How Texans Drink Mezcal

A mezcal cocktail from Credit: Thai Washington/Mezcaleria Mixtli

You came. You slawed. You conquered... too many damn puffy tacos — a fluffy fried corn masa shell, filled with picadillo  (ground beef) or shredded chicken, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, and guac that's a San Antonio mainstay. And now, it's time to wash down (or away) your day with a stiff drink. And as far as many Texans are concerned, that's with mezcal, tequila's on-the-rise, smoky cousin. 

In case you can't make it to Texas this Cinco de Mayo, here are four cocktails from the San Antonio bar scene to get you started with the distilled spirit. Just don't tell tequila you're cheating on it (or add tequila into the mix, too, for deep, nuanced flavor, and to quell any hard feelings).

The Mayahuel (pictured above) 

  • 1.5 oz Tequila Reposado
  • .5 oz Mestizo Mezcal Reposado
  • 1 bar spoon of spiced piloncillo syrup
  • 2 dashes angustura bitters
  • 1 drop of Maggi
To make the spiced piloncillo syrup:

  • 1 cup of piloncillo
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 Pasilla pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 quart water

Scrape vanilla beans off the pod, add to pot of water with all ingredients and simmer. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it steep for one hour. Strain. 

To make the cocktail, stir all ingredients in a glass with ice, then strain. Garnish with an orange peel.

Recipe courtesy of Mezcaleria Mixtli, owner and chef Diego Galicia

La Conquista 

  • 1.5 oz Montelobos Mezcal
  • .5 oz Licor 43
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • .5 oz Mesquite Bean Syrup or syrup of your choice
  • .5 oz egg white
  • Aztec chocolate bitters

Dry shake all ingredients then shake with ice.

Recipe courtesy of Mezcaleria Mixtli, owner and chef Diego Galicia

The San Antonio Mezcal Fizz 

  • 1 oz mezcal
  • 1 oz Cocoa nib cordial or your favorite liqueur
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 3/4 oz cream
  • Soda

Stir all ingredients and top with soda. Garnish with cayenne pepper sprinkled on top and an orange peel.

Recipe courtesy The Last Word, owner and bartender Jeret Pena

The Spanish Kiss 

  • 1 oz Vida Mezcal
  • 1 oz Bulliet Rye
  • .5 oz Benedictine
  • 3 dash Peychaud
  • 1 dash mole bitters

Stir and serve over ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

Recipe courtesy of Grayze, owner and chef James Moore and bartender Cassidy Collins