Friday, July 12, 2024

What Is The Difference Between Mezcal And Tequila

Is Mezcal Different Than Tequila

Tequila Vs Mezcal – What’s the Difference?

The same way scotch and bourbon are types of whiskey, tequila is a type of mezcal. In the words of spirits writer John McEvoy, mezcal is any liquor made from agave. In addition, agave tequilana, which is native to specific regions of Mexico, must be used in making tequila, which must be distilled from the blue agave.

Why Does Mezcal Give You Less Of A Hangover

  • With Artisinal Mezcal at least, its a 100% natural process with no chemicals added
  • The natural sugars that create the alcohol are simpler than those in an industrial process, making them easier for the liver to break down.
  • That said, weve had terrible Mezcal hangovers a couple of times! I think its all a myth that it wont give you a hangover. You drink enough of anything and ouchie brain is sure to follow!

    Whats The Difference Between Mezcal And Tequila

    This article was published more than 4 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.

    Agave plants growing near the town of Santiago Matatlan in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, the primary home of mezcal production.Reuters

    What’s the difference between mezcal and tequila?

    The answer

    There are several differences, though the most conspicuous from a flavour perspective is mezcal’s smokiness.

    Both spirits come from Mexico and are distilled from agave, a plant that looks like a giant pineapple. Whereas mezcal can be made from any of several dozen species, tequila relies on just one, the blue agave, accounting for some of the flavour peculiarities. That particular species happens to grow well in the soils around the city of Tequila in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, and that’s the heart of tequila country. Production of mezcal, on the other hand, while widespread, is strongly associated with Oaxaca in the south.

    Mezcal finally also is shedding its reputation outside Mexico as little more than tequila’s brutish backwoods half-brother, an image mainly fuelled by the worm. As a marketing ploy, producers in the past took to bottling their mezcal with a tiny souvenir, the larva of a moth known to feed off the agave plant. If you see one in a bottle today, rare though the sight has become, leave it on the store shelf the local frat boys will need it at their next party. The best mezcals are vegan-friendly.

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    Where Can Mezcal Be Made

    Mezcal can only be made in certain states in Mexico. As of the posting of this blog post, mezcal can be made in Oaxaca, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacan and Puebla . While other states in Mexico are distilling agave, they are not able to call their distilled agave mezcal due to the Denomination of Origin that is regulated by the Consejo Regulador del Mezcal and the Mexican government. In other states, distilled agave might go by the name Bacanora, Raicilla, Tepe, Lechuguilla, or some other regionally accepted naming convention.

    How To Drink Mezcal

    The 5 Types of Tequila: Your Guide to the Differences ...

    Many would drink Mezcal fresh from the bottle at ambient temperature. An excellent mezcal isn’t meant to be consumed in a single sip. While it is a flexible element in a cocktail, it is recommended to test mezcal on its own before making a drink with it. This will help you determine if you want something light and fruity or deep and full-bodied.

    In a Negroni, any mezcal may be substituted for gin, with the vermouth and Campari taking the center of attention. While mezcal may display the earthy, rustic taste in a mezcal margarita, this liquor has won over so many admirers. It also substitutes tequila without making it unrecognizable as a .

    There are also other traditional containers for serving mezcal, which uses small bowl-shaped cups fashioned from dried gourds. They’re called jicaras, and they’re the Calabash tree’s fruit.

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    How Do You Drink Mezcal

    As mezcal legend Ron Cooper said Sip, dont shoot. Typically mezcal is sipped neat at room temperature with no water, ice, or anything else added. That said, there are plenty of whisky connoisseurs who prefer to add a drop of water to their mezcal, which they also presumably do with their whisky. Is this wrong? Of course not. Though Ive never seen anyone in Oaxaca add water to their glass of mezcal, Im confident the producers would be elated to hear that you like their mezcal, regardless of whether it has a drop of water in it or not.

