Are you looking for ways to liven up your bar cart? Mezcal is gaining ground among professional bartenders and home mixologists alike, thanks to its signature smoky notes and varied aging requirements. Made of agave, it’s similar to tequila but definitely has a style all its own.
Keep reading to find out more about this fascinating spirit and how you can add it to your cocktail repertoire.
Mezcal is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant in Mexico. Specifically, mezcal can be made in the following 10 states of Mexico:
Native people of Mexico have been making mezcal since before the Spanish conquest, and production largely remains very traditional to its origins. The large agave plant is harvested and then shaved down to the heart, or piña, using machetes. The hearts are then placed in earthen pits lined with heated lava rocks to smoke for days.
The juice of these smoked piñas is then allowed to ferment before it is distilled. Finally, the resulting mezcal is aged anywhere from zero months to over three years (more on that later).
While mezcal and tequila are both made from agave plants, they are not the same thing. Tequila is made specifically from the blue Weber agave plant and produced solely in the tequila region of Jalisco. Mezcal can be made from various types of agave (even blended!) and is produced in ten states of Mexico.
The two spirits vary in taste, too. Tequila is slow-roasted in ovens, rather than smoked in pits. This difference in production means tequila is often smoother in flavor whereas mezcal is characteristically smoky.
In short, tequila is a mezcal, but mezcal is not a tequila.
Since mezcal is made by smoking the piñas of agave for hours in earthen pits, mezcal smells and tastes smoky. Some display these roasted or charred notes more prominently than others due to various production techniques and stylistic choices made by the distillers.
Various aging times also impart different flavors:
Thanks to shared smoky qualities, we’ve convinced many scotch drinkers to try mezcal with great success!
Mezcal has been gaining popularity recently and can be found on many bar menus. You can easily swap in mezcal to replace tequila in a Paloma or margarita for a sophisticated smoky note.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|