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These smoky, tart and sweet Mescal Margaritas, made with Cuantro, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice have a salted rim with a surprising ingredient!

These smoky, tart and sweet Mescal Margaritas, made with Cuantro, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice have a salted rim with a surprising ingredient! #mescal #margarita #smoky #summer #cocktail #lime #orange

A couple years ago my mom and sister went to Oaxaca Mexico for Christmas. When they returned, they were bearing gifts. A couple of which were edible. But the excitement quickly turned to angst when the edible crickets (or chapulines) came out of the wrapping. “They’re yummy!” Jessie said, and popped one in her mouth. Then my step father had one. After a considerable amount of reassurance, I tried one. It was salty and crunchy, and pretty unremarkable actually.

They had 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.

Backing up, Mescal is similar to tequila, but it made from roasted agave hearts which are then fermented and distilled into liquor. The roasting gives the Mescal, complexity and distinctive smoky flavor.

These smoky, tart and sweet Mescal Margaritas, made with Cuantro, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice have a salted rim with a surprising ingredient! #mescal #margarita #smoky #summer #cocktail #lime #orange

So anyway, the 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.

 

When Kate asked if I’d like to join in this year’s Margarita Week party, I knew I’d have to bust out my Sal de Gusano seasoning, and track down a bottle of Mescal.

Here in Vermont, we don’t see a ton of Mescal in the liquor stores, so we actually made a special trip to the back room at the Beverage Warehouse. I had heard about this mythological place, but had never really had a reason to ask to go back there. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that it was really easy to get permission to go back there. I was expecting to need to know a secret knock or something. But all I had to do was say, “What kind of Mescal do you have?” and presto, back they took us.

These smoky, tart and sweet Mescal Margaritas, made with Cuantro, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice have a salted rim with a surprising ingredient! #mescal #margarita #smoky #summer #cocktail #lime #orange

Indeed they had quite a selection of Mescals. The employee at the Beverage Warehouse said that’s where they keep the stocks for the restaurants and bars. Apparently Mescal is hot right now in craft cocktails. I would know this if I ever left my house after 6 pm. Which I don’t.

These smoky, tart and sweet Mescal Margaritas, made with Cuantro, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice have a salted rim with a surprising ingredient! #mescal #margarita #cocktail #cincodemayo #vegan #lime #mexican

So then came mixology time. And I have to say the earlier versions of this cocktail were hair-raising. Jase (and a neighbor who came for a taste test) both said it was so strong it made the hair on their arms stand on end! So I kept working and I am so happy with the blend now. The key was to balance the lime with freshly squeezed orange juice.

I love the smooth smoke flavor of the mescal (which comes from the fact that mescal is made agave that has been roasted in an earthen pit) 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.

These smoky, tart and sweet Mescal Margaritas, made with Cuantro, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice have a salted rim with a surprising ingredient! #mescal #margarita #cocktail #cincodemayo #vegan #lime #mexican

Tip: If you don’t have sal de gusano, use regular margarita salt mixed with a pinch or so of chipotle powder.

 

Some Mexican Recipes To Try With These Margaritas

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!

 

QUESTIONS:

Have you ever eaten crickets or worms?

Do you bring back food when you visit a foreign country?

Have you tried mescal in a craft cocktail?

smoky mescal margaritas
Rate this recipe
2 ratings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Category: cocktail

Cuisine: American

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 5oz

Calories per serving: 187

Fat per serving: 0g

Saturated fat per serving: 0g

Carbs per serving: 6.5g

Protein per serving: 0.5g

Fiber per serving: 0g

Sugar per serving: 4g

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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Juice the lime. Peel two 2-inch long strips of orange peel off the orange. Juice the orange.
  3. 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.
  4. Char the orange peel with a lighter until just blackened along the edges. Float on top of the margaritas and serve.
https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/smoky-mescal-margaritas/

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