Drink: El Escorpión

El Escorpión cocktail and bottle of Scorpion Mezcal Silver at Pub & Kitchen. (David M Warren/Staff Photographer)

As quality mezcal finally ascends into popular favor, it has usually been used as a more rustic, gutsier stand-in for its suave blue-agave cousin, tequila. The two used together, though, might prove to be a dynamic duo. That is exactly the case with El Escorpión at Pub & Kitchen, which pairs a healthy splash of Scorpion mezcal (newly available in Pennsylvania) with Cazadores reposado tequila.

Though Scorpion may look scary, with a crunchy little bugger at the bottom of every bottle, the mezcal itself is slightly less smoky than many, which lends it to blending. That campfire whiff is still evident in the cocktail, but it's mellowed nicely with a barrel-smoothed dose of the reposado tequila, a kiss of local honey, fresh lemon juice, and an orange peel. Considering the recent high price of limes, El Escorpion is quaffable proof that agave spirits can play well together, and with other kinds of citrus, too.

- Craig LaBan
El Escorpión, $10, Pub & Kitchen, 1946 Lombard St., 215-545-0350.