The margarita has always been my go-to summer drink, but this year I'm making it my fall drink, too, with five autumnal takes on the classic cocktail.
I was going for cozy fireplace vibes with this sweet, smoky marg, inspired by a recipe from Charlotte Voisey. The mezcal (and if you can find it, smoked sea salt) bring the smokiness I was after, while pear juice adds a delicate sweetness. Feel free to play around with the bitters here if you have different kinds on hand; ginger bitters play up the fall spice, while citrus bitters add a bit of an edge. If you've got some on hand, candied ginger makes a lovely garnish. So does a slice of dehydrated pear. (A cinnamon stick or slice of fresh ginger works just as well.)
fresh ginger (a thin slice or two, cut in half)
candied ginger, for garnish (optional)
flaky smoked sea salt, regular flaked sea salt, or cocktail salt for rimming the glass (optional)
If you'd like a salt rim, dump the salt onto a small plate, and prepare an (empty) rocks glass by rubbing a lime wedge around the edge of the glass. Dip the wet glass rim in the salt and move it around until the rim is well coated.
Fill your glass with ice.
Combine the pear juice, tequila, mezcal, lime juice, agave, and sliced ginger into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Double strain (pour through a mesh strainer) into your ice-filled glass.
Garnish with a cocktail skewer of candied ginger, if you're feeling fancy, and another drop or two of the bitters.