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How to celebrate Margarita Day the Aussie way

Margarita Day, on February 22 every year, is a celebration of this iconic cocktail. But here’s how you can put an Aussie craft twist to your margarita fiesta.

That perfect blend of sour lime citrus, sweet orange, spice from the agave spirit and salt, the margarita is as refreshing and delicious and as it is unique.

What is agave spirit?

You’ve probably heard of agave spirit by its more common names: tequila and mezcal. And though they’re two very different spirits, they have one thing in common: you can only call them tequila and mezcal if they’re made in Mexico.

For the rest of the world, tequila and mezcal must go by the open-source name ‘agave spirit’.

Agave spirit in Australia

Believe it or not, here in Australia, we haven’t been making our version of tequila or mezcal for very long, in spite of conditions in certain parts of the country being ideal for growing agave plants.

However, in the New England region of New South Wales, Black Snake Distillery has been making ASp - their superb small-batch agave spirit - since 2016.

Using locally grown wild agave to create Aussie mezcal-style agave spirit, Black Snake Distillery founders Stephen Beale and Rosemary Smith follow traditional Mexican mezcal methods to craft that wonderfully deep, smoky, spicy flavour in their spirit.

Rosemary explained: “We harvest, roast, mill and ferment in mezcal style… using agave americana.”

How to make an Aussie margarita

While you can of course use tequila, the richness and umami that comes from using Black Snake’s mezcal-style ASp creates a whole new level of flavour in your margarita.

- 30ml orange liqueur

- 25ml fresh lime juice

- Salt crystals or course-grain salt

- Lime wheel to garnish

1. Wipe the rim of your glass round with the lime wheel then push the rim into the salt so it sticks.

2. Shake the ASp, orange liqueur and lime juice with ice until well chilled, then strain into the glass.

3. Garnish with the lime wheel on the salted rim of the glass.

You can serve this cocktail up or on the rocks.

Check out Black Snake Distillery’s cocktail page for more drinks you can make with ASp, but as Rosemary says, she prefers to “drink it neat to get the flavour profile.”

And that’s the interesting thing about mezcal-style agave spirits.

They drink unbelievably well on their own. Many compare mezcal to whisky for its many different flavours and incredible depth.

Using so many different types of agave plant (tequila is restricted to just the blue agave) and the multitude of ways distillers can treat the spirit, mezcal is as varied in its flavours as Australian whisky is to scotch is to bourbon.


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