Mezcal’s the Thing in a New Cocktail Book

You know who you’re dealing with when Robert Simonson, the author of “3-Ingredient Cocktails” and a New York Times contributor, suggests drinks made with mezcal and tequila. Simplicity reigns. Of the more than 60 cocktail recipes in his new book, “Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails,” most rely on mezcal, a good thing because though several tequila drinks are standard-issue, using mezcal is less common. Mr. Simonson starts with a timeline, remarking that today, mezcal’s standing in the world of spirits is what single-malts enjoyed in the 1990s. He describes how the agave spirits are made, then rolls out the recipes. Some, like the Mezcalexander and the Mezcal Sour are riffs on popular cocktails. Others, including the Elegante, combining mezcal and ginger liqueur, are lovely inventions. You do not have to concoct vats of arcane ingredients; what you need is in liquor stores and on grocery shelves.

“Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave” by Robert Simonson (Ten Speed Press, $18.99).

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