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Mezcal Mary

Mezcal Mary


A Mexican variation on the Bloody Mary, made with mezcal and garnished with Chinese long beans, a lime wheel in black salt, a lemon wheel, an olive, and acherry tomato (whew). The Mezcal Mary is made at Tortilla Republic in West Hollywood, Calif.

Ingredients

  • 2 Ounces Habanero-infused Fidencio Classico
  • 1/2 Ounce lemon juice
  • 5-6 Ounces Bloody Mary mix
  • Chinese long beans, to garnish
  • lime wheel in black salt, to garnish
  • lemon wheel, to garnish
  • olive, to garnish
  • cherry tomato, to garnish

What Do You Call A Bloody Mary Made With Mezcal?

Of all the classic cocktails, the Bloody Mary has perhaps the most versatile nomenclature.

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But what do you call a Bloody Mary made with mezcal?

The smoky Mexican spirit pairs perfectly with a spicy tomato juice mixer — a flavorful upgrade on tequila, its more common agave-based relative. Yet the mezcal version has no widely accepted name on par with Bloody Maria or even Bloody Caesar.

This badly missed branding opportunity comes to mind this week as bartenders from across the world prepare to gather in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, the liquor industry’s annual convention. The agenda is packed with seminars, tastings, demos, product launches and parties, parties, parties. A panel on liquor-related linguistics is conspicuously missing from the schedule.

For some time now, I’ve been posing the question to bartenders. Their answers typically hover around the same general points. Sure, tequila is technically a type of mezcal, so calling it a Bloody Maria isn’t a total misnomer. Then again, the distinctive pit-roasted taste of a good Oaxacan-style mezcal really makes for a very different drinking experience than, say, your typical Jose Cuervo.

The mezcal version rightly deserves its own moniker, but what? One bartender who regularly whipped up such mezcal-laden concoctions at my request once proposed the “Bloody Mez,” which we immediately rejected for obvious reasons.

Back in February, I put the question to participants at the annual Bloody Mary Mix Down contest during a preliminary event in Brooklyn. Chief organizer Lisa Seabury cited plenty of experience in making the savory cocktail with mezcal but simply shrugged with regard to the drink’s own identity: “I don’t have a name for that.” Her husband, Steve Seabury, founder of New York hot-sauce company High River Sauces, suggested “Mez-merizing Maria.” Contest winner Marisa Cadena of Brooklyn’s Lucky Luna restaurant proffered “Maria en Llamas” (“Burning Maria”).

More recently, I asked Food Republic’s contributing cocktails editor, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, who favored the straightforward “Mezcal Mary,” a name already in use at places like Tortilla Republic in West Hollywood, California. “It’s the only thing that makes sense,” he said. Another contributor, Brian Quinn, author of Food Republic’s regular “Cocktail of the Week” column, nominated “Bloody Maguey,” a clever nod to the Spanish word for agave.

Leave it to the man most responsible for America’s mezcal craze, Ron Cooper, founder of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, to set the record straight. “It’s called a Maria Ahumado, or ‘Smoky Maria,'” Cooper told me definitively during the recent James Beard Foundation awards gala in Chicago, where the mezcal mogul was named Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional for 2016. Cooper insisted this Spanish term was “legit,” which, given his pedigree, is hard to dismiss.

Still, Warren Bobrow, the author of multiple cocktail books, including the new and provocative Cannabis Cocktails, suggested an Americanized alternative: the “Bloody Ron Cooper.”


Bloody Caesar Ingredients

Typically, a Bloody Caesar is made with Clamato juice (homemade or store-bought), Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, and vodka. It's always served in a glass with a salted rim.

But we often add a few extras to make our Caesars even more delicious:

  • Horseradish (freshly grated or from a jar)
  • Fresh dill
  • Lots of black pepper
  • Pickle juice (from a jar of pickles)

You can also try making it with homemade V8 juice for a twist on the classic!


(My Favorite) Bloody Mary

  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 3-4 oz. tomato juice
  • ½ tsp. to 1 tsp. horseradish, to taste
  • ¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 1-10 dashes of Sriracha
  • 2 pinches black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch celery salt

Assemble the cocktail with ice in the glass you&rsquoll drink it in, and then roll it back and forth between that and another glass, mixing the ingredients without breathing too much air into the tomato juice. Do that five or six times and then garnish with a celery stalk, and perhaps something ostentatious like a poached shrimp or a cheeseburger, and enjoy.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS

Photo: courtesy St. George Distillery

Alcohol: As always, when mixed with almost anything (let alone something so intense as all this) it doesn&rsquot matter what kind of vodka you use as long as you get something that&rsquos not horrible. I go Smirnoff, Reyka, Svedka or the like. In general I&rsquom against spending more than $20 on a bottle of vodka, but live your life.

