Change up your margarita game with a smoky, pineapple mezcal margarita. The sweetness of the pineapple balances the smoke of the mezcal in this margarita recipe. Makes 2 margaritas.
This past May, I went to a friend’s bachelorette party in Minneapolis. Of course, I wanted to go to a super awesome restaurant while we were there. We ended up at this one, and I had the best smoky pineapple margarita, complete with grilled pineapple. I immediately knew I wanted to recreate it, so I bought my own bottle of mezcal when I got back. Unfortunately, making grilled pineapple syrup is just too much for me right now. I even bought fresh pineapples to make it, and they almost ended up going bad. I started playing around with simpler versions of for the recipe, and I tried out a few other cocktails while I was at it.
I made a few regular mezcal margaritas. I even tried a raspberry one, but I still loved how the mezcal paired so well with the sweetness of the pineapple the most. And after a few nights of margarita testing (not the worst part of my job), I came up with the perfect formula for a pineapple mezcal margarita.
What is the Mexican drink mezcal?
While we were recipe testing, I also had quite a bit of fun researching the differences between mezcal and tequila. Both are made from the agave plant, but unlike tequila, mezcal doesn’t have to be made in a specific region or from a specific type of agave. Mezcal is also produced using a traditional technique in underground roasting pits, which give it its unique, smoky flavor. There are more variations that can go into making it, but those are the basic differences between the two liquors.
This is the bottle of mezcal I bought. It was a little on the pricier side, but it was the only bottle my liquor store carries. It’s also pretty strong stuff at about 48% alcohol.
How are you supposed to drink mezcal?
You can enjoy mezcal in many ways. Other than these pineapple margaritas, mezcal would be perfect paired with citrus, such as orange or grapefruit. A mezcal paloma would be delicious, and so would this orange based mezcal sunset. I’m also planning to try it in a mule. Some also say it’s great on its own, like a scotch, but I’m not brave enough to try it myself.
How to make a pineapple mezcal margarita
These margaritas are super easy to make. You basically just throw everything into the cocktail shaker with ice and shake away. The best part about this recipe is that all the measurements can me made with a single tool, and you don’t need to do any math (unless you want to double it). I also love that you get 2 margaritas with an exact can of pineapple juice, so there’s no waste. If you’re using fresh pineapple juice, more power to you, but you’ll have to measure.
Be sure to salt you rim before doing anything else. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to dump my ice before straining the cocktails because I forgot to salt the rim. I hope you’re not as forgetful as me, but just in case, do it now. Fill them up with ice, and get mixing.
Make sure you shake until you cocktail shaker is super cold. I like to do it until my hands can’t handle it anymore, or until the outside is nice and frosted.
Pineapple mezcal margarita essentials:
- Cocktail shaker
- Glasses (you could also use traditional margarita or martini glasses)
- Pineapple picks (totally optional, but fun)
For the margaritas:
- 2 jiggers mezcal
- 1 jigger silver tequila
- 1 jigger triple sec
- 1 jigger lime juice
- 4 jiggers pineapple juice (1 6-ounce can)
- Coarse salt
- Lime slices
- Pineapple picks
- Combine margarita ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until very cold.
- Strain into salted margarita glasses filled with ice. Garish with lime slices and pineapple picks.