If there’s one liquor that’s made its mark on the national cocktail scene over the past few years, it’s mezcal. A close cousin of tequila, most mezcals have a distinctive smoky flavor, thanks to their particular production method: roasting the hearts of the agave plants underground before mashing, fermenting and distilling them.
This smoke emerges beautifully in cocktails, including many of our favorite tequila drinks. Though there are many brands out there, here we’re using Fidencio Mezcal (available nationally). Fidencio is a great expression of traditional mezcal: earthy and smoky, with a strong character all its own, at a good price too. Here are three cocktails that highlight the spirit—both familiar and new.