Under the Volcano Cocktail Recipe

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Under the Volcano Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Under the Volcano cocktail is inspired by the novel of the same name by Malcolm Lowry, which tells the story of a British consul's descent into alcoholism in Mexico. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a mix of sweet, sour, and smoky flavors, and it's a great choice for fans of mezcal and tequila.

  • Created in the late 20th century
  • Popular among fans of mezcal and tequila
  • Inspired by a novel set in Mexico

How Under the Volcano Tastes?

The Under the Volcano cocktail offers a complex and intriguing taste profile, with smoky mezcal, sweet agave nectar, and tangy lime juice. The cocktail is well-balanced, with a hint of spice from the jalapeño.

Interesting facts about Under the Volcano

  • The cocktail is named after a novel by Malcolm Lowry
  • Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant, similar to tequila
  • The smoky flavor of mezcal comes from the process of roasting the agave hearts in underground pits



The star of our libation opera, Mezcal brings a unique smoky flavor that you simply can't ignore. It's like the main vocalist in a band - without it, your cocktail is just background noise. Use 2oz to ensure that powerful, earthy tone takes center stage.

Emma Rose

Agave Nectar

Agave is the sweet, smooth harmonizer complementing the Mezcal's smokiness with 0.5oz of natural sweetness. Think of it as the backup singer that perfectly supports the lead.

Alex Green

Lime Juice

This zesty 1oz addition is like the high note in a musical piece that brings balance and prevents your taste buds from being overwhelmed by the smoky agave spirit and sweetness.

Mary Mitkina


A small slice packs a punch - like that surprise sax solo that turns a good song into a Grammy winner. It adds a spicy edge that'll make your sips more exhilarating.

Emma Rose


The twin cucumber slices are the cool, refreshing element. Picture them as the breezy sounds of a shaker, subtly enhancing the cocktail’s complexity without overpowering the mix.

Alex Green

Club Soda

The bubbly finish that tops the drink is like the applause from the audience - it lifts the overall experience with effervescence and lightness.

Mary Mitkina

Garnish: Cucumber Slice

The final touch, like the artist's signature on a painting, adds an aesthetic and sensory touch that encourages a fully immersive experience.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Under the Volcano Drink

  1. In a shaker, muddle the jalapeño and cucumber slices
  2. Add mezcal, agave nectar, and lime juice
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well
  4. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice
  5. Top with club soda
  6. Garnish with a cucumber slice

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh ingredients for the best taste
  • Muddle the jalapeño and cucumber well to extract their flavors
  • Shake well to ensure all ingredients are well mixed

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled Shrimp: The smokiness of the mezcal and the slight heat from the jalapeño can complement the charred flavor of grilled shrimp.
  • Fish Tacos: The fresh, citrusy notes of the lime juice and the crispness of the cucumber provide a palate-cleansing effect against rich fish tacos.
  • Guacamole and Chips: The creamy texture and the rich flavor of avocado in the guacamole mesh well with the spicy, earthy notes of the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Barbecue Chicken: The sweet and tangy barbecue sauce matches the sweet and sharp notes of the Agave Nectar and lime juice.
  • Ceviche: A Latin American dish of fresh, citrus-cooked seafood pairs tangibly with the fresh and slightly spicy nature of the cocktail.


  • Mango Sorbet: A cool, sweet dessert like mango sorbet will balance the heat from the jalapeño and draw out the sweetness of the Agave.

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What you could change in Under the Volcano

  • Mezcal: Can be replaced with tequila for a less smoky flavor
  • Agave Nectar: Honey or simple syrup can be used as a substitute
  • Jalapeño: If you prefer less spice, you can omit this ingredient

Explore all drinks starting with U here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Pineapple Under the Volcano

  • Add 0.5oz of pineapple juice for a tropical twist. The sweetness of the pineapple contrasts with the smokiness of the mezcal, providing a symphonic flavor medley.
  • Ingredients: Mezcal, Agave Nectar, Lime Juice, Jalapeño, Cucumber, Pineapple Juice, Club Soda, Garnish: Cucumber Slice
  • Recipe: Same as the original, but add pineapple juice before shaking. The taste is an invigorating sweet meets smoke dance.

Berry Spicy Volcano

  • Muddle a few fresh raspberries along with the jalapeño and cucumber. Berries introduce a tart, fruity counterpoint, turning the drink into a berry-spiced sensation.
  • Ingredients: Mezcal, Agave Nectar, Lime Juice, Jalapeño, Cucumber, Fresh Raspberries, Club Soda, Garnish: Raspberry and Cucumber Slice
  • Recipe: Incorporate the raspberries during the muddling process. This twist adds a berrylicious layer to our already complex cocktail.

Herbal Eruption

  • A sprig of cilantro brings an herby freshness when muddled with jalapeño and cucumber. The cilantro's green, zesty profile opens up a new dimension in the drink.
  • Ingredients: Mezcal, Agave Nectar, Lime Juice, Jalapeño, Cucumber, Cilantro, Club Soda, Garnish: Cilantro Leaf and Cucumber Slice
  • Recipe: Muddle cilantro with jalapeño and cucumber. The added herbs provide a garden-fresh flourish to balance the volcanic heat.

In case you forgot basics how to make Under the Volcano

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

Learn everything on how to muddle

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Under the Volcano

How can I make the drink less spicy?

If you find the drink too spicy, consider removing the jalapeño completely or only using half of it. Also, remember to remove the seeds from the jalapeño as they contain most of the heat.

Are there different types of mezcal?

Yes, there are numerous types of mezcal, each with its own unique flavor profile. The type of agave and the region where it is produced can dramatically impact the taste of the mezcal.

Can I make this cocktail non-alcoholic?

For a non-alcoholic version, you can substitute the mezcal with a non-alcoholic smoky flavored beverage. Please note, however, that this will greatly alter the original flavor of the cocktail.

What kind of glass should I use to serve this cocktail?

This cocktail is best served in a rocks glass, which is a small, usually tumbler-like glass used to serve spirits.

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