The Real Difference Between Tequila and Mezcal

We’re here to bring you up to speed on the basics of Mexican Spirits. Let’s start off with the real differences between Tequila and Mezcal.

First Thing To Learn: Tequila is Mezcal but Mezcal is not Tequila.

Think Russian Nesting Dolls. Mezcal and Tequila are both agave-based liquors. However, Tequila can only be made from one type of agave. Tequila is made from Blue Agave or Weber Agave. Unlike Tequila, Mezcal (traditional spelling: mescal) is a spirit that can be produced from upwards of 28 varieties of the agave plant from many areas of Mexico –  from the city of Oaxaca to some areas of the states of Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosi & Zacatecas. The flavor profile is very different than Tequila because it is typically smokier. If you are a Scotch drinker, Mezcal is to Tequila what Scotch is to Whiskey.

Types of Mezcal & Tequila:

  • Blanco: Has not been aged and is thus clear and generally without the flavors aging would impart. Since it doesn’t need to age, this can be bottled immediately.
  • Reposado: Aged in wooden barrels for 2-11 months.
  • Añejo: Aged in wooden barrels for 12+ months.

What are the Mezcals you should be trying?

Dry & balanced. It’s light aging left this Repasado with a medium intensity and just a hint of smokiness.

Because the agave was steamed rather than smoked, Zignum Silver doesn’t have a smoky flavor to it at all. It’s lightly citrusy and very clean.

Smoky & perfect for mixing. It’s a bartender favorite for smoky fruity cocktails.

Mezcal Cocktails & Drinks

So, judgement time has come, what should you order at a restaurant to look smart?

  • Palomas
Paloma

The Paloma | recipe here

  • Margaritas
Grilled Pineapple Mezcal

The Grilled Pineapple Margarita | recipe here

  • The Sierra Madre Sunrise Cocktail
The Mezcal Aperol Cocktail

An Aperol Cocktail |  recipe here

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