Oaxaca Smash


Photo of author
Written By cocktailflavors.com
Oaxaca Smash_001

Introduction to the Oaxaca Smash

Welcome to the world of the Oaxaca Smash, a cocktail that tantalizes the taste buds with its unique blend of smoky and citrus flavors. This mezcal-based drink is a modern twist on the classic whiskey smash, offering a refreshing and complex taste profile. Perfect for those who appreciate a cocktail with depth, the Oaxaca Smash is sure to become a favorite.

The key to this cocktail lies in its high-quality ingredients and the balance of smokiness from the mezcal with the freshness of mint and lime. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a curious beginner, this guide will help you craft the perfect Oaxaca Smash.

Let’s dive into the essence of this delightful concoction and discover why it’s more than just a drink—it’s an experience.

Key Facts About the Oaxaca Smash

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 22% ABV
  • Calories: Approximately 200 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 12 g
  • Preferred Glass: Rocks glass
  • Typical Garnish: Mint sprig

Interesting Facts about the Oaxaca Smash

  • The Oaxaca Smash is a testament to the versatility of mezcal, showcasing its ability to play well with both sweet and herbal ingredients.
  • Despite its recent popularity, the cocktail maintains a timeless quality, reminiscent of classic speakeasy favorites.
  • Its name pays homage to Oaxaca, Mexico, a region known for its rich tradition of mezcal production.

Oaxaca Smash Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Oaxaca Smash is a symphony of flavors, with the smoky notes of mezcal harmonizing with the zesty lime and the subtle sweetness of agave syrup. The fresh mint adds a cooling undertone, making it an ideal choice for warm weather or as a palate cleanser.

This cocktail appeals to those who enjoy a bold drink with a hint of sweetness. It’s perfect for summer gatherings, outdoor barbecues, or simply as a refreshing end to a long day. The Oaxaca Smash is versatile and can be enjoyed on a variety of occasions.

Its robust flavor profile also makes it a great conversation starter, ideal for social events where unique and memorable drinks are appreciated.

History of the Oaxaca Smash

The Oaxaca Smash is a relatively new addition to the cocktail scene, but its roots are deeply connected to the history of mezcal. Mezcal, often overshadowed by its cousin tequila, has been distilled in Mexico for centuries, with Oaxaca being the epicenter of its production.

The cocktail itself is a variation of the whiskey smash, which dates back to the 19th century. The substitution of mezcal for whiskey gives the Oaxaca Smash a distinctive twist, reflecting the growing interest in artisanal and craft spirits.

As mezcal has gained popularity, bartenders have experimented with its smoky flavor, leading to the creation of the Oaxaca Smash. This drink is a celebration of modern mixology’s creativity and respect for tradition.

Oaxaca Smash Ingredients

  • Mezcal (2 oz / 60 ml): The heart of the cocktail, providing a smoky base.
  • Fresh lime juice (3/4 oz / 22 ml): Adds a bright, acidic component.
  • Agave syrup (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Balances the acidity with its natural sweetness.
  • Fresh mint leaves (6-8): Contribute a refreshing herbal note.
  • Crushed ice: Chills the drink and dilutes it to the perfect strength.
  • Mint sprig: Used for garnish, enhancing both the aroma and presentation.

Did you know? The Oaxaca Smash can be tailored to individual tastes by adjusting the agave syrup and lime juice ratios.

Preparing Oaxaca Smash

Oaxaca Smash Method

Muddling the Ingredients

Begin by gently muddling the mint leaves with agave syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. This process releases the mint’s essential oils, infusing the drink with flavor.

Adding the Mezcal

After muddling, add the mezcal to the shaker. The quality of mezcal used can significantly impact the cocktail’s taste, so choose wisely.

Shaking the Cocktail

Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Shaking not only chills the drink but also ensures that all the ingredients are well combined.

Straining and Serving

Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. The crushed ice will continue to chill the drink as it’s enjoyed.


Finally, garnish with a sprig of mint. The garnish is not just decorative; it also adds a fresh aroma with each sip.

Serving Suggestion

The Oaxaca Smash is best served in a rocks glass, which allows the drink’s aromas to concentrate and enhances the overall tasting experience. The wide opening of the glass also showcases the garnish beautifully.

