Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and mezcal is an increasingly popular drink for just this reason. Mezcal gets its well-known smoky reputation from the fire pits in which it is often crafted. Woodsy, flavorful and impactful, mezcal deserves its delicious reputation.
Mezcal lovers know that there is more to the beverage than it’s smoky profile. While the smokiness provides an incredible flavor, mezcal is so much more. Organic and complex, mezcal can have vanilla, ripe fruit, floral notes, or woodsy flavors depending on the batch of agave, the rich soil, and the production process. Mezcal contains a myriad of intriguing flavors, and authentic mezcal will not come with syrups or additives.
Mezcal vs. Tequila – What’s the Difference?
There are at least 200 types of agave plants, and 40 of them are used to make the smoky distilled alcohol known as mezcal. Of this production, tequila is made specifically from the blue agave plant.
Many people mistakenly assume that mezcal is a type of tequila – but tequila is actually a type of mezcal. Mezcal is principally produced in Mexico, mostly in the Oaxaca and Durango regions. Tequila often originates from a different region: Jalisco, Mexico. Most mezcal is distilled through a process of in-ground pits of fire, wood, and charcoal. Tequila may be processed through above ground ovens.
Another difference between mezcal and tequila – one that may come as a surprise – is the difference in health benefits.
Is Mezcal Better for You?
Due to label purity, high quality, and small batch consistency, mezcal is one of the top spirits in the world. Mezcal is also an attractive alcohol because of its low sugar content. Agave plants used to make mezcal contain a prebiotic called agavin, which allows for proper fermentation without increasing the sugar content. In a Forbes article on the health benefits of mezcal, it is suggested that theories circulate regarding the future of agavin as a way to regulate blood sugar.
While mezcal is one of the purist alcohols, its tequila subtype may not be. Many manufacturers include additives and sugars for marketability. If you don’t want to pay top dollar for subpar tequila, make sure to read our post on tequila and the additives you may not be aware of. Read our blog on Tequila Additives here.
Mezcal to Try
Whether you’re taking it straight or mixing it up, mezcal is an incredible ingredient you’ve got to add to your home or restaurant bar. Try three of our favorites: Don Mateo de la Sierra, El de Bateo Mezcal, or Gracias a Dios Mezcal.
Smoky, earthy Mezcal margaritas have been on the rise – try the following recipe for yourself!
Ready to see what delicious doors mezcal can open for you? Vintegrity only serves the finest wines and spirits; check out the rest of our fine selections in our Kansas and Missouri portfolios for yourself!
- 2 oz Mezcal
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- .75 oz light agave nectar
- optional: 1 oz of an orange liqueur
For rimmed glasses, start by running a lime slice around the top rim of the glass. Fill a shallow bowl or saucer with salt (some mezcal margarita lovers recommend tajin instead) and dip the rim of the glass in the salt. Set aside.
Add lime juice, agave, mezcal – and orange liqueur if desired – into cocktail shaker. Add ice, then shake! Fill glass with ice, and strain cocktail mixture into the glass over the ice.