Friday Happy Hour: Oaxacan Sunrise

We recently expanded our bar by adding a bottle of Mezcal, a smokey Mexican spirit closely related to Tequila.  Mezcal is delicious but not the easiest thing to mix into cocktails, and there are some (but not many) great Mezcal cocktail recipes out there to try.  So, we played around a bit and came out with (what we humbly think is) a fantastic Mezcal Sour – one that we’re calling a Oaxacan Sunrise.

Read below for the full recipe!

Oaxacan Sunrise

2 oz Mezcal
3/4 oz Pomegranate Liqueur
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Combine the ingredients and shake over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and enjoy.


Mezcal, like Tequila, is made in Mexico by fermenting and distilling the agave plant.  Mezcal, unlike Tequila, is made by first roasting the piña, or heart, of the agave plant in earth-covered pit ovens for a few days before fermenting.  This imparts a powerful, delicious smokiness that evokes Scotch whiskey, though Mezcal has a much deeper vegetal flavor.  It’s probably not for everyone, but it’s worth giving it a try.

Here’s what our Oaxacan Sunrise tastes like: smokey, vegetal and fruity, sweet and tart, delicious and refreshing.  It’s like a sweet tart campfire.  Mezcal is a strong flavor that can easily overpower a drink but we think we’ve found a pretty good balance here.  If you prefer a sweeter drink, you could replace the pomegranate liqueur with pomegranate molasses or grenadine, but the tartness of this recipe helps to keep the smokiness of the Mezcal under control.


We haven’t tried it with this recipe, but we’ve had great success with Mezcal Flips at some of our favorite local watering holes.  If you’re feeling adventurous and want to turn this into a Flip, add about half a raw egg or egg white to the mix and shake nice and hard to blend smoothly.  It won’t affect the flavor much, but the resulting texture will be rich and silky.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

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