When preparing the mint sprig for garnish, slap it between your hands to release the oils. This small step can significantly amplify the sensory experience of the cocktail.

Elevating the Oaxaca Smash

  • Use Premium Mezcal: Opt for a high-quality artisanal mezcal to provide a smoother, more refined smokiness.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh lime juice and mint for the brightest flavor profile.
  • Balance is Key: Adjust the sweetness and acidity to achieve the perfect harmony for your palate.

For an extra touch of elegance, consider using a large ice cube instead of crushed ice. This will slow down the dilution, keeping the drink strong and flavorful for longer.

Experiment with different varieties of mint or even a splash of club soda for a fizzy twist. These subtle changes can personalize the drink to your taste.

Oaxaca Smash Cocktail Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Oaxaca Smash

If mezcal is not available, a smoky scotch can be a suitable substitute, although the flavor profile will shift. For a non-alcoholic version, try using a smoky tea as the base.

Similar cocktails that share the Oaxaca Smash’s spirit include the Mezcal Margarita and the Mezcal Paloma. Both feature mezcal and citrus, offering a comparable taste experience.

Add a Twist

Consider infusing the agave syrup with herbs like rosemary or thyme for an aromatic twist. Another option is to add a splash of fruit liqueur, such as apricot or peach, for a hint of fruitiness.

For a spicier variant, muddle a slice of jalapeño with the mint leaves. The heat will contrast beautifully with the drink’s smoky and sweet notes.

Preferred Liquors for the Oaxaca Smash

When selecting a mezcal, look for brands that offer a balance of smoke and sweetness. Del Maguey Vida and Montelobos are excellent choices that are widely respected in the mixology community.

These brands are known for their quality and can elevate the Oaxaca Smash from a good cocktail to an exceptional one.

Similar Cocktails to the Oaxaca Smash

If you enjoy the Oaxaca Smash, you might also like the Classic Mojito, which shares the mint and lime elements. The Mint Julep is another option, with its bourbon base and minty freshness.

For a smoky twist on another classic, try the Mezcal Old Fashioned. It’s a simple yet sophisticated drink that mezcal enthusiasts will appreciate.

Food Pairings to go with the Oaxaca Smash

The Oaxaca Smash pairs well with light appetizers like ceviche or guacamole and chips. Its refreshing nature cuts through the richness of foods like tacos or grilled meats.

For a unique pairing, try it with a spicy tuna roll or a citrusy arugula salad. The cocktail’s versatility makes it a great match for a variety of flavors.

Oaxaca Smash FAQs

Can I make the Oaxaca Smash in advance? It’s best enjoyed fresh, but you can pre-mix the lime juice and agave syrup.

Is there a non-alcoholic version? Yes, replace the mezcal with a smoky tea or a non-alcoholic spirit alternative.

What if I don’t have a muddler? Use the back of a spoon or a similar utensil to gently press the mint leaves.

How can I make it less sweet? Reduce the amount of agave syrup or increase the lime juice for more tartness.

Can I use bottled lime juice? Fresh lime juice is preferred for the best flavor, but bottled can be used in a pinch.

Oaxaca Smash_001

Oaxaca Smash

A refreshing cocktail that combines the smoky flavor of mezcal with the brightness of fresh mint and citrus. The Oaxaca Smash is a twist on the classic whiskey smash, substituting mezcal for a more complex, smoky taste.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Course Cocktail
Calories 200 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Muddler
  • Strainer
  • Rocks glass


  • 2 oz Mezcal 60 ml
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lime juice 22 ml
  • 1/2 oz Agave syrup 15 ml
  • 6-8 Fresh mint leaves
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig for garnish


  • In a shaker, gently muddle the mint leaves with the agave syrup and lime juice to release the flavors.
  • Add the mezcal and fill the shaker with ice.
  • Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
  • Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint.


The Oaxaca Smash can be adjusted to taste by varying the amount of agave syrup for sweetness or lime juice for acidity. Always use fresh ingredients for the best flavor.
Keyword Agave Syrup, Citrus, Classic Twist, Cocktail, Lime, mezcal, Mint, Oaxaca Smash, Refreshing, smoky

Leave a Comment