If you’d rather moderate your first experience with mezcal, try it in these cocktails:

Mezcal Margarita
Chef Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill/Topolobambo, Chicago

Mix together in a pitcher: 2 cups lime juice, 1 cup water, and 1 cup sugar. Stir in 9 ounces Chichicapa, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon bitters. Serve over ice.

Jimmy’s Bloody Bull
Jimmy Yeager, Jimmy’s – An American Restaurant and Bar, Aspen

2 ounces Santo Domingo Albarradas, 6 ounces tomato juice, and the following to taste: Tabasco sauce, celery salt, pepper, Worstershire sauce, and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Del Maguey Mezcal Martini
Chef Grady Spears, The Chisolm Club, Fort Worth

Using only your favorite Del Maguey Mezcal (we suggest Santo Domingo Albarradas) in a martini shaker with big cubes of ice, shake briskly and pour into a chilled martini glass with two jalapeno-stuffed olives.

For more cocktails and recipes for mezcal-laced foods, visit www.mezcal.com. —