Add Mezcal To Your Chili For A Splash Of Smokiness

Mezcal is not just for margaritas or upscale palomas, this alcohol is also an unexpected addition to a good bowl of chili. Mezcal, which begins by roasting agave, is smoky in comparison to tequila. From there, the taste of one mezcal to the next can vary because it is not constrained by the use of only blue Weber agave as tequila is. Adding it to the base layer of your favorite chili recipe for a classic Cincinnati chili or a hearty turkey chili for your Super Bowl party is going to take it to the next level.

Adding mezcal is not for those short on taste buds. Not only will it add earthy, fruity, and herbaceous notes that complement the savory and spicy flavors in your chili, but it is also going to create a depth and complexity that other elements in your recipe can build on. The alcohol is going to provide balance and add a rich sweetness that juxtaposes all of those heat-inducing ingredients like chili peppers and jalapenos.

When to add the mezcal

Mezcal is also going to enhance the other ingredients in your chili, helping each one have a starring role in every glorious spoonful. But, before you get overly enthusiastic, don't be too quick to add mezcal to your chili. You first need to brown, sear, smoke, and drain the grease off of your meats before this boozy addition comes into play. You want to add it once you start creating the sauce with the aromatic elements. 

The amount of alcohol you add is really up to personal preference but, as in all things, start small before going big. 1-2 fluid ounces is probably a good starting point. If you feel like it needs a little more, it is easy to pour in additional mezcal until you hit that sweet spot for your taste buds. Just remember that while some of the alcohol may cook off, depending on the amount you use and how long you cook your chili, anywhere from 4% to 85% percent of the alcohol could linger, according to The Washington Post.