    The other main consideration is what glass or cup should be used to sip mezcal. Mezcal Copitas are small clay or ceramic cups that are commonly used. Vaso Veladora Mezcal Glasses are small shot-like glasses that are commonly used in Oaxaca. There are also some other companies out there producing some cool re-envisioned drinking vessels. If you visit a palenque in Oaxaca, you could be drinking mezcal out of everything from a plastic bottle to a short bamboo shoot.

    Mezcal Vs Tequila: Whats The Deal With The Mezcal Worm

    There is a commonly held belief that the Mezcal worm can lead you on a crazy hallucinogenic trip. Its a myth. The word Mezcal has often been confused with the word mescaline. The later is the psychedelic component found in peyote cactus. Unless you have a supplier purposefully adding mescaline to their Mezcal, then the Mezcal worm will not take you on a colorful adventure to unicorn land.

    The mezcal worm has one definite purpose, to impart flavor of worm into the Mezcal. Its no different from leaving real fruit in a bottle of raki. Some aficionados say its wrong to tarnish the mezcal with the worm. Really its down to your personal preference. Specifically, the mezcal worm lives on and eats the agave which is then used to make the mezcal, so its a part of the natural eco-system of mezcal production too.

    Especially, when it comes to Tequila, an important purpose of the mezcal worm is purely for marketing reasons. Especially in cheap tequila where no one is trying to enjoy the complexities of the spirit. The Mezcal worm began life as just that, not as a tequila worm. But it certainly helped sell a lot of bottles of tequila!

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    Can You Eat Sotol

    Sotol is a plant with a heart.

    The heart of the sotol plant has been used for generations as a food source for humans and animals alike. They discovered that the spongy sotol hearts are edible raw but tasted better if roasted slowly. The leaf bases can be eaten in a fashion similar to artichoke bracts.

    They Have Different Labels

    What’s the Difference Between Mezcal and Tequila?

    After the distilling process is complete, both tequila and mezcal are aged inside of oak barrels. The different aging categories of the two spirits are defined a bit differently. The three varieties of tequila include blanco , reposado , and añejo . Mezcal is also grouped into three age brackets, including joven , reposado , and añejo .

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    Is Sotol A Mezcal

    Sotol is often compared to mezcal. While Mezcal is made from agave, sotol is made from a related group of plants in the dasylirion genus, referred to as sotol in Spanish and desert spoon in English. Like agave, dasylirion are round, spiky, and boast a dense inner core that can be roasted, fermented, and distilled.

    What Is The Difference Between Mezcal And Tequila

    If we serve you two shots, would you know to identify the difference between mezcal and tequila? And we dont talk about what you may notice at first glance, because although both drinks come from agave and have a shared history, each one has its characteristics and, in La Luna Mezcal, were going to tell you about them.

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    What’s The Difference Between Mezcal And Tequila

    The main differences between mezcal and tequila have been outlined by a few other blogs in the past, and they were most likely first introduced to the international market by our friend Mezcal PhD in his post Tequila vs Mezcal. If you havent read his blog, you should. Here are the main three differences he discusses:

  • Mezcal and tequila are produced in different regions of Mexico. Though some regions can produce either mezcal or tequila, most tequila comes from the state of Jalisco. Most mezcal comes from the state of Oaxaca.
  • Mezcal and Tequila are made from different varieties of agave. Tequila is made strictly with the Blue Weber agave, while mezcal can be made with any type of agave. Some say there are over 30 different agave species used in mezcal today, each with its own unique flavor and character.
  • Mezcal and Tequila are made using different production processes. Most Tequila producers use industrial ovens to cook their agave, while mezcal producers cook their agave in underground pit ovens. Most Tequila producers use industrial shredders to break up the cooked agave. Most Mezcal producers mill the agave by hand with axes and mallets or with a horse-drawn tahona. Lastly, most Tequila producers use large industrial stills, while most mezcal producers use very small copper or clay stills. A small batch of Tequila is around 10,000 liters, while a small batch of mezcal could be just 50-100 liters.
  • Smoked agave and a pit oven at the Real Minero Palenque

    Where They Are Produced Differs


    There is some overlap between tequila and mezcal as far as where they are produced in Mexico. However, in general, the region of production differs between the two.

