A Marigold Mezcal Margarita is a cocktail to celebrate the symbolic Day of the Dead flower with marigold syrup, mezcal, and fresh squeezed lime.
I’ve always thought of the marigold as a humble flower. More of a workhorse, a plain jane, not exactly the crown jewel of the garden.
Marigolds are the symbolic flower of Dia de los Muertos
That was until I was introduced to the African marigold, Flor de Muerte in Spanish or cempaxuchil. These tall-stemmed queens are strewn into wreaths, and constructed into brilliant arcs surrounding altars in Oaxaca and all over Mexico for Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. They’re blossoms can be as big as 6-inches and grow wild in the Oaxacan countryside through October leading up to Dia de los Muertos celebrations on November 1 and 2. They’re fragrant scent and bright orange color are said to awaken the senses of the dead and bring joy to the living.
They’re symbolism make them perfect for a Day of the Dead cocktail which we made for our Dia de los Muertos Fiesta which you can read all about here. Dried marigolds make a beautiful syrup and their floral, slightly bitter flavor go smashingly with smoky mezcal.
My New Favorite Mezcal
One of my newest mezcal discoveries is Mezcal Yuu Baal. It has undertones of smoke, but not in your face like some. It also is lightly fruity, like maybe kiwi? Whatever it is, it goes lovely with this cocktail; gentle enough to let the marigold essence come through. A fun marigold salt rim makes this cocktail extra special.
How To Make a Marigold Mezcal Margarita
Fresh squeezed lime juice is essential for a good margarita.
Give everything a good shake.
And party time!
Now you’ve gotten this down, here are some other marigold cocktails to try:
Marigold Muerte Drink from Muy Bueno Cookbook
All photos courtesy of Beard and Bonnet
Marigold Mezcal Margarita Recipe
Marigolds are a symbol of Dia de los Muertos. Dried marigolds are said to cure any number of skin irritations and digestive issues. They are a bit bitter on their own but make a delicious golden syrup. They also can be steeped with water and drank as tea. You can buy them here.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 1 drink 1x
For the Syrup:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup dried marigold flowers
For the Margarita:
- sea salt
- 3–4 dried marigold flowers
- 2 limes
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) mezcal
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) marigold syrup
For the syrup:
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Once boiling, remove from heat, stir in flowers, cover and let steep at least 15 minutes but up to 2 hours.
For the drink:
- Pour about 1/4 cup of salt on a shallow dish. Crumble 2 marigold flowers into salt and then rub the salt and flowers together.
- Cut lime in half. Take one lime half and cut into thick slices. Rub one lime slice around the edge of a rocks glass. Dip the rim of the glass into the marigold salt and fill the glass with ice.
- Fill a shaker with ice. Squeeze the remaining 3 lime wedges into the shaker, add mezcal and syrup. Cover and shake vigorously. Strain into prepared glass and garnish with crumbled marigold flower and a lime wedge.