Smoky, spicy  Mezcal Margarita Recipe with jalapeno, cilantro and lime… complex and so refreshing – designed for the “grown-up” palate. If you like Scotch, you’ll love this!

Mezcal Margarita w/ jalapeno and cilantro and lime...a refreshing twist! |

I must confess, this Mezcal Margarita has been happening a lot around here lately. Our catering season started off with a bang a few weeks ago, and by the end of the day, all I want to do is get home, put my feet up, sit outside on the patio and sip one of these delicious babies… a Mezcal Margarita with muddled jalapeño, cilantro and fresh lime. So flavorful and refreshing!

To keep this a bit healthier, omit the sugar-based simple syrup and mixer altogether.

Substitute agavemaple syrup or honey syrup for simple syrup and always always always use fresh-squeezed citrus.

Slices of jalapeño give just a bit of heat, and a few sprigs of cilantro add an overall refreshing “green” flavor.

What is Mezcal?

Mezcal, in essence, is a smoky-flavored spirit originating from Oaxaca, Mexico, similar to tequila, in that it is made from agave but is processed a little differently. When making Mezcal, the agave hearts, or pinas, are grilled over hot rocks prior to distilling – which imparts a rich, earthy, smoky flavor. It’s more for the grown-up palate – and may not be for everyone, but I personally love it.

Ingredients in Mezcal Margarita:

  • Mezcal- smoky tequila, use a clear or light-colored one for the best presentation.
  • Fresh citrus- limes and an orange (or sub a mandarin, tangerine, grapefruit!)
  • Triple Sec or Orange liquor like Grand Marnier
  •  Sweetener- Agave, honey syrup, or maple syrup
  • Fresh jalapeno slices (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Salt for the rim

A delicious "healthier" recipe for Mezcal Margaritas- with fresh limes, jalapeno, and cilantro...smoky, spicy and oh so refreshing! Designed for the "grown up" palate. If you like Scotch, you'll love this.

How to make a Mezcal Margarita:

  1. Rub the rim of of 2  glasses with lime, then dip in salt. Fill glasses with ice.
  2. Muddle jalapeno and cilantro in a shaker (both optional) and add ice.
  3. Add mezcal, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and sweetener.
  4. Shake well and pour over the ice.
  5. Serve with lime!

mezcal Variations

To change it up a bit, I’ll add either freshly squeezed grapefruit, mandarins, oranges, clementines,  tangerines, or sliced cucumber into the shaker. Here’s the basic recipe, but please, have fun and make it your own.

You also could make fancy-flavored salts for the rim. Chile salt, chipotle salt,  smoked salt, mandarin salt, lime salt, … get the idea.

What I love about Mezcal!

Mezcal adds another dimension to margaritas, making them much more complex, and in my opinion, sultry and alluring. If you are a strawberry margarita kind of person, Mezcal will not be for you, but if you like more complex flavors like whiskey or scotch, this is right up your alley!

A delicious "healthier" recipe for Mezcal Margaritas- with fresh limes, jalapeno, and cilantro...smoky, spicy and oh so refreshing! Designed for the "grown up" palate. If you like Scotch, you'll love this. #mezcal #margarita

And yes, Mezcal can a bit of a splurge. Sometimes I’ll use a mix of both reposado tequila and Mezcal,  for just a hint of the smokiness and to help with the budget, especially if pouring for large gatherings.

It’s perfectly fine to substitute a good quality tequila in its place or even to use both, some of each, to cut down on the smokiness.

 Mezcal Margarita w/ jalapeno and cilantro...a refreshing twist! |

Enjoy the cocktail and cheers!!!


Other cocktails you may enjoy!

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Smokey Spicy Mezcal Margarita w/ jalapeno and cilantro...a refreshing twist! |

Mezcal Margarita

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 8 reviews


A delicious “healthier” recipe for Mezcal Margaritas- with smoky mezcal, fresh citrus,  jalapeno, cilantro….smoky, spicy, and oh so refreshing! Designed for the “grown-up” palate. If you like Scotch, you’ll love this.