As for variations, gin makes a Red Snapper, which some people love but for me, this one of the very few applications where I think gin makes a worse drink than vodka. Tequila is a natural choice, as is mezcal&mdashthe savoriness here lends itself beautifully to smoke. Another good choice is St. George&rsquos Green Chile Vodka, which is distilled with whole sweet and hot peppers and cilantro, and is practically made for this application.

Tomato Base: Personally, I like good-old tomato juice here. V8 has more vegetable juices and makes a milder base that tastes great at first, but as the ice begins to melt, you begin to appreciate the intensity of Tomato juice. Another popular choice is Clamato, a tomato juice &ldquococktail&rdquo with clam broth added in, and as mentioned, the Bloody Mary handles it admirably, but there&rsquos a slight sweetness and hollowness to the flavor that leads me back to classic tomato.

Acidity: Tomatoes have a bunch of acidity, but you still need a little more. I use lemon, but obviously lime works, as do fun twists like sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar for you vinaigrette fans. In a perfect world I&rsquod take the 0.5 oz. extra acidity and do half sherry vinegar and half lemon juice, but I acknowledge that&rsquos a little much for an already involved cocktail.

Savory: You have to get umami in there to make it its best self. The most common and cleanest way is to use Worcestershire Sauce, but there&rsquos lots of ways. You could use a little soy sauce (just a touch, it&rsquos pretty intense), A1 for a barbecue savoriness, fish sauce, MSG (again, small amounts) whatever.

Hot Sauce: Obviously, only use this if you like heat. Use your favorite brand, they&rsquoll all be good, but for this application, I love the garlic depth of Sriracha. Apply to taste. One good squeeze is enough for me. You don&rsquot want it to be punishingly hot, unless of course you do.

Horseradish: Some recipes omit this in the belief the hot sauce does the job, but I think that&rsquos a mistake. The heat of horseradish hits different, for one, and for another I love the flavor that horseradish brings. It deepens the base flavor and wakes me up.

Spices: Unless you&rsquore juicing your own tomatoes, which I don&rsquot recommend, the tomato juice will have some salt already added, but I like a touch more anyway. Black pepper is just for fun, not strictly necessary, but I like it for the same reason I like the horseradish. The only thing I insist on is celery salt, the flavor of which shades in the tomato and makes the vegetal quality of the cocktail a little more 3D.

Every week bartender Jason O’Bryan mixes his up his favorite drinks for you. Check out his past cocktail recipes.


(My Favorite) Bloody Mary

  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 3-4 oz. tomato juice
  • ½ tsp. to 1 tsp. horseradish, to taste
  • ¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 1-10 dashes of Sriracha
  • 2 pinches black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch celery salt

Assemble the cocktail with ice in the glass you&rsquoll drink it in, and then roll it back and forth between that and another glass, mixing the ingredients without breathing too much air into the tomato juice. Do that five or six times and then garnish with a celery stalk, and perhaps something ostentatious like a poached shrimp or a cheeseburger, and enjoy.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS

Photo: courtesy St. George Distillery

Alcohol: As always, when mixed with almost anything (let alone something so intense as all this) it doesn&rsquot matter what kind of vodka you use as long as you get something that&rsquos not horrible. I go Smirnoff, Reyka, Svedka or the like. In general I&rsquom against spending more than $20 on a bottle of vodka, but live your life.

As for variations, gin makes a Red Snapper, which some people love but for me, this one of the very few applications where I think gin makes a worse drink than vodka. Tequila is a natural choice, as is mezcal&mdashthe savoriness here lends itself beautifully to smoke. Another good choice is St. George&rsquos Green Chile Vodka, which is distilled with whole sweet and hot peppers and cilantro, and is practically made for this application.

Tomato Base: Personally, I like good-old tomato juice here. V8 has more vegetable juices and makes a milder base that tastes great at first, but as the ice begins to melt, you begin to appreciate the intensity of Tomato juice. Another popular choice is Clamato, a tomato juice &ldquococktail&rdquo with clam broth added in, and as mentioned, the Bloody Mary handles it admirably, but there&rsquos a slight sweetness and hollowness to the flavor that leads me back to classic tomato.

Acidity: Tomatoes have a bunch of acidity, but you still need a little more. I use lemon, but obviously lime works, as do fun twists like sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar for you vinaigrette fans. In a perfect world I&rsquod take the 0.5 oz. extra acidity and do half sherry vinegar and half lemon juice, but I acknowledge that&rsquos a little much for an already involved cocktail.

