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Seattle Wine Awards


Smokey Margarita

by Brian Livesay
Beverage Operations Manager, The Matador

While The Matador features many new and exciting mezcal cocktails at the mezcaleria in their new Ballard location, this drink was their original mezcal margarita and has been a guest favorite on the menus at all of Matador locations for years. Their classic Smokey Margarita is easy to make and features a charred pineapple syrup to complement the smoky agave fruit notes in the mezcal. It's a great starter mezcal cocktail that anyone from the novice mezcal drinker up to the serious aficionado can enjoy.

Smokey Margarita:

  • 1.75 ounces of any quality, joven Espadín mezcal. Some of our favorites are 400 Conejos, Ilegal, Sombra, Agave de Cortez, or Union.
  • 0.75 ounces quality triple sec orange liqueur
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice. (Fresh lime juice is best but a pasteurized, bottled juice is OK so long as it is un-sweetened! Only use 100% real juice with no added sugar!)
  • 1 oz Charred Pineapple syrup (recipe to follow)
  • Tajin - a popular Mexican seasoning blend of sea salt, chiles, and lime. It's a zesty, citrusy, slightly spicy seasoned salt and it is amazing with mezcal and fruit-based drinks.

Charred Pineapple Syrup:

  • Cut 1 pound of fresh pineapple into planks about 1" thick. Place on grill (or under oven broiler) and cook until 50% of the surface area has been blackened - about 5 minutes per side.
  • While pineapple is grilling, place 3 cups of pineapple juice, 1-1/2 tsp paprika, and 1-1/2 tsp chile powder in a sauce pan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in 3 cups of sugar.
  • · Put grilled pineapple pieces and pineapple syrup into a blender and pulse for 20-30 seconds until fruit chunks have been fully pureed.


1. Fill a 16 oz glass with ice.

2. Add mezcal, triple sec, lime juice, and pineapple syrup.

3. Cap with a shaker and shake very hard for 5 seconds.

4. Rim glass with Tajin and pour drink from shaker back into rimmed glass.

5. Garnish with a lime or pineapple wedge and more Tajin

June 2021

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