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Mocha Mezcal Dessert Cocktail

This cocktail is SO easy to make, and has a nice smoky sweet flavor with a little holiday spice. Enjoy over ice or with steamed milk for a mocha-flavored winter cocktail!

Two bodum glasses with mocha mezcal cocktail in them, near cinnamon sticks and bottle of mezcal

Are you a mezcal lover? I’d only had it a couple of times in the last few years, up until my birthday this year. I bought a lil’ to-go mezcal and vegan Mexican food tasting to treat myself (back in September), and learned all about this wonderful spirit.

The agave plants that are harvested have the leaves cut off and then the hearts of them are roasted in a large, covered pit (and I mean large). This gives mezcal its incredible, smoky flavor. Crossing Worlds has a great write up on this ancestral practice of roasting agave/mescal, complete with photos. Different brands of mezcal differ in levels of smokiness in the final product, so this will change the profile of this recipe. I’ve made it with very smoky as well as lightly smoky mezcal and enjoyed both!

Ingredients for mocha mezcal dessert cocktail on a countertop

Now, of course I’ve had mezcal in margaritas, and it pairs perfectly with the tart lime and a little sweetness – a little jamaica doesn’t hurt either. But now that winter is around the corner, I wanted to go another way with flavor pairings. In the tasting I enjoyed, they had paired mezcal with enchiladas and three types of mole sauce; one dark with chocolate, one rojo and one verde.

After that I researched mezcal and chocolate pairings a bit, but found many coffee beverages along the way. With this in mind, I thought I’d combine the three flavors, add a little cool creaminess to mellow out the mezcal and ta-dah! I ended up with this delightful mocha mezcal dessert cocktail. Unlike my Pumpkin Pie on the Rocks recipe, you don’t have to make a base, so this easy but comes off a teeny-bit sophisticated. Even with the use of chocolate syrup, LOL.

Image collage of making dessert cocktail in a shaker glass on marble counter, with yellow sweater on

I know some of you aren’t too keen on iced drinks when there is snow on the ground so I gave you two ways to make this! My favorite being over ice, while the other (still very good) is made with steamed soy or almond milk instead of coconut milk. In the case of the latter, warmth enhances the profile of the mezcal so you may need to tone it down a bit if you don’t want it to overpower the drink. Oh! And you needn’t worry about being TOO caffeinated after drinking this cocktail, as the coffee part is coffee liqueur, not straight up espresso.

Image collage of assembling hot version of mocha mezcal cocktail in a glass

Substitutions + Tips:

  • Light coconut milk – I like the cooling effect and flavor this has in the drink (though not too strong a coconut flavor). If you want to use something else, try plain soy, oat, or almond milk.
  • Mezcal – if you don’t know much about this spirit, Serious Eats has a great write up on the background and choosing the right mezcal for you. Mind you, if you’re a purist, mixing mezcal in a drink is frowned upon. Buuuuut, clearly I’m not a purist.
  • Coffee liqueur – Check Barnivore to verify that the one that you choose is vegan! Apparently, since the last time I bought Kahlua, they have said that their sugar supplier filters with bone char but they are remedying this. Get it together, Kahlua!
  • Agave nectar – a little funny that agave is in this drink in two forms, but you’re also welcome to omit it for a less sweet drink, or use maple syrup instead.
  • Chocolate syrup – now, there are plenty of store-bought chocolate syrups that are vegan. But, if you don’t have any on hand, you can make an easy homemade chocolate sauce that will work great.
  • A good cocktail shaker can be such a help for drinks like this, to easily mix them thoroughly while cooling them down at the same time.
Two glasses with mocha mezcal cocktail over ice, near a bottle of mezcal with hand reaching out
Two glasses with mocha mezcal cocktail over ice, near a bottle of mezcal

Mocha Mezcal Dessert Cocktail

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This cocktail is SO easy to make, and has a nice smoky sweet flavor with a little holiday spice. Enjoy over ice or with steamed milk for a mocha-flavored winter cocktail!

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces (177 ml) light coconut milk*
  • 2 ounces (60 ml) mezcal joven
  • 2 ounce (60 ml) coffee liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Ice cubes, for shaking and serving (if drinking cold)
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) dairy-free chocolate syrup
  • Optional for hot version: top with vegan whipped cream

Instructions

  1. For the iced version, place coconut milk, mezcal, coffee liqueur, agave, cinnamon, and cayenne in a cocktail shaker, along with 3 or 4 ice cubes. Shake in shaker for 15 seconds then set aside.
  2. Lightly drizzle chocolate syrup on the walls of two rocks glasses (glasses that hold roughly 8 ounces). Place 3 to 4 ice cubes in each glass, then strain the drink over them. Serve chilled.
  3. For the hot version, in a glass add mezcal, coffee liqueur, agave, cinnamon, and cayenne. Using a whisk or frothing wand, mix until combined. Divide mixture between two 6-ounce glasses or tea cups.
  4. Heat non-dairy milk (I prefer soy for this application), and froth it using a wand or run in a blender for a few seconds. Divide milk between the two glasses, top with optional whipped cream and drizzle chocolate syrup over the top. Serve while hot.

Notes

  • *Light coconut milk - If you don't have it try plain soy, oat, or almond milk.
  • Mezcal joven - if you don't know much about this spirit, Serious Eats has a great write up on the background and choosing the right mezcal for you.
  • Coffee liqueur - Check Barnivore to verify that the one that you choose is vegan!
  • Agave nectar - a little funny that agave is in this drink in two forms, but you're also welcome to omit it for a less sweet drink, or use maple syrup instead.
  • Chocolate syrup - now, there are plenty of store-bought chocolate syrups that are vegan. But, if you don't have any on hand, you can make an easy homemade chocolate sauce that will work great.
  • A good cocktail shaker can be such a help for drinks like this, to easily mix them thoroughly while cooling them down at the same time.

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Two glasses with mocha mezcal cocktail over ice, near a bottle of mezcal

Here are some other great holiday drinks you can try out!

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