Savory: You have to get umami in there to make it its best self. The most common and cleanest way is to use Worcestershire Sauce, but there&rsquos lots of ways. You could use a little soy sauce (just a touch, it&rsquos pretty intense), A1 for a barbecue savoriness, fish sauce, MSG (again, small amounts) whatever.

Hot Sauce: Obviously, only use this if you like heat. Use your favorite brand, they&rsquoll all be good, but for this application, I love the garlic depth of Sriracha. Apply to taste. One good squeeze is enough for me. You don&rsquot want it to be punishingly hot, unless of course you do.

Horseradish: Some recipes omit this in the belief the hot sauce does the job, but I think that&rsquos a mistake. The heat of horseradish hits different, for one, and for another I love the flavor that horseradish brings. It deepens the base flavor and wakes me up.

Spices: Unless you&rsquore juicing your own tomatoes, which I don&rsquot recommend, the tomato juice will have some salt already added, but I like a touch more anyway. Black pepper is just for fun, not strictly necessary, but I like it for the same reason I like the horseradish. The only thing I insist on is celery salt, the flavor of which shades in the tomato and makes the vegetal quality of the cocktail a little more 3D.

Every week bartender Jason O’Bryan mixes his up his favorite drinks for you. Check out his past cocktail recipes.


  • 3/4 cup tomato juice
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) mezcal or vodka
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 celery stalk (preferably from the heart with leaves still attached)

Step 1: Place the tomato juice, mezcal or vodka, lemon juice, horseradish, sriracha, and Worcestershire sauce in the bottom of a bar shaker and stir well to mix.

Step 2: Cover the top of the shaker with plastic wrap, leaving one edge open for the rubber tube from the Smoking Gun. Insert the tube and fire the Smoking Gun to fill the shaker with smoke. Quickly remove the hose and seal the top of the shaker with plastic. Let stand for 3 minutes, then uncover and stir in the smoke with a bar spoon. Repeat once more or until the desired degree of smokiness is achieved.

Step 3: Place 4 or 5 ice cubes in a highball glass. Add the Smoky Mary and stir to mix. Insert the celery stick. (Like Mom says, eat your vegetables.)


4. Pickle It

“If I use mix, it’s Zing Zang ($14 on Amazon). It’s a good base that is already well seasoned—it has a nice spice to it and it’s properly salted, which can be hard to balance. It makes a great jumping off point, and I combine 4 oz. mix with 2 oz. Pickers vodka, 1½ oz. Claussen pickle juice, 1 tsp. Gulden’s mustard, 1 tsp. pepperoncini brine, a squeeze of lemon and lime juice, and salt and pepper. To finish, rim the glass with salt and Old Bay seasoning, and pour over ice.” —Caroline Galzin, general manager and partner at Nicky’s Coal Fired in Nashville, TN


National Mezcal Day Recipes

National Mezcal Day is October 21. To celebrate this smoky spirit, we’ve compiled a list of recipes below!

Seventeen Fifty

Ingredients:
0.75 oz Rosaluna Mezcal
0.75 oz Lime juice
0.75 oz Aperol
0.75 oz Yellow Chartreuse

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Recipe courtesy of Rosaluna.

Smoked Rita

Ingredients:
.75 oz. Tequila
.75 oz. Mezcal
.75 oz. Orange Crema
.5 oz. Agave
.5 oz. Lime Juice
1.5 oz. Charred Pineapple Mix
FireStix, for garnish

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and stir. Strain over ice in a cocktail glass.

Recipe courtesy of tequila and mezcal house, Lucky Day.

Tahiti Pearl

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Mezcal Ojo de Tigre
8-10 Mint Leaves
1 oz Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Lemon Bitters
3 Drops Olive Oil

Directions:
Place all ingredients except olive oil in a shaker with plenty of ice and give it a good shake. Serve in a cold coupe glass and use a fine strainer to catch stray pieces of leaves. Finish with 3 drops of olive oil on top and decorate with a mint leaf.

Recipe courtesy of Ojo de Tigre.

Pierde Almas Citrus

Ingredients:
2 oz Pierde Almas Espadín or Pierde Almas 9 Botanicals
3.4 oz of Lemon Juice
1 oz of Orange Juice
1.2 oz of Simple Syrup

Directions:
Mix in shaker and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Pierde Almas Mezcal.

Amethyst

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Mezcal Ojo de Tigre
.5 oz Lime Juice
¾ oz hibiscus syrup
2 oz ginger beer or ale

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and shake well. Strain and top with ginger beer.

Recipe courtesy of Ojo de Tigre.

