Whenever people ask me how I like to drink mezcal, I say “often”. But usually they are wondering if I like to drink it on the rocks, neat, chilled, in cocktails, or whatever. My first response is that you should drink it however you like and not worry about whether there is a “right way” to drink mezcal. It is an awesome, fun, festive spirit, so enjoy it in a way that you appreciate.
Personally, I love it neat or in cocktails. And when drinking it neat, I prefer that it have a slight chill. Someone once said to me, you should sip mezcal at room temperature. But are we talking room temperature in Oaxaca or room temperature in Canada? It matters, you know. So I like it just a bit cold. However, I don’t want to put an ice cube into it since it will water it down, but what are my choices? For a long time, I would put the bottle of mezcal in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before I was going to drink it. This actually works great and gives the mezcal a nice crispness. The only problem is waiting for it to chill when you just want to drink it!
A few years ago, I discovered these little plastic blue ice cubes sold at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They are plastic and have some sort of gel inside of them, and they actually work great. A bag of 20 or 30 costs like $5 or something. So if you are looking for a cost effective solution, this will work nicely. The only problem is that they are not very elegant.
Then this past Christmas my wife upgraded me ( well, my ice cubes anyway) and got me Stainless Steel Ice Cubes. They are gorgeous and stay cold longer since they are metal. You can get them for $20 on Amazon (see the link). One slight drawback is that they are heavy, and you have to be careful using them in delicate glasses.
While I have been using these fake ice cubes for years, what triggered this post was an article yesterday in the NYT on Whiskey Stones. Now it may be days, or even weeks, before people start referring to them as “mezcal stones”, but our day is coming my friends! So they work well with any spirit though they see the most participation from me in tequila and mezcal. Enjoy!