Tequila, Mezcal And Agave Spirits Reviews, Ratings And Facts

This silver tequila has a crisp taste with subtle hints of citrus, vanilla and agave, and it has a smooth finish. Tequila is a form of mezcal made from one variety of agave that is distilled according to certain processes in the state of Jalisco. Generally speaking, you could even say that tequila is a type of mezcal, since “mezcal” refers to the distillate that comes from cooking the heart of the agave plant. But, don’t worry, here are a few tips to help you tell them apart in the mezcal vs. tequila conundrum.

  • Meanwhile, tequila producers are allowed to create combinations using other sugars that don’t come from agave.
  • This is one of the most critical parts of the entire process and yet another element of the process that makes it so unique.
  • Did you know all Tequila is Mezcal, but not all Mezcal is Tequila?
  • Eric Twardzik is a Boston-based freelance writer who’s traveled the world searching for good spirits, cocktails, and the places that serve them.
  • The full family of agave spirits made across Mexico were originally called vinos de mezcales.
  • Golden-colored mixtos are called joven or oro tequilas and have oak flavoring and coloring added.
  • Wild yeasts attracted by the sweet agave then convert it all in a low percentage alcohol mash.
  • The spirit can be aged in oak barrels just like tequila, which makes a Reposado and Añejo version of the initially distilled juice.
  • Of course, there is much more to it if you start talking about culture, history, COMERCAM vs. CRT, and the list is longer still.
  • So sit back and Chava and I will circle back to you shortly.
  • Technically, tequila falls under the umbrella term “mezcal” because mezcal is simply the name for any liquor made from agave.
  • Although both liquors are derived from the agave plant, that’s where their relationship ends.
  • The piñas destined to end up in tequila, on the other hand, are often cooked in a brick oven, then crushed up to extract the juice.

The Reposado features notes of sweet vanilla, oak, mushrooms, ginger, caramel and citrus, which gives it that perfect balance of earthiness, sweetness and spiciness with an easy finish and no lingering aftertaste. Handcrafted using the time-honored “tahona” process, the Roca Patrón Tequila collection offers a sophisticated and complex flavor profile that’s an elegant and elevated take on tequila. Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet, explained that mezcal’s purity is what makes it safe for those who can’t have gluten. Any alcoholic beverage after a long, hard day can help you unwind and lift your spirits, but mezcal contains a terpene called geraniol that may have additional benefits for your mental health.

Two producers could, for example, use the exact same variety but end up with completely different flavors in their mezcal because of the way they processed the raw ingredients. Other factors that also influence the final flavor profile include the ambient yeasts that carry out fermentation and the conditions in which the agave plants grew, from soil type to altitude. Much like wine, the beauty of mezcal is the spirit’s ability to express terroir.

The traditional cup for drinking mezcal is a tiny gourd, jicara in Spanish, that sits on a grass ring. Part of what makes sotol’s resurgence so exciting is the industry’s troubled history. For much of the 20th century, many sotoleros feared their livelihoods would disappear.

Código 1530 Rosa Tequila

Whether you consider yourself a connoisseur of Mexican spirits or just enjoy an occasional cocktail, you’ll likely agree that the most obvious difference between tequila and mezcal is the flavor. When making tequila, the hearts of blue agave are typically cooked in industrial, above-ground ovens or autoclaves before being fermented and distilled . Aside from smart proofing, William Grant & Sons has done the category a massive favor with their pricing of Montelobos Mezcal. So many entries in the mezcal category start at the $75 mark and go up from there.

Mezcal is announced as the absolute best liquor on the planet for human use. One of the main differences between Mezcal and tequila is the production. So, these grow in the deserts of Mexico and they have huge long pointy spears and it looks like a cactus or it should be in the cactus family but it’s not. More than 200 types of agave exist, various of which are indigenous in Mexico. Sotol is often confused with Mezcal, but it comes from the Desert Spoon plant.

Types Of Agave Used In Mezcal

That might make them more palatable for some drinkers but serious mezcal lovers tend to go for 45 proof and up. While it’s often confused with tequila because they’re both from Mexico and made from agave plants, the similarities end there. They are made in different regions using distinct methodologies and have unique flavor profiles. For mezcal, the traditional cooking process occurs in large underground pits lined with volcanic rock. This underground “oven” is fueled with burning wood and covered with dirt, allowing the agave hearts to smoke and bake until they’re ready for fermentation .