Pepino Cariño

Ingredients:
1 oz. Mezcal
1 oz. Scotch
1 oz House Sour
.5 oz. Agave
.25 oz. Egg White
3 muddled Basil Leaves
2 muddled Slices of Cucumber
Cucumber skin ribbon, for garnish

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and shake. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with cucumber ribbon.

Recipe courtesy of tequila and mezcal house, Lucky Day. Photo Anthony Mair.

Tiger Lily

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Mezcal Ojo de Tigre
1.5 oz Pineapple Juice
2 oz Ginger Beer

Directions:
Build all ingredients over ice in a Highball Glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice or lime.

Recipe courtesy of Ojo de Tigre.

Escorpion

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. Mezcal
.5 oz. Hawaii Chili-Infused Tequila
.25 oz. Agave
1 Muddled Bordeaux Cherry
3 dashes of Sassafras Bitters
Hot chili, for garnish

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and stir. Strain over a large ice cube in a cocktail glass.

Recipe courtesy of tequila and mezcal house, Lucky Day. Photo Anthony Mair.

Pink Moon Paloma

Ingredients:
2 oz Rosaluna Mezcal
1 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
0.5 oz Lime juice
1 pinch of Sea salt
Garnish: Torched rosemary sprig and topped with seltzer

Directions:
Add all ingredients to shaker, shake well, and pour into a glass filled with fresh ice. Top with seltzer and a rosemary sprig for good measure.


Mezcal Mary - Recipes

Click on the name of the cocktail to expand the recipe card.

Cocktail Recipes

Debra Argen, Luxury Experience
Serves: 1

Travis House Apple Pie Liqueur

Kosher Salt, Cinnamon, Sugar Rim

Rim Margarita glass with salt, cinnamon, sugar mixture. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled rimmed Margarita glass.

Jason Walsh, Cocktail Logic
Serves: 1

Blk Pepper infused simple syrup

C ombine all ingredients with 4 ice cubes. Shake VERY WELL to create foam, then strain and garnish with lemon twist and black ground pepper.

Barbara Sweetman
Serves: 1

Muddle berries with mint. Add remaining ingredients and shake well with ice. Pour and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Mint and berry garnish.

Rim Margarita glass with Salt.
Mix ingredients in shaker with ice, strain into rimmed Margarita glass.

Dale DeGroff, King Cocktail
Serves: 1

Mix all ingredients with hand immersion blender-add Scorpion Silver and thin to taste with water- add ice and stir, pour into chilled glass.

Typical Mezcal cocktail from Oaxaca
Serves: 1

Rim cocktail glass with chili-salt. Mix Orange, Lime and Mezcal with ice, pour into chilled glass, float 1 T. Grenadine and garnish with Orange slice.

Ryan Rapaport, Mama Iganas, Springfield, Mass
Serves: 1

1.5 oz Scorpion Mezcal Silver
.25 oz Cointreau
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz Agave Nectar
.25 oz Sour Mix
Splash Blue Curacao

Shake Scorpion, cointreau, lime juice, sour mix, and agave nectar over ice. Float Curacao on top. Strain into salt rimmed margarita glass. Garnish with lime pierced by wood pick.

Mathew Resler, Empellon NYC
Serves 1

Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with Star Anise or Orange slice

Junior Merino, The Liquid Chef
Serves: 1

Agwa Coco Leaf Liquor or Midori

Rim tall glass with Cactus-Lemon Grass salt if available. Place all ingredients in blender with one cup ice. Blend and pour into tall glass.
Garnish with lemon peel.

Alex Velez
Serves: 1

Scorpion Mezcal Anejo 5 Year

Mix all ingredients in shaker with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass and top with club soda.
Garnish with hibiscus flower if available.

Barbara Sweetman, Caballeros Inc.
Serves: 1

Scorpion Mezcal Reposado or Anejo

Heat chocolate, milk & vanilla bean stir constantly, do not boil. After the chocolate has melted, add 1 oz. Scorpion Mezcal Reposado infused with vanilla bean. If not available, add Scorpion Mezcal Top with whip cream.

Serve in mug with cinnamon stick stirrer.

Chris Carlsson, SpiritsReview.com
Serves: 1

1 parts Scorpion Mezcal Silver
1 parts Pineapple Juice
1 parts Orange Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Lime Juice, to tast

Shake with ice, Serve in Martini or Margerita glass. Garnish with Maraschino Cherry.

Leo DeGroff
Serves: 1

2 Pieces Jalapeno- size of a nickle- muddled
.5 oz Lime Juice, fresh
.75 oz Agave Syrup
2 oz Scorpion Mezcal Silver

Shake well with ice and strain into chilled salt rimmed Martini glass.

