smoky pineapple mezcal margaritas with vanilla bean are the perfect fun cocktail to celebrate cinco de mayo! the smoke & bite of good mezcal is balanced with the natural sweetness of pineapple juice & vanilla bean. these pineapple mezcal margaritas are seriously easy to make, seriously elegant to serve, & seriously delicious!
happy cinco de mayo week!!!
i’m having such a hard time containing my excitement right now. i freakin’ love cinco de mayo. is there anything better than having a legit excuse to eat tacos all day, put guacamole on everything, & drink alllllll of the tequila?!?
answer: no. there isn’t.
to me, cinco de mayo marks the official start of summer. it’s summer’s first holiday, & its arrival means that long weekends for memorial day, 4th of july, & lakeside fun are in our very near futures. plus, cinco de mayo is one of those holidays that’s a pure celebration through food & drinks. it doesn’t get better than that!
& it goes without saying…mexican food is my favorite. guacamole is DEFINITELY my favorite. & margaritas? you guessed it. favesies.
yup. margaritas are 100%, absolutely, hands down, my favorite cocktail.
i’ve loved margaritas for just about as long as i can remember. back in high school i snuck my first alcoholic drink at an older cousin’s wedding (i know, bamf) & it was totally one of those super sweet frozen strawberry margaritas.
as an undergrad in milwaukee, my girlfriends & i would save up all of our bar money to shuttle downtown to a kiiiind of sketchy mexican restaurant, la perla, where we’d buy pitchers of cheap margaritas in every color & flavor imaginable & have the time of our lives.
these days, i like to stick with a paloma or a pretty classic margarita. good tequila, good triple sec, lots of lime, & lots of salt, on the rocks. they’re easy enough to whip together when we get home from work on a friday afternoon & need something to help celebrate the weekend’s arrival.
in the name of cinco de mayo, though, i wanted to switch things up & give you something something a little more special. we’re celebrating after all!
pineapple mezcal margaritas are the perfect way to step up your margarita game!
if you haven’t ventured into giving mezcal a try yet, you totally should.
i like to think of mezcal as tequila’s super cool cousin. without getting too technical about it, mezcal is made with largely the same ingredients of tequila, but uses agave that’s first been barbecued in pits in the ground. this imparts a rich, smoky flavor into mezcal & makes it really fun to play around with in cocktails at home.
because the smokiness of mezcal can be pretty intense, i knew i wanted to balance it out with some good, fruity sweetness. natural pineapple juice does just the trick.
from here, pineapple mezcal margaritas are similar to make as an ordinary margarita. you combine the smoky mezcal with sweet pineapple juice, a little triple sec, & lots of fresh squeezed lime juice.
smoky. sweet. tart. mmm…
again, in the name of stepping things up for cinco de mayo, i shook the pineapple mezcal margaritas with vanilla bean ice before serving. it sounds super fancy, but vanilla bean ice is beyond simple to make. you let a vanilla bean infuse in water overnight, before placing the water in an ice cube tray & freezing. that’s it!
you could totally omit this step, but i really love the vanilla here. it adds another layer of subtle sweetness to these pineapple mezcal margaritas. vanilla is also a natural pair for mezcal’s rich, smokiness.
plus, it creates the most beautiful speckled vanilla bean froth & the aroma is AMAZING.
see those vanilla bean specks? so beautiful! so tasty! #dying.
what are ya waiting for? go grab yourself a bottle of mezcal, get some vanilla ice going in the freezer, invite some friends over (& tell them to bring the guac), & whip up a batch of smoky pineapple mezcal margaritas!
check out the recipe for these pineapple mezcal margaritas below & tell me…what’s your favorite margarita!?! have you ever tried mezcal? what are your plans for cinco de mayo this year? let me know in the comments below…i’d obviously love to chat!! xx
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- 2 oz mezcal
- 3 oz pineapple juice
- 1.5 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz triple sec
- vanilla bean ice, for shaking (optional)
- 1 vanilla bean, split & seeded
- 2 C water
- slice a vanilla bean lengthwise & remove its beans with the back of a knife. place the pod & beans into a jar or glass with 2 C of water & allow the vanilla & water to infuse at room temperature overnight, or at least 6 hours prior to freezing.
- transfer the vanilla water to an ice cube tray & freeze.
- combine the mezcal, pineapple juice, lime juice, & triple sec into a cocktail shaker over vanilla bean ice.
- shake vigorously & serve garnished with a wedge or chunk of pineapple.