Smoky Mescal Margaritas
These smoky, tart and sweet Mescal Margaritas, made with Cuantro, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice have a salted rim with a surprising ingredient! You can whip up two of these delicious cocktails in less than 10 minutes making them perfect for your next Happy Hour!
Table of contents
- Why We Love This Smoky Margarita
- Key Ingredients For This Mescal Margarita
- Other Ingredients For This Recipe
- Step By Step Instructions For This Smoky Margarita
- FAQs and Expert Tips
- Additional Mexican Recipes To Try
Why We Love This Smoky Margarita
A couple years ago my mom and sister went to Oaxaca Mexico for Christmas and returned with gifts. One was edible crickets (or chapulines) which are salty and crunchy, and pretty unremarkable actually. They also brought back Sal de Gusano, which is made from ground dried worms from the agave plant. They are a traditional accompaniment to Mescal, which is a Mexican liquor made from the agave cactus.
I love the smooth smoke flavor of the mescal mixed with the sweet orange and Cuantro, and the bright acidity of the lime. Plus the salt and Sal de Gusano on the rim is so savory! Perfect for those folks who don’t love overly-sweet cocktails.
Key Ingredients For This Mescal Margarita
Mescal is similar to tequila, but its made from agave hearts that have been roasted in an earthen pit and are then fermented and distilled into liquor. The roasting gives the Mescal, complexity and distinctive smoky flavor.
Sal de Gusano
Sal de Gusano is made from ground chilies, salt and ground gusano (the worms themselves.) It is bright red, and coarsely ground. I know it sounds really bizarre, but it is absolutely delicious and when paired with the subtly sweet, smoky flavor of mescal and lime, it’s a perfect pairing indeed.
If you don’t have sal de gusano, use regular margarita salt mixed with a pinch or so of chipotle powder.
Fresh Lime and Orange Juice
Using freshly squeezed citrus juice makes a huge difference in the overall flavor of this cocktail.
Other Ingredients For This Recipe
- 1 tablespoon margarita salt
- 2 cups ice
- 2 ounce Cuantro
Step By Step Instructions For This Smoky Margarita
Step 1: Salt the rims of the glasses.
Run lime around the edges of two margarita glasses. Mix salt and Sal de Gusano (or chipotle powder) on a small plate. Dip rims of glasses into the salt mixture. Turn upright, add 1 cup ice to each glass and set aside.
Step 2: Juice the citrus.
Juice the lime. Peel two 2-inch long strips of orange peel off the orange. Juice the orange.
Step 3: Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over ice.
Combine the lime juice, the orange juice, mescal and Cuantro in a small pitcher or shaker. Stir to combine. Pour over the ice, without dislodging the salt.
Step 4: Char the orange peel and serve.
Char the orange peel with a lighter until just blackened along the edges. Float on top of the margaritas a
FAQs and Expert Tips
Tequila is made from agave that has been steamed in ovens and then distilled. Mescal is made from agave that is cooked in earthen pits lined with lava rocks and filled with wood before being distilled giving it that smoky flavor.
Typically a margarita is about 3 ounces of liquid with about 2 to 2 1/2 ounces being alcohol and the rest citrus juice and some water from ice melting.
A classic margarita is made of just 3 ingredients… tequila, orange liquor and lime juice.
Additional Mexican Recipes To Try
- This new recipe for Mexican Four Bean Salad is a crowd pleaser because it’s gluten-free and vegan, and made with avocado dressing!
- This would be a fun side to serve a crowd: Loaded Mexican Street Corn Sauté is an easy skillet variation of Mexican street corn made with frozen corn and topped with flavorful additions like pepitas, Cotija cheese, bacon, pickled jalapeños and cilantro.
- Mexican Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups with Avocado, jalapeno, cumin and cilantro in tender Bibb lettuce leaves. It is grain free and primal.
- Mexican Jicama Shrimp Salad: All I can say is calling this salad a twist on a taco salad is a bit of a disservice to this unique dish!
- One of my most popular recipes ever: These cheesy spicy Low Carb Mexican stuffed bell peppers come together in only 20 minutes for a low-carb, gluten-free and totally delicious weeknight meal.
- Or if you want peppers, but no-fuss, these Easy Mexican Sauteed Peppers make a great side for Grilled Chicken or tacos.
- These low-carb Mexican cauliflower patties are everything! They are the bee’s knees! They are gluten-free and vegetarian and will disappear in a flash they taste so good!
- Chicken Chilaquiles– a great weeknight meal that uses left-over chicken (or rotisserie chicken.) My kids love it!
- For squash season, you’ll have to try these Vegetarian Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash. They are memorable!
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
These smoky, tart and sweet Mescal Margaritas, made with Cuantro, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice have a salted rim with a surprising ingredient!
- 1 lime, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon margarita salt
- 1 teaspoon Sal de Gusano or just a pinch of chipotle chili powder, optional
- 2 cups ice
- 1 large navel orange
- 3 ounces mescal
- 2 ounce Cuantro
- Run lime around the edges of two margarita glasses. Mix salt and Sal de Gusano (or chipotle powder) on a small plate. Dip rims of glasses into the salt mixture. Turn upright, add 1 cup ice to each glass and set aside.
- Juice the lime. Peel two 2-inch long strips of orange peel off the orange. Juice the orange.
- Combine the lime juice, the orange juice, mescal and Cuantro in a small pitcher or shaker. Stir to combine. Pour over the ice, without dislodging the salt.
- Char the orange peel with a lighter until just blackened along the edges. Float on top of the margaritas and serve.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: cocktail
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 5oz
- Calories: 187
- Sugar: 4g
- Fat: 0g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 6.5g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0.5g
Keywords: Smoky Margarita,Mescal Margarita,Dried Worm Salt,Sal de Gusano