• Jarnard Sutton

Must-try mezcal cocktails for Spring in San Diego

More than 400 years ago, the smoky spirit we’ve grown to know and love was born: Mezcal. Beloved for its complex flavor profile and ability to add zing to the average Joe of cocktails, this lively spirit is the raspy jazz voice of the cocktail realm, lending its smooth yet biting qualities to yield dynamic creations. Check out these must-try cocktails around San Diego showcasing the unique spirit!

Long-beloved for its offering of expertly crafted cocktails, Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas is the area’s go-to for an innovative concoction matched with modern-meets-coastal flair. Delight in their Vernita Green, characterized by its vibrant green aesthetic and infused with Pasilla-infused mezcal, Verdita and Ancho Reyes Verde, bestowing a tangy, fresh and spicy profile indicative of its standout blend of flavors.

With over 10 years of business under its belt, Pacific Beach AleHouse is rightly considered a quintessential Pacific Beach destination, and as such, has honed it menu to reflect the area’s ever-evolving and eclectic crowds. Try your hand at their Mezcal Me Maybe, a heat-packed libation not for the faint of heart. Savor the smokiness of this illustrious creation through its intermingling of Ilegal Mezcal Joven, cilantro simple syrup, jalapeño, honey water, orange juice and lime. Be sure to sip as you watch the sun go down over the Pacific on their scenic top deck!

Bathe your taste buds in one of Jalisco Cantina’s cutting-edge cocktails when you head to Oceanside, and be sure to order their Pantera Rosa, a kickin’ concoction prepared with blanco, mezcal, lime, lemon, rhubarb, blood orange, ginger and foam. Showcasing the versatility of mezcal, this cocktail delivers resplendent floral and citrus notes, while maintaining the smoky element exhibited by the addition of mezcal.

Turn up the heat at The Smoking Gun in the Gaslamp District, and treat your senses to their Hot Chilaka, packed with mezcal intermingled with St. George Green Chili Vodka, lime, fresh pineapple, Firewater bitters and soda. A fizzy blend of fiery ingredients matched with the location’s energetic feel, this is a mezcal go-to for those heat-seeking San Diegans looking for a friendly game of ping pong or foosball Downtown.

Situated in Pacific Beach, Backyard Kitchen & Tap is up-to-snuff on the mezcal trend, slinging a mezcal creation that pairs seamlessly with the location’s close vicinity to the shoreline. Behold their Berry Bueno, built from Ilegal Mezcal, berry puree, agave, lime juice, and finished with a tajin rim. This cocktail is characterized by its fruit-forward and smoky demeanor, making it a dreamy accompaniment to any day spent in Pacific Beach.

Mezcal is on the rise, folks, and there’s a reason. This standout spirit is one you have to try to understand the hype – it’s worth it!

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