This high-quality tequila gives no hangover because they are usually 100% agave. When the conquistadors crossed the Atlantic to Mexico, they brought the process of distillation along with them, leading to the development of sotol. The spirit is named for the desert sotol plant from which it is made, unlike agave-based mezcal and tequila. Fill your salt-rimmed glass with ice, and strain your marg into it. Drink one of those while you make drinks for your friends.

In 2014, a studyin the Journal of Medicinal Foodsuggested that agave fructans prevented bone loss and encouraged formation of new bone by raising calcium concentrations in both bone and circulating blood. Although their experiment was performed on mice, it’s possible that agave fructans could have the same impact on humans. Farnesol, a terpene in mezcal, may have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a 2018 paper published in the journal Molecules. On the other hand, a 2010 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that heavy consumption of alcohol in general has a pro-inflammatory effect throughout the body.

Try Some Of The Best Smokey, Distilled Agave

While agave comes in over 200 species, Tequila is derived specifically from the blue agave in a highly regulated method in Jalisco. Mezcal, on the other hand, is made from a variety of different agaves in various parts of Mexico and can be combined in much the same way wine is, to create a more complex palette. Well, technically speaking, all Tequila is Mezcal, but not all Mezcal is Tequila. Mezcal however, can be made from over 30 different varieties of agave, including blue agave. The states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, Durango, Tamaulipas, and recently added Michoacán, are the designated areas to make mezcal. Mezcal is distilled twice to increase its alcohol percentage, which can reach a maximum of 55%.

Pre-hispanic cultures of central and north America have used the ancient agave for various purposes over thousands of years, including textile, food, medicine, tools and beverage. The agave, or maguey is represented in several ancient codexes as a celestial and sacred plant. The fermented agave beverage pulque known as the “elixir of the gods” was exclusively for ceremonial purposes. The taste of mezcal varies depending on the variety and how the spirit is made.

Of course, you can never go wrong with the near-legendary rum and Coke mix. Its widespread popularity makes Captain Morgan rum a solid choice as a gift for What are the best Delta 8 vape cartridges? friends. Civas Regal Premium Scotch contains 104 calories per shot. Rum is about 100 calories a shot as well, but mixing options get a little tricky.

It is typically produced by farmers using a laborious and antiquated method, at primitive distilleries known as palenques, and sold or shared in villages to mark births, funerals, and everything in between. Contrary to popular belief, it does not induce hallucinations. Originally, “mezcal” was a generic term, like “wine,” for a spirit produced all over Mexico. Often mixed with other alcohols and enhanced with caramel coloring, tequila can also pick up flavors from the wood in which it is aged—sometimes spent whiskey barrels bought from the United States.

Is Sotol Texass New Signature Spirit?

Along with originating from different places and using different products, tequila and mezcal are made using different methods. While you might expect tequila production to be fancier, there are artisanal producers of both spirits. For a seriously upscale mezcal experience, try this Rey Campero Tepextate (the name fittingly translates to “King of the Countryside”).

The exacting standards set forth by Don Julio himself likely have something to do with the quality and subsequent cost of the tequila. Created in 1942 by a then 17-year old Don Julio, the tequila maker revolutionized methods used to ensure high quality blue agave growth. In addition to increasingly limited supply, harvesting and preparing agave is still a very manual process. Many spirits have seen a mechanization and automation of this part of the process, with the advent of modern farming methods. Tequila making, specifically harvesting blue agave, continues to be a human-driven task.

Pure Tequila Vs Tequila Cocktails Hangovers

Pina are fire-cooked in small underground, earthen pits typically lined with volcanic rock. Here’s everything you need to know about the south-of-the-border liquor the cool kids are drinking. Chunks of roasted agave heart are pulverized by a tahona. Once it’s excavated, they repeat the process again—and again, and again, over a hundred times, just to gather enough piñas for a single batch of mezcal.

What Is Mezcal, And How Is It Different From Tequila?

