What Makes Tequila Different from Mezcal?

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

People are becoming enthusiastic about mezcal, the smokier version of tequila, from coast to coast. Within the last few years, this agave-based alcohol has gained immense popularity, whether it is consumed on its own or blended into a cocktail. Since mezcal is regarded as a sort of tequila, you have probably already had this delectable beverage in one form or another. Mézcal is a flexible and easily consumed distilled alcohol that may be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Learn more about this exceptional soul by continuing to read!

What is Mezcal?

The official term for any agave-based liquor with an alcohol percentage between 40 and 55 percent is mezcal, which was first produced in Mexico. Only nine areas in Mexico—Oaxaca, Durango, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Puebla, Michoaca, and Zacatecas—manufacture mezcal.

Mezcal vs. Tequila

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

As they say, “Not all mezcals are tequila, but all tequilas are mezcal.” Although they both have some comparable traits, they also differ in a few key ways that make it simple to distinguish between them! The kind of agave used to make each beverage and the area in which it is created vary.

Tequila

Only blue agave, a succulent that takes eight years to grow, is used to make tequila. The flavor of fine tequila is delicate and silky.

The majority of tequila is made in Jalisco, as well as in smaller, specially designated regions of Michoacan, Guanajuato, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas, four more Mexican states.

Mezcal

Several agave species, including Blue Agave, can be used to make mezcal. The most popular kind of agave used to make mezcal is espadín. It has a distinct smoky taste and is typically sweeter than tequila.

Though it is also created in Puebla, Durango, Michoacan, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, and Tamaulipas, Oaxaca is the primary location for mezcal production.

Types of Agave Used in Mezcal

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

One kind of agave or a blend of many types can be used to make mezcal, as long as the mixture is composed entirely of pure agave without the use of fillers. Depending on the agave used, the flavor is characterized as earthy, sweet, and smokey. The agave types most frequently utilized to make mezcal are:

  • Espadín: This type of agave is used in 90% of mezcal varieties. Since it’s closely related to blue agave, mezcal made with Espadín tastes very similar to tequila.
  • Tobalá: Due to its small size and long growing period (12-15 years), this agave is considered to be very rare. Mezcal made with Tobalá is known for its light, floral and sweet taste.
  • Tepeztate: Considered a wild agave, this plant can be found hanging off mountain cliffs and nestled in rocky soil. The taste of mezcal made with Tepeztate is said to be earthy and herbal.
  • Tobaziche: This agave plant can look and taste very different depending on where it is grown. It’s often harvested wild and is easily recognized by its savory flavor.
  • Arroqueño: While most agaves used for mezcal are found in Mexico, this plant has started popping up all over the United States. The flavor is described as floral, but can also have a spicy, bitter note.

How to Make Mezcal

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

Making the ideal batch of mezcal requires perseverance and time. Because creating mezcal is such a delicate process, the artisans who create it are referred to as Maestro Mezcaleros, a word of honor.

creating mezcal requires more effort and time than creating wine, despite the similarities in the processes. While many varieties of agave plants take years to develop, grapes may be picked every year.

The basic components of the mezcal process are what give it its unique flavor. Commonly referred to as the agave plant’s heart, the piñas are prepared in an underground pit, crushed, combined with water, and allowed to ferment. Mezcal is such a gem because of the production method, plant age, and scarcity.

How to Enjoy Mezcal

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

By itself

The agave drink is designed to be sipped, according to seasoned mezcal enthusiasts. It’s often served in a tiny shot glass and consumed slowly. It can be served at room temperature or chilled, with a lime wedge or an orange slice on top.

In a cocktail

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

Mezcal’s smokey scent goes well with a variety of tastes, particularly those that combine well with tequila. With only a few ingredients, use tart liquids like pineapple or lime to shake up your palate, or dress up a plain glass of mezcal with fresh fruit like raspberries.

Mezcal Drink Recipes

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

Mezcal works well in place of tequila and other liquors in cocktails. Traditional cocktails such as daiquiris and negronis are being elevated with mezcal. Here are some interesting drink recipes to get you started before making your own mezcal cocktail!

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

Amp up the savoriness of your favorite cocktail with a splash of mezcal and a grilled pineapple. This tangy margarita is the perfect combination of fruit and spice!

Recipe

  • 1 part mezcal
  • 2 parts pineapple juice

Garnish

  • Grilled pineapple
  • Lime
  • Chili lime seasoning

Basil Cranberry Julep

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

Enjoy a delicious spin on a classic julep by combining some basil, a splash of cranberry juice and mezcal. The tart fruit flavor and smokiness is perfect for sipping and enjoying slowly.

Recipe

  • 1 part mezcal
  • 1 part cranberry juice
  • Basil for garnish

Tip: Muddle the basil before adding the other ingredients for added flavor.

Mezcal Mai Tai

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

Add a unique spin to your favorite tropical drink with the addition of mezcal. Don’t forget to slip in a colorful mini umbrella!

Recipe

  • 1 part mezcal
  • 1 part rum
  • 2 parts pineapple juice
  • 1 part cherry juice

Garnish

  • Orange slice
  • Maraschino cherry

Mezcal Mule

What Makes Tequila Different From Mezcal?

Enjoy a twist on this refreshing cocktail by swapping out the vodka for mezcal. Mint, combined with lime and ginger ale, are the perfect additions to this flavorful drink.

Recipe

  • 1 part mezcal
  • 3 parts ginger beer
  • Splash of lime juice

Garnish

  • Lime wedge
  • Mint

Ask for a glass of mezcal the next time you want to branch out from your normal drink order! This agave-flavored alcohol is ideal for sipping from shot glasses at home with friends or mixing into a refreshing cocktail on a night out. You may discover your new favorite variety by deciding whether you prefer smokey or sweet flavors. There are approximately 30 different varieties of agave to taste and view!