The magic of mezcal: 7 cocktails to try in Mexico City

Ah, mezcal – tequila’s smoky sister.

Mezcal is derived from various types of agave and is known for its smoky flavor. It’s just something you must drink when you visit Mexico City.

You’ll find extensive mezcal collections and incredible mezcal cocktails throughout the bars here, and I enjoyed drinking my way through as many of them as I could on a recent visit. You dont want to miss these mezcal cocktails when you’re in Mexico City!

Cocktail: The Lumiere Rooftop

Ingredients: Mezcal Local and Grand Marnier, mixed with orange marmalade, popcorn, and agave honey.

Where to find it: Balmori Rooftop

Details: Why not serve a cocktail with an adorable mini popcorn garnish? You’ll love this hip rooftop bar and their creative drinks. This cocktail especially impresses with the popcorn on the side – drizzled with agave honey.

Cocktail: The Maria Bonita

Ingredients: Mezcal Joven mixed with fresh strawberry, rosemary, lemon, and syrup of Jamaica and Guajillo.

Where to find it: Cotidiana

Details: You’ll find this cocktail in a funky little bar inside a boutique hotel in the Centro Histórico district. I don’t really think of strawberry and rosemary working so well with mezcal, but it did. This cocktail isn’t too terribly smoky and would be a great introduction to mezcal with its more fruity notes.

Cocktail: The Mango

Ingredients: Mezcal mixed with tamarind pulp in a frosted glass with Jamaican salt.

Where to find it: La Casa de las Sirenas

Details: You don’t even have to like mezcal to like this cocktail; it’s that good and the use of mezcal is that unassuming. It just tastes like mango slushy goodness and what could be better than a boozy one of those? Answer: Nothing.

Cocktail: El Buho

Ingredients: Mezcal Tobasiche mixed with house mango syrup, lemon and “sal de gusano” (worm salt).

Where to find it: Bucardon

Details: Well, I’ll be honest folks – I didn’t realize I had a cocktail with worm salt in it while I was in Mexico City until I looked up the word “gusano” afterward. It was delicious though, and I have no regrets. The El Buho is my idea of a traditional mezcal cocktail with a medium, slightly heavy smokiness that goes nicely with the citrus notes.

Cocktail: The Ant Man Cocktail

The ingredients: Mezcal Union mixed with avocado/ant mix, egg white, haja santa bitter, lemon grass syrup and lavender bitter.

Where to find it: Fifty Mils

Details: It’s all about the insects in Mexico City cuisine – and apparently that extends even to the cocktails. The Ant Man is a fantastic cocktail they are serving up at Fifty Mils, the bar inside the Four Seasons in Mexico City. The presentation is one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen and the frothiness from the egg white just perfects this beautiful drink.

Cocktail: Agua Loca

The ingredients: Mezcal 7 Misterios mixed with Jamaicain water, and sal de gusano (worm salt) frosting.

Where to find it: Bellopuerto

Details: This cocktail blew me away with both its appearance and its simplicity. The mezcal truly shines and the pineapple garnish pairs well and makes for the perfect snack!

Cocktail: El Luchador

Ingredients: Mezcal Sinai Espadin and Ancho Reyes Original mixed with yellow pepper syrup, cilantro, and fresh lemon juice.

Where to find it: Hanky Panky

Details: Hanky Panky is one of the best speakeasies I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. With the entrance located in the back of an unnamed taco shop, you won’t be able to find this gorgeous bar unless you call ahead to get reservations and the address. The El Luchador is on point, but I highly recommend you order more than just one cocktail. These bartenders are truly artists and watching them craft cocktails in this beautiful space is witnessing something special.

Stephanie Forrer is a passionate food and travel writer and photographer and one of Seattle’s most beloved social media personalities. She has spent the last four years eating and drinking her way through Seattle (and beyond!), and all the while photographing it, writing about it and sharing it on her popular website, Eat, Drink, Travel, Y’all!