Mezcal, a distilled agave spirit from Mexico, may not have the popularity of tequila, but with National Mezcal Day on October 21st, it’s time to take a second look at this spirit.

Mezcal originated in western Mexico almost half a century ago and has spread across Mexico and the world. Mezcal has a much earthier, smokier taste than tequila, and can be enjoyed straight or in many different cocktails.

Saveur magazine breaks down the difference between tequila and mezcal and recommendations for which make the best mixers and which should be sipped in this article from May.

Ready to try mezcal? Check out a few of the recipes from Saveur’s collection of 15 mezcal cocktails.

Grilled Pineapple Margarita
1 1-inch pineapple round
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz pineapple juice
3/4 agave syrup
1 oz mezcal
1 oz silver tequila

1 lime wheel for garnish
Grill pineapple wheel as desired, cut into 4 pieces. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together lime juice, pineapple juice, agave, and 3 chunks grilled pineapple. Add mezcal, tequila, and ice; shake well. Strain into a glass over ice. Garnish with remaining grilled pineapple chunk and a lime wheel.

Rising Sun
1.5 oz mezcal
3/4 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz maraschino
Pinch of sale
Lime wheel to garnish

Combine all ingredients, garnish with lime wheel.

More background on mezcal can be found here, then pick up a copy of High-Proof PDX to learn more about local places where you can get a mezcal cocktail.
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