The Margarita hardly needs an introduction. In its classic form, Tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau are served in a glass with a salted rim making a refreshing combination of sweet, salty, and sour. Traditionally, Margaritas call for Tequila Blanco, but, here, I’ve used a pineapple-infused Mezcal for sweet and smoky summertime cocktail.

Mezcal is the smokier cousin of Tequila. While both Tequila and Mezcal are made from the agave plant, Mezcal get its distinctive flavor during the production process. The hearts of the agave plant are roasted in pits and then fermented before being distilled into a complex spirit that channels smoky dried chiles, roasted coffee, and even leather.

Mezcal makes great cocktails and is absolutely killer when combined with roasted pineapple. The pineapple imparts a deep, caramelized flavor that compliments the smokiness of the Mezcal. And, the addition of bitters works some extra magic here by adding depth and balance to the big flavors of the mezcal and pineapple.

This is a cocktail that’s bitter yet sweet, smoky yet refreshing, and perfect for summer.

Ready to infuse? Let’s get started.

Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas
Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas

Recipe Breakdown

Summer fruit transforms spirits into amazingly flavorful cocktails. When infusing liquor look for juicy, almost overly ripe fruit to maximize the flavor extraction. Infuse at room temperature anywhere from 12 to 48 hours.

Infused spirits keep up to three months in the refrigerator.

How to Make Roasted Pineapple Infused Mezcal

Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margaritas

By Evan Kalman
Makes 1 drink

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 oz of roasted pineapple infused mezcal (recipe below)
  • 1 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 oz of Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz agave nectar
  • Dash of orange bitters
  • 1 lime wedge and 1 pineapple wedge for garnish

Steps

For the salt rim, pour the salt onto a small plate. Run the flesh side of the lime along the rim of a double rocks glass then carefully roll the rim through the salt to coat.

Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain into the glass over ice. Garnish with a wedge of lime and pineapple.

Roasted Pineapple Mezcal

By Evan Kalman
Yields 16 oz of infused mezcal

Ingredients

  • 12 oz very ripe pineapple
  • 16 oz of Mezcal

Steps

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Remove the top of the pineapple and slice into quarters. Remove the inner core and then trim away the outer skin. Dice into 1-inch chunks. Place the pineapple on a baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes (or until slightly charred). Let cool.

Combine 12 oz of pineapple and 16 oz mezcal in a 32-ounce Mason jar and shake for 30 seconds. Let sit at room temperature for 48 hours before straining through a cheesecloth. Keep in the refrigerator for up to three months.

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