Hi Club Solaris Friends, today, I wanted to write a few lines to explain to you a common question our barmen frequently get:
Probably you wouldn't know, but both of them are distilled from the same Plant: The Agave, just Depending on the actual type of plant and the aging process is one of the differences between these two. Such as with whiskeys, we have Scotch or bourbon.
While Tequila has been the popular boy for years, Mezcal has been gaining more followers outside Mexico in the past year or so due to its strong smoky flavor.
The Agave is the plant that makes both these alcoholic drinks possible, and while All Tequilas can be Mezcals, not all of the Mezcal can be a tequila; The plant used to make Tequila is called Agave Azul (agave tequilana) and is more commonly located in the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the Mezcal has no distinction on which Agave plant to use, with more than 30 types available across different places in Mexico being Oaxaca one of the primary ones.
The distillery process is So different, as tequila is cooked or steamed by an industrial process, and then distilled several times in copper pots ( depending on the type of tequila silver, gold or Aged ) Meaning Tequila is not 100% pure Agave, as it has up to 49% of additional chemicals, on the other hand, Mezcal is completely artisanal, no chemicals added, cooking the agave leaves on earthen pits, heated with lava rocks, wood, and charcoal ( which gives it the smoky flavor).
Both of them have 3 different classifications: You can ask for "Blanco" (white), which is aged no more than 2 months (Tip: For Mezcal this is the best stage because the essence of the Agave prevails in the taste and aroma). You can also ask for a "Reposado" which is aged between 2 months and a year, this time changing its color to a light yellow. and the last stage of age is "Añejo" which has from 1 to 3 years in the barrels. (Tip. this is the best Tequila since it has a smoother and neutral taste).
The Aging process is also made in Wooden barrels for both, but one uses old whisky barrels, while the other uses regular barrels for the whole time.
As you may have tried before, Tequila has a sweet, fruity taste that stings when going down the throat, but is perfect to mix with fruity beverages like the Margarita and Paloma.
The Mezcal ( and you have to try it at least once ) has that smoky and more penetrating flavor, like earth-wise. Another advantage that this has over tequila is that it is proven to not give you a hangover.
Tequila has a very neutral taste, while Mezcal is very strong and aromatic, so they have to be paired differently.
Tequila is commonly drank with Salt and lime only or mixed with sweet and salty cocktails. Proper Way to drink it the Mexican way is on shot glass with the following Expression ( which also comes with hand movements ) Arriba! Abajo! Al Centro y para Adentro (Up, down, forward, and inward)
Please, please! don’t pair your Mezcal with lemon, or do it at your own risk and taste by yourself how it "kills" most of the flavors and aromas. Mezcal, can be combined with a worm salt ( has a red-ish color), and several Fruits, like oranges and grape juice, also strawberries or truffles are amazing to eat while zipping in a cup of Mezcal, the popular saying is: "Para todo mal Mezcal, Para todo Bien, También" (For all the bad, Mezcal, For all good, too).
And here comes the kicker: Tequilas don't usually have the worm inside the bottles, but the Mezcals do, as they are pickled because of the high percentage of alcohol.
Remember to try them both at either our Bars in Cancun or Cabo, or you can attend one of our Tequila tastings where our bartenders can explain to you the differences between them, and how to properly drink or mix them.