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Madrina's Wild Mind cocktail
Madrina's Wild Mind cocktail
Katy Norris

10 Mezcal Drinks to Sip Right Now in Dallas

Get familiar with tequila's smokier, more complex cousin.

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Madrina's Wild Mind cocktail
| Katy Norris

Mezcal is having a moment, to say the least. Over the last several years, mezcal sales in the United States have risen dramatically — nearly 48% between 2007 and 2011 — and the trend continues to persist. The process of making mezcal is similar to that of its agave-based cousin tequila, but there's one key difference: the agave is smoked before it is distilled. The resulting spirit is smoky and complex, yet lighter than something like say, scotch.

Mezcal has recently become prevalent on cocktail menus across Dallas, which makes total sense — it is of course the margarita capitol of the world, and we love smoked things (hello, barbecue). While a good mezcal is more than worthy of sipping solo, it can also make for some seriously intriguing cocktails. Here are 10 worth sampling, whether you're already an avowed mezcal fan or looking to expand your cocktail horizons.

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El Bolero

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If you enjoy a good whiskey sour and are up for something new, get thee to El Bolero. The Mi Hermano cocktail is a mezcal-based take on this classic drink, and it's a clever substitution: The classic and simple mix of egg white, lemon, and agave lets the flavor of the excellent Illegal mezcal shine through.
Kyla Davidson
Bolsa's thoughtful cocktail program has long had a stellar reputation, and one sip of The Impeachment will show you why. Texas peach-infused El Senorio Extra Reposado mezcal is mixed with herbal quinquina, tiki bitters, and lemon for a complex sip that somehow also manages to be impossibly drinkable.
Bolsa
You’ll have to ask for the Mestizo mezcal upgrade, but the Smokin’ Clementine at Komali is a must-drink. The freshly-made jalapeno-tangerine puree in this signature drink is sweet and spicy, which works extremely well with the smoky spirit. Lime juice and a little Cointreau round it all out.
Komali

Madrina

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Half of the cocktail menu at Madrina is dedicated to agave-based spirits, and mezcal makes a few stunning appearances. If you're feeling adventurous, try the Wild Mind. This cocktail is mixed with blanco tequila and top-notch mezcal, and made seriously interesting with the addition of rich creme de cacao and grapefruit. It's sort of like a chocolate-covered orange, only it'll get you drunk. Score.
Kyla Davidson

Meso Maya

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Tequila and mezcal are excellent bedfellows, especially when you add in more of Mexico’s signature flavors. On your next trip to Meso Maya, ditch the usual boring frozen margaritas and order up the Azul y Verde, mixed with Gracias a Dios Mescal Jovan Espadin, tequila blanco, fresh pineapple, and muddled serrano pepper with cilantro. With all that fruit and veg it's got to be healthy, right?
Meso Maya

Mexican Sugar

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You’ll have to drive to Plano, but the Benito Juarez is definitely worth the trip. Mixed with super-premium Del Maguey Vida mezcal, orange juice, lime, honey, and Gran Gala (orange) liqueur, it’s a fruity, grown-up margarita that benefits a great deal from the smoke in that mescal.
Garrett Hall

Parliament

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There’s a story behind every cocktail crafted by Eddie “Lucky” Campbell, and The Last Word-ish is no exception. Inspired by legendary New York barman Phil Ward, this cocktail is a riff on the Prohibition-era libation The Last Word. Campbell mixes mezcal with egg white, lime, and green Chartreuse to replicate the drink’s original flavors. Then, he flips the whole thing on its head by adding in basil, cucumber, and black pepper. Just try it — it might not make any sense, but it’s delicious.
Kyla Davidson

Proof + Pantry

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Barman Michael Martensen is quite the fan of mezcal, but it doesn’t make too many appearances on the light and fresh menu at Proof + Pantry. When it does, though, as in the Ayo cocktail, it makes a serious impression. Single Village mezcal is mixed with spicy Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, Aztec bitters, and a healthy glug of Topo Chico. The combination of spice and smoke might be a little heavy for dinner, so choose this cocktail while you’re waiting for the starters to arrive.
Korri Kopsi

Public School 214

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Mezcal newbies can be intimidated by the smokiness factor, but Public School 214 is happy to teach you Mezcal 101 with its Yellow Smoke cocktail. Pineapple juice and serrano pepper add sweetness and spice to the Alipus mezcal, and you’ll be surprised just how smoothly one (or three) of these go down.
PS214