    • Almost all tequila comes from Jalisco.
    • Tequila can also be produced in some parts of four other Mexican states, as well: Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
    • Mezcal can be produced in Jalisco, but it’s primarily produced in nine other states: Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.

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    Whats The Difference Between Tequila And Mezcal

    The main difference is that while mezcal can be made from 50 different species of agaveeither mixed into an ensamble or distilled separatelytequila can only be made from the Blue Weber variety. On a basic level, tequila is just a legal classification for one variety of mezcal.

    Mezcal and tequila’s creation process and taste also differ. Tequilas Blue Weber is steamed but the agave in mezcal is typically roasted which gives it its characteristic smokey flavor.

    What Does Mezcal Taste Like

    Mezcal tastes different to everyone and each mezcal can taste vastly different from other mezcals. There are myriad technical details in production that could be slightly altered by the producer to make their mezcal taste a certain way. Another big factor in the taste is the terroir of the agave, which essentially means the complete natural environment in which the agave is grown, including factors like the soil composition, topography, and climate. Wine drinkers often talk about the terroir of the grapes having an impact on the flavor of the wine. The same is true for mezcal. While grapes are on the vine, absorbing the terroir of their surroundings for 7-9 months, some agave can take upwards of 25-30 years to reach maturity. The agave absorb everything from their surroundings over this period of time, and it greatly impacts the taste of the mezcal. For example, agave grown near pine trees can create mezcal that tastes vastly different from mezcal made from agave that grew in a field of mango trees.

    The Mal Bien Tasting Wheel

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    Difference Between Tequila And Mezcal

    Tequila vs Mezcal

    Tequila and Mezcal are two different kinds of liquors from Mexico. However, because juice of agave plants is used in making both Tequila as well as Mezcal, people remain confused between these two products. Agave is not a cactus and belongs to the family of lily. It is spiky and leafed member of the Lily family. Fermented juice of these plants in Mexico is distilled, and the liquor so obtained, may be classified as Tequila or Mezcal. However, the two liquors are not the same as there are differences in taste and appearance of Tequila and Mezcal. This article attempts to bring out these differences to enable readers to know what they are being offered.


    It is liquor made from juices of blue agave plant grown in specific geographical areas of Mexico. The process to make Tequila is strictly regulated, and the heart of the agave plant called pina is steamed and then distilled to get Tequila. The region of Mexico where Tequila is exclusively made today is Jalisco. Tequila can be made with the juices of only blue agave plant. Tequila is considered refined while Mezcal is considered its distant country cousin.


    Mezcal is a strong alcoholic drink, and in some tribes, women drink it to bear the pain of childbirth. On the other hand, laborers drink it to add to their strength and also to forget their sprains and pains.

    Is Sotol A Yucca

    What is the Difference Between Tequila and Mezcal

    What is sotol? But sotol is made from a diverse genus of plant calledâyou guessed itâsotol. Although the spiny plant is sometimes called âsotol yucca,â âsotol agaveâ or âsotol cactus,â it is not a yucca, agave or cactus. The flowering, grass-like plant is part of the dasylirion family.

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    Mezcal Vs Tequila Different Or One And The Same

    The misconception about mezcal and tequila being basically the same probably stems from one simple fact. All tequila is mezcal. What sets them apart is that not all mezcal is tequila. A similar comparison would be to say that all scotch is whiskey, but not all whiskey is scotch. You probably wouldnt go up to a bar and request a whiskey and expect a nice smoky scotch to automatically appear in your glass. The same philosophy applies to tequila and mezcal.

