Jack Kerouac's Cocktail Of Choice Was A Smoky Mezcal Margarita

If you're a fan of Jack Kerouac — the Beat Generation author best known for writing "On the Road" — then you may have wondered how he crafted his novels. More specifically, did he ever indulge in boozy drinks to help him come up with ideas? Well, we don't have the answer to that specific question, but we know one thing for sure: the margarita was Kerouac's favorite cocktail. 

Kerouac traveled to Mexico many times — reportedly, about six times throughout the 1950s and 1960s — so it makes sense that he would have picked up a taste for Mexico's most well-known cocktail, the margarita. Notably, it has been said that Kerouac reportedly preferred a different variation of the drink, the mezcal margarita. 

The mezcal margarita is similar to the traditional margarita, except the mezcal replaces the tequila. Mezcal refers to a spirit made from any agave plant, while tequila refers to a spirit made from a specific agave plant (the blue Weber agave). The main difference between tequila and mezcal is that a mezcal margarita has a much smokier taste than its classic counterpart. The smoky mezcal variation can be considered the more intense of the two, which makes sense that Kerouac may have preferred it since the author, as well as his written work, were known for being a bit rough around the edges. Or, maybe he liked that the mezcal version was rare and wanted to act as a trailblazer when it came to the drink — just as he has been considered a literary trailblazer by many. 

Ways to upgrade Kerouac's favorite drink

If you want to make yourself a mezcal margarita at home to honor Jack Kerouac, then you'll want to make sure it's the best drink possible. The most straightforward way to do this is to pay attention to the ingredients — you'll want to invest in a high-quality mezcal, as well as a good orange liqueur (also known as triple sec). While you're at it, you should squeeze the lime juice yourself so you know it's fresh, rather than relying on the pre-squeezed bottle you can buy at the supermarket.

Additionally, Kerouac may have preferred a traditional mezcal margarita — at least as far as we know — but don't be afraid to venture out into flavored margaritas. After all, we're sure a creative such as Kerouac would be open to the idea of thinking outside the box with recipes. Perhaps you want to try a frozen watermelon mezcal margarita, a prickly pear margarita, or even a classic frozen margarita — all of these can be made with mezcal instead of tequila. 

Whatever type of margarita you go with, you'll want to make sure you salt the rim — or, you could switch it up and opt for sugar instead, or, to spice things up, Tajín seasoning.