The first time I tried a cocktail with mezcal was five years ago on my birthday. I was single and loving it, and made a reservation for me and six of my girlfriends at a hip but affordable Mexican restaurant on the Lower East Side.
The cocktail list, naturally, had several iterations of margaritas: passion fruit margarita, strawberry margarita, and a mezcal margarita. What is that? I asked the waiter, and he said like tequila, it's made from the Mexican plant agave. But it has a smoky and rich taste. We ordered our fancy margaritas, and I decided I loved it.