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This mezcal sour is a refreshing and approachable way to enjoy the taste of mezcal. It's balanced, smoky, and smooth with the familiar tartness of a sour cocktail. It's made with just four ingredients, and it's ready in 5 minutes!
Mezcal is one of our favorite spirits, and this mezcal sour tops the list of sour cocktail recipes. It's the subtle combination of smoky, sweet, and sour that really does it for us. If you like a whiskey sour or a bourbon sour, you'll swoon over this mezcal version!
It's quick and easy to make and you don't need any fancy ingredients or equipment. Just a mason jar or cocktail shaker, some ice, and four simple ingredients. Shake, shake, shake it all with some ice to create a nice foam, then strain it into a chilled coupe glass.
Shake up this refreshing mezcal sour at happy hour, on Mexican night, or to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. It's a delightful sip for any occasion, any time of year!
Mezcal sour ingredients
A sour cocktail typically consists of a spirit, an acid, and a sweetener. Some also include cocktail foamer or an egg white for that classic foamy top. Here are the four main ingredients you need to make this mezcal sour recipe:
- Mezcal – much like a good tequila or whiskey, mezcal has a range of tasting notes. We recommend choosing one that's 45% proof or less. They're a bit smoother with less ‘burn' and make a great cocktail.
- Fresh lemon juice – when it comes to cocktails, fresh citrus juice is best. You can also use fresh lime juice in a pinch.
- Agave – this authentic Mexican sweetener balances out the bitterness of this drink. Honey makes a great substitute if you don't have any agave.
- Cocktail foamer – we're big fans of cocktail foamer because it's easy to use and gives us that nice frothy mouthfeel and lusciously creamy foam finish we're after. A raw egg white also works perfectly well!
- Dried citrus wheel, lemon slice, or strip of lemon – optional, for garnish.
How to make a mezcal sour
A mezcal sour is an easy refreshing drink for Mexican night, happy hour, or anytime you're after a tangy cocktail. Let's make one!
- Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker or mason jar.
- Shake, shake, shake until you get a nice white foam.
- Strain it with a fine-mesh sieve into a coupe glass and garnish before serving!
How to make dried citrus wheels
In the pictures, we garnish our mezcal sour with a dried citrus wheel which is easy to make and worth the extra bit of effort if you're planning on serving a few of these to a crowd.
Simply thinly slice lemon or limes and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Turn your oven to the lowest temperature it will go – ours is 170 degrees Fahrenheit. They will take a few hours to dehydrate and you'll want to keep a close eye on them at the end. Once they look dry, remove them from the oven. They'll crisp up when they cool. If any are still pliable when they're cool, put them back into the oven to dry a little longer.
Dried citrus wheels keep for eons in your pantry. We like to store them stacked in 1 cup mason jars. While you can usually find them in the grocery store, they're quite pricey which is why we tend to make them ourselves.
Use them to decorate cocktails, cakes, cookies, and more. You can even string them together with twine to decorate your home around the holidays!
When to serve a mezcal sour
This mezcal sour cocktail is one of the best ways to enjoy mezcal, regardless of the season. It's bright and refreshing for spring and summer, with the perfect blend of smokiness that feels more fall and winter. Basically, there's no wrong time to enjoy a mezcal sour so shake one up and serve it at your next happy hour.
It's also the perfect cocktail to celebrate special holidays like Cinco de Mayo or Dìa de Los Muertos!
Should I use bitters in this sour?
Because the mezcal is already quite a complex spirit, we omit the bitters in this sour cocktail recipe. That said, if you'd like to add a few drops of Angostura bitters for an extra zip of flavor, you certainly can.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Because of the foamy head, this is a cocktail you want to make immediately before serving. Luckily, it's very simple to make.
Can I use a different sweetener?
We use agave syrup as it blends easily into the drink. If you want to use honey or sugar, you'll need to first need to dissolve it in a small amount of hot water.
- 2 ounces mezcal
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 ounce agave
- Cocktail foamer (or egg white)
- Dried citrus, lemon slice, or strip of lemon peel (to serve)
- Add a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker or mason jar and then add the mezcal, lemon juice, agave syrup, and cocktail foamer or egg white.2 ounces mezcal, 1 ounce lemon juice, 1 ounce agave, Cocktail foamer
- Put the lid on tightly then shake hard for at least 30 seconds to create foam.
- Strain into a coupe glass then garnish with a dried citrus wheel, a slice of lemon, or a strip of lemon peel.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.