When making tequila, the agave is steamed in industrial ovens before being distilled a few times in copper pots. Mezcal is cooked in pits lined with lava rocks and filled with wood and charcoal, which gives it that killer smoky flavor, before being distilled in clay pots. Afterwards, the Tequila is transferred into specially-prepared wood barrels and left to age.

Perfect As They Are: The Top 5 Tequilas

Mezcal can be added to cocktails with fresh herbs and lemon or turned into a spritzer with kombucha, but due to its complex flavor profile, the spirit is best sipped on its own. Sip responsibly, not just in alcohol consumption, but also in choosing what to drink. Just CBD Gummy Mezcal can be considered cleaner and more pure than tequila, especially if the later is mixed with artificial sugar and way to many margarita mixers. When it comes to health, wellness, and alcohol, consider balance and sip in moderation – mezcal included.

Is It Tequila Or Mezcal?

I began exploring smoky mezcal around the start of the last decade, and by the late 2010s I happily watched as the liquid commodity of Oaxaca made its way into the mainstream. Fuller in flavor and less industrial than its tequila counterparts, it seemed custom-built for the connoisseur. This mezcal is at once fruity, sweet, and smooth, while also having overarching smoky mesquite notes — a mystifying combination that’ll keep you sipping. With its smooth flavor and soft, subtle herbal notes, Gem & Bolt is a tasty and slightly less smoky mezcal to try this season. Besides Mixtos or 100% agave, Mezcal classifications are far more diverse and rich in comparison. Don’t be surprised to find Mezcal being classified based on the type or types of Agave used, single-village varieties, as well as special styles called “Minero”, “Pechuga”, as well as “Cremas de Mezcal”.

A breakdown by liquor delivery service Drizly also explains that the two drinks are different because of the regions they come from. We’re willing to bet you’ve had a tequila shot or two in your lifetime. At truk’t, we love tequila that you can sip and not take in the form of a $2 shot with salt and a lime. But, did you know tequila has a smokin’ hot older brother?

Bartenders love the opportunity to play with Mezcal’s full-bodied flavour and smoky notes. And you should try them at home – here’s some guidance on getting started with Mezcal cocktails. Extra credit if you just realized that gusano means worm, because this is ground up chili peppers, salt, and dried out worms. Sometimes the worms can even be found in the bottles of Mezcal. You can’t go wrong with a classic margarita on Cinco de Mayo—or any time, really.

On the other hand, mezcal has a more earthy backbone to its distillation process. For this method, the agave is heated up inside of a large pit in the ground. Lava rock, wood, and charcoal heat up for up to a day before the agave is added.

Mezcal Doesn’t Have To Taste Like Smoke

It’s aged in oak barrels for more than a year, giving it a natural golden brown color and a smooth taste. Prior to Tequila production the Blue Agave bulb is steamed and then the plant is moved on to extraction and the distillation process. Prior to Mezcal production the Agave root is roasted with wood to produce a smokey flavour.

Gold tequila or mezcal (also referred to as “oro” or “joven”) is a category that doesn’t actually refer to age, but additives. However, sometimes “joven” can refer to an unaged mezcal, or a silver tequila that has been blended with a smaller amount of reposado or añejo tequila. Agave used for mezcal is traditionally cooked in an underground pit surrounded by volcanic rock. Once the fire has been started, agave is added to the pit, covered with earth and cooked for several days.

An autoclave is a large metal chamber that allows for quicker cooking of the agaves and in larger batches. A diffuser, used in the most industrialized process of tequila production, is a machine the size of a small room that uses pressurized water and, in some cases, chemicals to extract the sugars from the agave fibers. The drink was so popular that the Just CBD Gummy taxes collected from it were ample enough for the government to subsidize building much of what is known today as Guadalajara. The beverage became known as “mezcal de tequila,” then in 1893, tequila makers and the Mexican government decided to lose the “mezcal” bit. In simplest terms, a mezcal is technically any spirit distilled from an agave plant.

