Mezcal consumption has grown rapidly over the past decade, and the thirst for the agave spirit shows no signs of slowing. In 2021, U.S. spending on mezcal grew 53 percent in value, while the spirit made its way into just about every classic cocktail template, from Negronis to Martinis; it also continued its reign in modern classics like the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned. This year, for the first time, bartenders surveyed by Punch listed mezcal picks as essentials in their wells, a testament to the growing popularity, and stateside accessibility, of the spirit.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to mix with mezcal. Some recipes, like Employees Only’s Mezcal Margarita, simply swap the spirit in for tequila, while others, like the Fumata Bianca, build something entirely new, calling on the ingredient to lend its signature profile between layers of flavor. Take a crash course on the spirit, then find 15 of our favorite easy mezcal cocktail recipes below.