The classic whiskey sour gets a smoky upgrade from a splash of mezcal. Shaked with an egg white, this cocktail is not only smoky, it’s also lusciously foamy. 

A yellow-colored dink in a coupe-style glass with a foam layer on top


This whiskey mezcal cocktail is inspired by a cocktail called The Aviary from Raven & Rose in Portland. It’s a simple, yet smoky, variation on a classic whiskey sour thanks to the addition of mezcal.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Bourbon or whiskey of choice
  • Mezcal
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Pure maple syrup, agave syrup, or simple syrup
  • Egg white, fresh or pasteurized from a jug if you prefer
  • Cracked black pepper, optional garnish 

How to make this Mezcal Whiskey Cocktail

Add bourbon, mezcal, maple syrup, and egg white to a shaker without ice. Secure the lid and shake until foamy. This is called dry shaking and creates that gorgeous foamy egg white layer. 

Add a few cubes of ice, secure lid and shake until the cocktail is chilled. Strain the cocktail into a coupe glass and serve. Though optional, cracked black pepper makes a delicious and gorgeous garnish. 

What’s the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. How so? Whiskey is a spirit that’s fermented from grain mash and aged in wood barrels. It’s distilled all around the world and includes varieties such as Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, and American.

The most notable of American whiskeys is bourbon. Like champagne, there are a variety of qualifications a whiskey must meet to be labeled as bourbon.

Here’s a rundown of the standards that were set in 1897 with the Bottle in Bond Act. In order to be labeled bourbon the spirit must:

  • be distilled in the United States.
  • contain 51% corn.
  • be aged new charred oak barrels.
  • be distilled to no more than 160-proof and entered into the barrel at 125-proof.
  • be bottled at no less than 80 proof.
  • not contain any added flavoring, coloring or other additives.

It may come as a surprise to know that bourbon does not need to come from Kentucky. A large percentage of bourbon does come from Kentucky, but it doesn’t have to come from Kentucky to be designated as “bourbon.” For it to be labeled as “Kentucky Bourbon”, the spirit has to be distilled and aged in Kentucky.

A yellow-colored dink in a coupe-style glass with a foam layer on top

What is Mezcal?

Mezcal is produced from the agave plant and, unlike tequila, can be made in any region of Mexico. Mezcal is smoky, slightly peppery and often used in a small amount and as a second liquor to tequila in cocktails. It’s also often mixed with some kind of sweetness to counteract the harsh flavor.

I love mezcal in cocktails, and if you enjoy the flavor on it’s own, be sure to check out our Mezcal Old-Fashioned. It’s the perfect cocktail for mezcal-lovers.

Variations on this Cocktail

  • Serve in a rocks glass instead of a coupe
  • Finish with a dash of angostura bitters
  • Add a lemon peel or orange peel for added flavor and visual interest

More Whiskey Cocktails to Love

If you give this Smoky Whiskey Sour a try, be sure to let me know what you think! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @zestfulkitchen on Instagram. I love hearing about and seeing your ZK creations!

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A yellow-colored dink in a coupe-style glass with a foam layer on top

Smoky Mezcal Whiskey Sour

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: No-cook
  • Cuisine: Mexican/American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A smoky take on the classic whiskey sour. A splash of mezcal and an egg white make this cocktail stand out from all others.


  • 1 ounce bourbon, or whiskey of choice
  • ½ ounce mezcal
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce fresh egg white (optional)
  • ¼½ ounce simple syrup, agave syrup or pure maple syrup


Add bourbon, mezcal, lemon juice, egg white, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and dry shake (without ice) for 20 seconds. Add a few ice cubes and shake for 30 seconds until well chilled.

Strain cocktail into a coupe glass and garnish with cracked black pepper (optional).


Egg white: for ease and food safety reasons, use pasteurized egg whites. You can find them sold next to the eggs in a carton.


  • Serving Size: 1 cocktail
  • Calories: 128
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 26mg
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: mezcal whiskey cocktail, mezcal whiskey, whiskey mezcal

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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