Le Taco Cantina

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The Shell Shocked at Le Taco isn’t like any other mezcal drink in Dallas. For starters, the mezcal is mixed with aged rum and Malibu in an odd sort of tiki twist, then mixed with pineapple and papaya juices along with coconut cream. The resulting cocktail is beachier than you can imagine, but is by no means an “umbrella drink.” A tapioca pearl garnish adds tasty texture, especially if you’re into boba tea.
Le Taco Cantina

El Bolero

Kyla Davidson
If you enjoy a good whiskey sour and are up for something new, get thee to El Bolero. The Mi Hermano cocktail is a mezcal-based take on this classic drink, and it's a clever substitution: The classic and simple mix of egg white, lemon, and agave lets the flavor of the excellent Illegal mezcal shine through.
Kyla Davidson

Bolsa

Bolsa
Bolsa's thoughtful cocktail program has long had a stellar reputation, and one sip of The Impeachment will show you why. Texas peach-infused El Senorio Extra Reposado mezcal is mixed with herbal quinquina, tiki bitters, and lemon for a complex sip that somehow also manages to be impossibly drinkable.
Bolsa

Komali

Komali
You’ll have to ask for the Mestizo mezcal upgrade, but the Smokin’ Clementine at Komali is a must-drink. The freshly-made jalapeno-tangerine puree in this signature drink is sweet and spicy, which works extremely well with the smoky spirit. Lime juice and a little Cointreau round it all out.
Komali

Madrina

Kyla Davidson
Half of the cocktail menu at Madrina is dedicated to agave-based spirits, and mezcal makes a few stunning appearances. If you're feeling adventurous, try the Wild Mind. This cocktail is mixed with blanco tequila and top-notch mezcal, and made seriously interesting with the addition of rich creme de cacao and grapefruit. It's sort of like a chocolate-covered orange, only it'll get you drunk. Score.
Kyla Davidson

Meso Maya

Meso Maya
Tequila and mezcal are excellent bedfellows, especially when you add in more of Mexico’s signature flavors. On your next trip to Meso Maya, ditch the usual boring frozen margaritas and order up the Azul y Verde, mixed with Gracias a Dios Mescal Jovan Espadin, tequila blanco, fresh pineapple, and muddled serrano pepper with cilantro. With all that fruit and veg it's got to be healthy, right?
Meso Maya

Mexican Sugar

Garrett Hall
You’ll have to drive to Plano, but the Benito Juarez is definitely worth the trip. Mixed with super-premium Del Maguey Vida mezcal, orange juice, lime, honey, and Gran Gala (orange) liqueur, it’s a fruity, grown-up margarita that benefits a great deal from the smoke in that mescal.
Garrett Hall

Parliament

Kyla Davidson
There’s a story behind every cocktail crafted by Eddie “Lucky” Campbell, and The Last Word-ish is no exception. Inspired by legendary New York barman Phil Ward, this cocktail is a riff on the Prohibition-era libation The Last Word. Campbell mixes mezcal with egg white, lime, and green Chartreuse to replicate the drink’s original flavors. Then, he flips the whole thing on its head by adding in basil, cucumber, and black pepper. Just try it — it might not make any sense, but it’s delicious.
Kyla Davidson

Proof + Pantry

Korri Kopsi
Barman Michael Martensen is quite the fan of mezcal, but it doesn’t make too many appearances on the light and fresh menu at Proof + Pantry. When it does, though, as in the Ayo cocktail, it makes a serious impression. Single Village mezcal is mixed with spicy Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, Aztec bitters, and a healthy glug of Topo Chico. The combination of spice and smoke might be a little heavy for dinner, so choose this cocktail while you’re waiting for the starters to arrive.
Korri Kopsi

Public School 214

PS214
Mezcal newbies can be intimidated by the smokiness factor, but Public School 214 is happy to teach you Mezcal 101 with its Yellow Smoke cocktail. Pineapple juice and serrano pepper add sweetness and spice to the Alipus mezcal, and you’ll be surprised just how smoothly one (or three) of these go down.
PS214

Le Taco Cantina

Le Taco Cantina
The Shell Shocked at Le Taco isn’t like any other mezcal drink in Dallas. For starters, the mezcal is mixed with aged rum and Malibu in an odd sort of tiki twist, then mixed with pineapple and papaya juices along with coconut cream. The resulting cocktail is beachier than you can imagine, but is by no means an “umbrella drink.” A tapioca pearl garnish adds tasty texture, especially if you’re into boba tea.
Le Taco Cantina

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