This Tamarind Cocktail combines smoky agave-based mezcal with tamarind syrup before the glass gets topped off with ginger beer. It’s a beautifully balanced cocktail that is super quick and easy to make (if you’ve got the tamarind syrup)… It’s always cocktail hour somewhere!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – Tamarind and Mezcal?
A few days ago, I published a recipe/post for tamarind syrup. To be perfectly transparent, it was my desire to create a tamarind mezcal cocktail recipe that drove the syrup recipe (not the other way ’round!). Of course I’ll be playing with the tamarind syrup for other recipes as well (a dessert perhaps?).
Mezcal can be a tricky spirit to work with. Artisanal mezcal, prepared in the traditional way, is cooked in earthen pits lined with lava rocks and filled with wood and charcoal before being distilled in clay pots. The resulting smokiness is a key flavor in mezcal. I have tasted many brands, and the intensity of the smokiness really varies. For more on mezcal, see A Guide to Mezcal.
As with this blood orange mezcal negroni, acidity and some type of sweetener temper the smokiness a bit, resulting in a well-balanced, but complex sipper. The tamarind syrup provides the sweet-tart component, while the spiciness and effervescence of the ginger beer rounds it out. I think you’re going to love this one!
What makes this cocktail a “mule?”
The classic “Moscow mule” is composed of vodka (hence “Moscow”), citrus (lime), and ginger beer. The “mule” is ostensibly due to the kick provided by the ginger beer. Over the decades, new mule variants appeared on the cocktail scene including “Kentucky mule” (with bourbon), “Caribbean mule” (with rum), and “Mexican mule” (with tequila).
I submit that my tamarind mezcal cocktail is a “mule,” but it seems no one is looking for a mezcal mule! All of the mule variations get topped off with ginger beer. I changed the title and name to try to get more eyeballs on this unique cocktail.
📋 Cocktail Ingredients
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- tamarind syrup – I highly recommend making homemade tamarind syrup, but there are commercially available brands like this Cortas Tamarind Syrup.
- mezcal – Choosing a bottle of mezcal can be overwhelming. There are 3 main types of mezcal – joven “young” mezcal (spends no time in oak barrels), reposado (spends 2-12 months in oak barrels), and añejo (aged 1 to 3 years in oak). You want to taste the agave, so stick with a joven mezcal. If you don’t love mezcal, try it with a reposada tequila!
- ginger beer – Ginger beer is intensely ginger-flavored, and ginger ale is not an acceptable substitute. You can choose between alcoholic and non-alcoholic ginger beer, and you’ll find some of them also come in “diet” or “light” versions. Any of these will work in this mezcal mule! Be sure to chill the ginger beer in advance.
- ice – You’ll need ice cubes to stir in the shaker to chill the syrup and the mezcal, as well as a preferably single large ice cube for each cocktail.
- garnishes – On photo day, I happened to have kiwi berries on hand. I garnished with the kiwi berries, lime twist, and mint leaves. A lime slice is another, simpler option. Be creative!
- Get everything ready – Assemble ingredients (tamarind syrup, mezcal, chilled ginger beer, garnishes, ice) and equipment (jigger, shaker, spoon, glasses).
- Make the cocktail – Add several ice cubes to the shaker, followed by the mezcal and tamarind syrup. Stir vigorously, then strain into rocks glasses with a single ice cube (or a few smaller cubes). Top off with chilled ginger beer, and garnish as desired.
Chill your ginger beer prior to making your cocktails so you don’t quickly melt your ice!
If you’re looking to up your cocktail “game,” with pretty garnishes, but don’t want to invest in more bar equipment, check out this Easy Cocktail Garnishes & Techniques video.
If you don’t mind spending a few bucks, this Microplane Bar Tool 7 in 1 includes a channel knife that’s great for twists and garnishes.
What kind of glasses are best for this cocktail?
How much ginger beer should I use?
What ginger beer do I recommend?
🧂 Useful Stuff
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If you love unique cocktails, don’t miss these unique Latin cocktails. We are really excited about this new cocktail! A Manhattan or a Sazerac are in the regular rotation; we’ll see if this one finds its way into the queue…
Tamarind Mezcal Mule
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- 1 ounce tamarind syrup
- 2 ounces mezcal
- ginger beer - to top off the glass
- garnishes - see post
- Get everything ready – Assemble ingredients and equipment.
- Make the cocktail – Add ice to the shaker, followed by the mezcal and tamarind syrup. Stir vigorously, then strain into rocks glasses. Top off with chilled ginger beer, and garnish as desired.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.