Tequila v Mezcal: Exploring the Spirits of Mexico


Welcome, spirits enthusiasts! Today, let's dive into the fascinating world of Mexican spirits and uncover the differences between two popular choices: Tequila and Mezcal. Both Tequila and Mezcal are distilled spirits originating from Mexico and are made from the agave plant. However, they differ in their production methods, regions, and flavours.

Tequila: From Jalisco

Tequila is perhaps the more familiar of the two spirits. It is distilled primarily in the state of Jalisco, as well as designated regions in Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Tequila is crafted specifically from the blue agave plant (Agave tequilana Weber, to be exact). The heart of the blue agave, known as the piña, is harvested, cooked, fermented, and distilled to create Tequila.

Tequila is categorized into various types:
1. Blanco (or Silver): Unaged Tequila with a crisp, pure agave flavour. - Try Mundo or Fortaleza Blanco from our collection.
2. Reposado: Aged in oak barrels for at least two months but less than a year, offering a balanced taste of agave and wood.  - Try Tequila Arette.
3. Añejo: Aged for at least one year but less than three years, resulting in a smoother, richer Tequila with nuanced flavours.
4. Extra Añejo: Aged for over three years, showcasing complex flavours and a dark hue.

Mezcal: Artisanal Craft from Oaxaca

Rooster Rojo Mezcal

Mezcal, on the other hand, hails mainly from the state of Oaxaca but can also be produced in several other Mexican states. Unlike Tequila, which focuses on blue agave, Mezcal can be made from various agave species, each contributing unique flavours. The agave hearts are roasted in underground pits, imparting a distinctive smoky flavour to Mezcal.

The variety of agave used in Mezcal production can greatly influence its taste. Popular types include Espadín, Tobalá, and Arroqueño, each offering a different flavour profile influenced by the region's terroir. Mezcal production is often more artisanal, with small-batch producers preserving traditional methods. Each batch of Mezcal can reflect the skill and creativity of the maestro mezcalero (master distiller).

Try Rooster Rojo Mezcal from our collection.

Taste and Aromas

Tequila tends to have a cleaner, crisper taste, emphasizing the sweetness of the blue agave. In contrast, Mezcal's smoky undertones evoke flavors of roasted agave and earth, reminiscent of its traditional production process.

Which one to choose?

When it comes down to choosing between Tequila and Mezcal, it often boils down to personal preference. Tequila is ideal for those who appreciate a straightforward, agave-forward taste, whether enjoyed neat or in cocktails like Margaritas and Palomas. Mezcal, with its complexity and smokiness, appeals to adventurous palates seeking a deeper, more layered drinking experience.

How to Enjoy

Some of us may be familiar with tequila from our misspent youth, but if this is your first foray into the spirit, here are some serving tips. 

In Mexico, tequila is typically enjoyed by itself with no accompaniments, but around the rest of the world you'll often find it served alongside salt and a slice of lime. Similarly, Mezcal is usually enjoyed neat in its native land, but often accompanied with sliced orange, lemon or lime and a blend of salt, chilli and ground larvae known as 'worm salt'... we think salt and chilli would probably do the job.

Tequila is perfect for cocktails, too, whether it's the classic Margarita or the Mexican favourite Paloma. 

Cocktail Recipes for Margarita and Paloma

Although it's at its best taken neat, Mezcal can be used in place of a traditional spirit to add a twist to some well-loved cocktails. Why not try the 'Oaxa Old Fashioned' or the 'Mezcal Negroni'? 

Cocktail recipes for an Old Fashioned and a Negroni

Whether you're sipping a smooth Tequila añejo or relishing the earthy notes of a Mezcal made from wild agave, both spirits offer a delightful taste of Mexican craftsmanship and tradition. Next time you're exploring the world of agave spirits, remember the unique characteristics that set Tequila and Mezcal apart—and perhaps discover a new favourite along the way!


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