With Cinco de Mayo coming up, I wanted to liven up the classic margarita. Lately, I've enjoyed a love affair with Mezcal and find any excuse to experiment with the savory liquor. Mezcal is traditionally smoky in taste, easily distinguished from your standard blue agave tequila. Depending on the mezcal, it can also have a sweeter nose and taste relative to tequila. Because of its complexity, Mezcal is one of the few liquors I prefer to drink neat.
I've never met a margarita I didn’t like, but this recipe is undoubtedly at the top of my list. The mezcal's bold smokiness cuts the sweet of the mango perfectly. If you opt for tequila, I'd tone down the amount of simple syrup and mango or risk losing the tequila's flavor among the sweetness.
MANGO + HABANERO MEZCAL MARGARITAS
1 cup fresh mango puree (throw 1 cup of fresh mango in a food processor)
3 oz habanero simple syrup *(see recipe below)
4.5 oz shots mezcal
1.5 oz fresh orange juice
3 oz freshly squeezed lime juice