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    Is Mezcal Stronger Than Tequila

    Many people believe that mezcal has a more robust flavor than tequila. However, that’s not necessarily correct. Tequila and mezcal are both between 38% and 55% alcohol by volume , which is around 76 to 110 proof.

    A certain mezcal can be stronger than a specific tequila, but the opposite can also be true. If you order a mezcal or tequila neat or on the rocks at a bar, you’re likely to get a spirit with an ABV of around 40% this is the same as the vast majority of spirits sold across the world.

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    Tequilas Production And Distribution

    It takes 8-12 years for the Blue Weber agave plant to produce quality nectar after it grows, ripens and matures properly. Agave farmers harvest the plants and cut their outer leaves off, leaving the agave hearts to be slow-cooked for 12-48 hours, then crushed to extract the juice. Sometimes at this stage, its mixed with sugar to create mixto tequila. The juice is then mixed with water and yeast and left to ferment. It gets twice-distilled and diluted before being bottled or aged in oak barrels.

    Legally, tequila must be produced in one of five states as certified by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila : Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit or Tamaulipas. Most distilleries are in Jaliscos highlands and lowlands. Tequilas from the highlands are naturally sweet, with fruit, mineral and floral notes, and those from the lowlands taste spicier, earthier and herbaceous. Its a good idea to try lowlands tequila in cocktails for an easy introduction before sipping it neat.

    Mezcal Vs Tequila: The History Of Tequila


    History of Tequila: The Blue Agave the only agave that can be used to make Tequila.

    The Aztecs have a legend that lightning struck an agave plant. The heat and force opened the agave and begun the natural fermentation process. This led to a sort of agave beer, which the native populations of the region then started to make themselves, without lightning. But tequila and mezcal could not be made until distillation was introduced to the region. More on that below.

    As tequila is just a specific form of Mezcal, you could say that the real history of modern tequila has evolved out of the tradition of mezcal to the point where in 1973 the Regional Chamber of the Tequila Industry applied for a declaration of protection for this appellation, which was granted in 1974 by the Mexican government. Following this, in 1976, the legal name of Tequila became protected.

    The biggest milestone came in 1996 when the Mexican government approved an internationally recognized which protected Tequila internationally and led to its rapid spread around the world.

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    The Difference Between Mezcal And Tequila

    Off the bat, mezcal refers to any agave-based spirit. It has a smoky flavor, and can only be made in nine Mexican states. Meanwhile, tequila is made using blue agave specifically. It has a fruity, sweet, and earthy flavor in general. Only five Mexican states can produce authentic tequila. So in summary, you can make mezcal with any agave plant but to make tequila you can only use the blue agave type.

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    Whats The Difference Between Mezcal And Agave Tequila

    There is no difference between mezcal and Tequila since they are both made from agave. The drink is basically a combination of uscal and tequila. There are more than 50 types of agave plant that are used to make mezcal, but there is only one used to make Tequila: the agave tequilana Weber, or Weber blue agave. Once the cooked plant has been pulverized, it is discarded.

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    Tequila Vs Mezcal: The Production Process

    The biggest difference between Mezcal & Tequila is actually the production process. Most Mezcals are made through a natural, artisanal process. Tequila and some low quality mezcals are made through an industrial process.

    Different varieties of agave grow all over Mexico, and the different varieties greatly affect the type of flavors youll find in the mezcal.

    Tequila vs Mezcal: Map of agave diversity across Mexico

    But the production process is relatively similar for all artisanal mezcals, though each producer may make variations. The industrial tequila process is very different though

    Mezcal Production & Elements That Effect The Taste Of Mezcal

    Oaxaca Produces 80% of the Mezcal that is made in Mexico, and about 90% of the mezcal.

    Here is an outline of the typical artisanal production process:

    Growth, Harvest, Cooking and Fermenting + Elements that affect the flavor

    FUN FACT: The piña, which is the heart of each agave plant, used for the mezcal production process, can weigh over 300KG.

    Distillation Process

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