Our antler icon embossed on our bottles represents mystical white-tailed deer often seen in the morning fog. Today, the El Tinieblo team includes the Perez-Salinas family, local workers, our Maestro Mezcalero Don Baltazar Cruz and our creative team of chefs, restaurateurs, and entertainment industry specialists. As we grow our brand outside of Mexico with El Tinieblo International, Inc., we always strive to honor our roots. Each bottle will be presented in individually numbered and hand made charred wooden box accompanied by a signed and personalized Certificate of Authenticity.

In the U.S., where the majority of mezcal bottles are made from espadín, consumers can expect a sweet nose with a long, sweet flavors. Espadín also absorbs smoke more in the distilling process, Mena says, giving it more of a charred aspect. Several agave species are used for landscaping, and less than half have enough natural sugars to be distilled into tequila or mezcal. All agave, however, has spiky leaves that jut out from a central section of the plant called the piña. The plants generally live for around 15 to 30 years, and mature after seven to 25 years.

Mezcal Vs Tequila:

For tequila, the piña is cooked in industrial ovens and is then shredded, fermented, and distilled in copper pots. This process is what results in a liquor that tastes semi-earthy, and even a little bit sweet upon first taste. Both tequila and mezcal are made from the core, or the “piña,” of the agave plant.

Difference Between Tequila And Mezcal Compare The

The combination gives the drink a larger variety of flavor profiles. While in Guanajuato, we visited a local tavern that made their own mezcals. Since the production process is not standard, the mezcal we tried, which was made on site, had much less of that smoky flavor that is associated with the drink.

In all, there are about 30 different types of agave that are used to make Mezcal. The state of Oaxaca sponsors the International Mezcal Festival every year in the capital city, Oaxaca de Juárez. There, locals and tourists can sample and buy a large variety of mezcals made in the state. Mezcals from other states, such as Guerrero, Guanajuato, and Zacatecas also participate. This festival was started in 1997 to accompany the yearly Guelaguetza festival.

Aged

Mezcals are basically any agave-based liquor, which makes tequila a subset of mezcal. We hope this article has been enlightening, and has helped you to understand the differences between mezcal vs tequila. Other than that, just have fun playing around with mezcal in cocktails. When it comes to a spirit that’s as wide ranging in flavor profiles as mezcal is, the sky’s the limit. Abocado con mezcals are those that have added flavors or essences of flavor, and also may have an added worm. Reposado tequila is aged for at least two months in either holm oak or white oak casks and tends to have a light caramel color.

Mezcal Vs Tequila: The History Of Tequila

In that way, tequila is a much more standardized taste experience and mezcal much more full of surprises. The second time I try it I begin to detect a sour component to the taste or aftertaste, which I imagine might connect it to its roots in Pulque. As a straight liquor, it is fairly smooth, despite the unusual flavor. On the whole, just about the weirdest thing I’ve put in my mouth recently.

Gives a light golden color to the Mezcal and softens the flavor as well as blending the natural flavor with the woody tones. Or, sometimes mezcal is aged in clay or steel containers instead of wood, giving a different end flavor result. Generally, an agave plant can grow 5-7 feet but if left untouched the agave can grow a spire called a “quiote” which can grow as high as 15 feet – that’s about the height of 7 baguettes… or 15 pieces of spaghetti.

George Clooney and Rande Gerber started Casamigos based on their love of sharing tequila at theirneighboring housesin Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While Clooney’s no longer involved with the brand, what began with just a blanco has evolved into a line with reposado and this añejo version, which is aged for 14 months in American oak barrels. Blanco tequila is a bit of a deceptive category, as one might assume this means completely unaged spirit. And indeed, many blancos are unaged, but others are simply aged for short periods in either stainless steel or oak barrels. This style has the freshest, most intense agave flavor and is typically characterized as tasting salty, herbaceous and fruity.

It was a six-year-old tequila that came in a platinum and gold bottle – but the tequila inside was only worth $2,500. The plants flower at nighttime, attracting the bats with the smell of rotting, over-ripened fruit. While drinking the nectar, the bats become covered in pollen and spread the grains to other plants.

Normally the mash makes the smokiness softer and more mellow. Back in the day, Mezcal was mainly drunk by the poor; you wouldn’t see wealthy people drinking Mezcal. This idea of Mezcal being a poor hombre’s drink stayed in people’s minds for a very long time, like grappa was once seen as a poor person’s drink in Italy.