When I was a little girl a family member, who happened to be an adult cousin came to visit us in California. He brought with him a bottle; that I thought was a bottle of gold liquid with a “disgusting” worm in it. He tortured me unknowingly each time I watched him sip the liquid straight from the bottle. I imagined that he would soon get to the bottom and inevitably in all my horror, swallow that worm! I grew up many years later and graduated from calling this liquor “the tequila with the worm” to its proper name, Mezcal, or more traditionally mescal. The argument about the “distinct” differences between Tequila and Mezcal can go on for days. Just know this Tequila can only be made from one distinct agave plant, blue agave, while Mezcal can be made from a variety of agave. To be truthful Tequila is a type of Mezcal. I know it gets confusing, but who cares, lets get to the fun part.
So we get to the important part, why is that worm in the bottle? That worm is a moth larva known as a Maguey worm; I know sounds delicious. The reason for the worm in the bottle happens to be a combination of reasons; I will make this simple and short as the reasons dance around taste, luck and alcohol potency. I can say that as an adult with an expanded palate I have grown to enjoy a good Mezcal. I just recently started experimenting with different renditions of cocktails that contain Mezcal and I must say my favorite is the one featured above.
The Chili Salt Mango Mezcal, its a long ass name but well worth its weight. Its simple and absolutely delicious. All you need is one cup mango nectar which needs to be combined with 2-3 ounces of Mezcal and placed in a shaker with ice. In a saucer combine ground chili powder and salt for the rim of your glass. Use a sliced lemon to rim the glass and dip the glass generously into the chili salt mixture. Pour in the shaken mango Mezcal mixture and if desired add 2-3 drops of lime bitters. Serve with a little mint on top and your done!
This cocktail is perfect for taco night and is easily made in large batches for parties. I hope you enjoy and maybe you’ll get the worm.
- Mango Nectar (1 cup)
- Mezcal (2-3 oz)
- Chili Powder
- Lime Bitters (2-3 drops)
- Mint (for show)