Units Scale
  • Optional- 4 -6 slices of jalapeno
  • Optional- 1/4 cup cilantro sprigs (optional)
  • 2 ounces lime juice (or sub part other citrus- orange, mandarin or grapefruit)
  • 3 ounces Mezcal
  • 1 1/2 ounces Orange Liqueur ( Ciontreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
  • 23 teaspoons agave, Honey Simple Syrup or maple syrup


  1. Rub the rims of 2 glasses with lime, then dip the rims into a small plate of salt. Fill the glasses with ice. Place the jalapeño and cilantro into a shaker (Or use a jar with a lid). Muddle. Add ice to ⅔ full.
  2. Add lime juice and or other citrus.Add the Mezcal, Orange liqueur and sweetener of choice. ( see note).
  3. Shake well and taste- adjusting sweetness and lime. Find the right balance ( for you!).
  4. Pour into the salt-rimmed glasses, over ice, or serve strained and up like a martini.
  5. Garnish with a lime slice.


Sweetener: If using another citrus instead of lime ( like orange, mandarin or grapefruit) you will most likely need less sweetener. If using just limes, you may need more sweetener. So taste it! 🙂

Spicy Rim: To make a spicy salt rim, mix salt with smoked paprika and chili powder and a pinch of sugar.

One fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons


  • Serving Size: 2 margaritas
  • Calories: 243
  • Sugar: 21.3 g
  • Sodium: 4.3 mg
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.3 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 0.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg






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  1. I have your old mezcal margarita recipe, and everyone loves them! This one is a little different. Afraid to change. Could you send me the old one. I’ve worn it out!

    1. Here you go!
      Juice from 1 lemon
      Juice from 1 lime
      Juice from 1 small mandarin (optional)
      3 ounces Mezcal or tequilla ( 6 T)
      1 ½ ounce triple sec or Orange liquor ( 3 T)
      1 teaspoon maple or agave syrup.
      4 slices jalapeno
      few sprigs cilantro (optional)
      Fill a shaker jalapeño and cilantro. Muddle. Add ice to ⅔ full. Squeeze the lemon, lime, mandarin. Add the Mescal and triple sec. Shake well and either pour the entire contents, including the ice into two small salt rimmed glasses, or strain and serve up.
      Note: If using other citrus instead of lime ( like orange, mandarin or grapefruit) you will need less maple syrup.
      Note: To make the salt rim, rub the rim of a glass with the used, squeezed lime half and dip into plate of salt.
      Note 2 Tablespoons = one fluid ounce

      1. Thank you for posting the older version. I’m curious to know why it changed! We LOVE the original recipe. So good. We’ll make copies!

  2. We are staying safe at home and I was wanting my favorite cocktail from my fave restaurant. Since this isn’t possible I thought I’d try the next best thing. I went on the hunt and found your recipe, purchased the necessary ingredients and ohemmmgeee… so delicious. Thanks for the easy to follow directions as well as the pictures! Cheers!

  3. Delicious!! For some reason I have not made many mixed drinks and your recipes have been a great introduction. I used a large hinged mason jar to shake this up and it worked really well. Sylvia, I appreciate the great instructions you provide with your recipes. This was wonderfully refreshing.
    I made your lovely Hibiscus margaritas with ginger and lime too! Without sounding like a lush, I will say I am looking forward to peach season more than ever so I can try the peach sangria recipe!! Thanks for delightful ways to stay cool and embibe!!

  4. This was so good! I made it just like the recipe says and loved it! I’ll definitely be making it again. It’s so fresh tasting.


  6. I love Mezcal-Maragitas… just had some delicious Margaritas with eucalyputs in Copenhagen. Extract of the eucakyptus root… very interesting.

    P.S. Your glasses look much better than the classic glasses. Where are they from?


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