July 2, 2022

Mezcal and tequila are frequently used interchangeably for cocktails (I’m going to take two smoky mezcal margaritas, please), however in actual fact that they are two very other Mexican spirits. Ever heard the pronouncing, “All squares are rectangles, however no longer all rectangles are squares.” For starters, tequila is one of those mezcal, however mezcal is no longer one of those tequila. “The important thing differentiator is that whilst mezcal can also be made out of many types of agave, tequila can most effective be made out of one: blue agave,” explains Autumn Chiklis, co-founder of The Red Pig Tequila. Forward, we destroy down the important thing variations between those two spirits.

The place they are made

Past the types of agave used to make mezcal and tequila, the 2 are produced in numerous portions of Mexico. Consistent with Chiklis, there are 9 areas right through Mexico the place mezcal can also be produced (the most well liked area being Oaxaca) and most effective 5 the place tequila can also be produced (essentially the most well known being Jalisco, the place the true the city of Tequila is situated).

How they are made

Tequila and mezcal are produced in totally alternative ways, which in large part contributes to the distinct taste profiles of those two agave-based spirits. However first, a handy guide a rough lesson in botany: Each tequila and mezcal are made with piña, which is the phrase used to explain the core of the agave plant (piña interprets to pineapple in Spanish and the middle of the agave plant seems like a pineapple).

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Here is the place the 2 diverge: Tequila is made via cooking piña in ovens, then shredding and fermenting it sooner than distilling it in copper pots. Mezcal, then again, is made via cooking the piña inside of an underground pit that is coated with a mixture of volcanic rocks, wooden, and charcoal, says Chiklis. And as an alternative of the use of copper pots, mezcal is distilled in clay pots.

As soon as distilled, each tequila and mezcal are normally elderly in oak barrels any place from a few months to years and years and years. “Each tequila and mezcal, when elderly for 2 months and as much as 365 days, are classified as reposado. If they’re elderly longer than that, normally one to 4 years, they fall below the añejo class,” explains Chiklis. If they are no longer elderly in any respect, they are thought to be “blanco.” Blanco, which is obvious fairly than tinged yellow or brown, is the kind of mezcal you are possibly to stumble upon within the States, and the type of tequila maximum frequently utilized in margaritas.

What do they style like?

We now have already mentioned the truth that agave is cooked in two distinct tactics to make mezcal and tequila. So how does that have an effect on the top taste? The smoke swirling within the air within the pit offers mezcal its signature smoky intensity. “For those who grill a rooster breast as opposed to in the event you boil a rooster breast, the flavour goes to be a lot other,” explains James Simpson, beverage director of Espita Mezcaleria, evaluating the 2 cooking processes. Past the smokiness, Simpson says mezcal has an earthy high quality with deep, caramelized flavors.

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To in reality assessment each tequila and mezcal, Simpson recommends serving them at room temperature in a large glass (like a clay copita) as a way to respect each their aroma and taste.

However wait . . . Why is tequila so a lot more common?

Within the closing 5 years or so, mezcal has transform extra common as a spirit, however traditionally, tequila has been a staple of the American bar scene. “Tequila has long gone down a extra business trail. It went via an enormous expansion that mezcal by no means has,” says Simpson. “After we discuss tequila, we are in reality speaking about one form of mezcal that has gotten some huge cash and skilled an enormous growth within the U.S.,” provides Simspon. Famous person-backed tequila manufacturers like Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila, George Clooney’s Casamigos, and Nick Jonas’s Villa One have no doubt helped spice up enthusiasm for the spirit. Mezcal, then again, is quirkier and frequently made in a lot smaller batches, that means it interprets much less smartly to mass manufacturing.

Mezcal cocktail recipes

Mezcal Michelada

You will not at all times in finding mezcal on this vintage Mexican cocktail — however you can be so satisfied while you do.

Mezcal Amaro Cocktail

This scrumptious, natural cocktail pairs Sombra mezcal with Averna amaro — an Italian digestif. To stability probably the most depth of the 2 liqueurs, recipe developer Samantha Weiss Hills added grapefruit juice, lime juice, and ginger beer.

Roasted Strawberry Margarita

Roasted strawberry purée transforms this mezcal-based margarita into a posh, somewhat candy, somewhat smoky drink that we are positive to sip on repeat all summer season lengthy.

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Tequila cocktail recipes


We will be able to’t discuss tequila with out sharing our favourite recipe for a margarita. It requires a vintage aggregate of tequila, Cointreau, recent lime juice, and agave syrup — plus salt and lime wedges for a garnish. As for what form of tequila to make use of, we propose a clean reposado (flippantly elderly), similar to Cazadores Reposado. It does not pack an excessive amount of of a punch and balances smartly with the remainder of the flavors within the drink.

Tequila New york

Transfer apart, whiskey, and make room for tequila. We had slightly (OK, so much) of a laugh converting up the recipe for this undying cocktail via swapping an Añejo tequila instead of the standard whiskey and incorporating mole bitters.

Tequila Outdated Shaped

As soon as once more, we stated good-bye to whiskey and gave an ideal large hi to tequila on this scrumptious twist on an old school drink. Tequila nonetheless accommodates quite a few heat, candy flavors like vanilla and caramel so you can get to experience all of the comfy feels.