1.5 oz Scorpion Mezcal Silver
.5 oz Lime Juice, fresh
6 oz Squirt or Jarritos Grapefruit Soda

Mix in tall highball glass, fill with ice.

Barbara Sweetman, Caballeros Inc.
Serves: 1

Jarritos Grapefruit Soda or Squirt

Muddle mint, kiwi and lime. Add Key Lime Liqueur and Scorpion Mezcal Silver. Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Top with Grapefruit Soda and garnish with orange slice and mint sprig.

Debra Argen, Luxury Experience
Serves: 1

Scorpion Mezcal Anejo 1 Year

Half & Half or Light Cream

dashes Fee Brothers West Indian
Orange Bitters

Mix all ingredients in large glass with ice. Shake and strain into chilled snifter glass. Top with sprinkle of cinnamon.

Serve over ice in Rocks glass or strained into chilled Martini glass.

Mezcal Mai Tai
Serves: 1
Jason Walsh, Mixologist

Garnish : Crispy Mint Sprig and Orange
Crab Twist

Mix all ingredients in large glass with ice. Shake and pour over new ice into glass. Add garnish.

Esteban Ordonez,Pio Pio New York, NY
Serves: 1

Powder cinnamon and orange
wedge for garnish

In a shaker muddle the orange and lemon wedges, add the remaining ingredients fill with ice and shake vigorously for 7 seconds. strain into a ice filled highball glass, top with club soda. Garnish with orange wedge and pinch of cinnamon.

Esteban Ordonez, Yerba Buena Perry NYC
Serves: 1

Fresh squeezed, strained Lemon Juice

Cilantro Sprigs. (reserve one for garnish)

Combine the pineapple juice, lemon juice, simple syrup and 3 cilantro sprigs in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake vigorously for 7 seconds or until well chilled. Strain over a large ice cube in an old fashioned glass, float the hibiscus syrup over the cocktail and garnish with the remaining cilantro sprig.

Barbara Sweetman, Caballeros Inc.
Serves: 1

slice Lemon, Meyer preferred, muddled

dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters

Muddle mint & lemon, add rest of ingredients with ice and shake well. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with mint sprig.

Barbara Sweetman, Caballeros Inc.
Serves: 1

slices Cucumber, chopped, muddled

sprig Dill Weed, chopped, muddled

dashes Worcestershire Sauce, to taste

dash Salt & Pepper, to taste

Muddle dill, cucumber & lemon. Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice and strain into ice filled highball glass. Garnish with cucumber spear and dill sprig.

Jill DeGroff
Serves: 1

Muddle mango and mint in bar glass, add juices and Mezcal, shake well with ice and pour into chilled Martini glass, garnish with sprig of mint.

Boneta Restaurant, Vancouver BC
Serves: 1

Cinnamon infused El Jimador Reposado

Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Stirred and served on the rocks in a old fashioned glass
http://www.boneta.ca/

Barbara Sweetman, Caballeros Inc.
Serves: 1

dash Tabasco or Hot Sauce to taste

Mix all ingredients and chill. Serve in shot glasses along with Mezcal shots.

Dale DeGroff, King Cocktail
Serves: 1

Rim glass with mixture of Chili and Dutch Cocoa unsweetened chocolate.
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into rimmed glass.

Dori Bryant, Polished Palate
Serves: 1

Shake with ice and strain into Martini glass or pour over rocks in Highball glass.

Debra Argen, Luxury Experience
Serves: 1

Pineapple Juice, fresh squeezed

Lime Juice, fresh squeezed

Herb Infused Simple Sryup

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled ice filled rocks glass.
Garnish: Pineapple wedge and mint sprig
Herb infused simple syrup: in large saucepan add 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, sprig of dill, rosemary, mint & oregano. Bring to boil and simmer to dissolve sugar. Let cool and store in glass jar until ready for use.

Billy Maes, The Allley, Littleton, Colorado Serves : 1
5 sprigs Fresh Cilantro
1 pinch mild chili powder
1 oz Lime Juice
≤1 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Cuidado Blanco Tequila
≤1 oz Scorpion Silver Mezcal
≤1 oz Grand Mariner
1 sprig Cilantro (garnish)
1 lime wheel (garnish)


Muddle the 5 sprigs of cilantro in the bottom of a mixing tin. Add ice, then sprinkle in the chile powder. Add all the liquid ingredients and shake well. Rim the highball glass with smoky chili salt and fill with 1 large ice cube. Double strain this cocktail into the glass. Garnish with cilantro sprig and lime wheel.


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