Grasshoppers | La Tuna Te Toca

La Tuna Te Toca

Courtesy H. Joseph Ehrmann, proprietor, Elixir, San Francisco

In Oaxaca, chapulines (grasshoppers) are sold, cooked and coated with a little lime juice and sliced or powdered chili peppers. This drink, essentially a grasshopper-infused mezcal margarita, starts with muddled chapulines for a toasty flavor and adds a sal de gusano (agave worm salt) rim. Interestingly, the tuna listed below is not the fish—it refers to sweet-tart prickly pear juice from the opuntia plant, a species of cactus. Because tuna fish in a cocktail? Now that would be gross.

Beetle Juice: Insect-Infused Cocktails
  • Sal de gusano, to rim glass
  • 1 lime wedge, for rim
  • 3–4 chapulines (grasshoppers)
  • 1½ ounces Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal
  • 1 ounce Prickly Pear (tuna) juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce agave nectar
  • ½ ounce Maraschino liqueur
  • Lime peel, for garnish

Place sal de gusano in a small dish. Moisten the rim of a coupe glass with the lime wedge. Roll the edge of the glass in the salt mix. Place the glass in a freezer to chill.In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle the chapulines. Add remaining ingredients, except garnish, with ice. Shake well, and double strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with lime peel.

Published on October 11, 2016
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She’s the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip., NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening and Cocktails With a Twist, released August 2019. Email:

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