for up to one month in an air tight container.