Mezcal vs Tequila
Is it the Mezcal, Mescal or just a better version of Tequila that no one ever wanted to admit existed? Perhaps it is the Prodigal Son that has returned or the Black Sheep of the Family that proved all wrong. Whatever the case may be, the art of the Mezcal all lies within its real meaning “oven-cooked agave.”
The art of the Mezcal and its explosion did not just happen. It has existed for as long as one can trace back the times of man. The only defining difference between the Mezcal, and the Tequila is the agave. Tequila stops at only the use of one variety, the blue agave. The Mezcal like the adventure and the risk of utilizing over thirty agave varieties and sub-varieties to create a dynamic and dimensional beverage.
The allure of handcrafted, often small batch alcohols is hard to pass up. Each batch is produced using the same time aged recipe but seems to hold its own value, appeal and traits like no other. The typical aging is anywhere from one month to four years or so. In rarer and more elite cases, some are growing the agave for twelve years or more. The resulting Mezcal is superior and an artistic expression of its region.
In comes the beauty and the intriguing world where the real Mezcal steps forward. In developing a rare form of art that calls to its patrons, the Mezcal becomes a flavor powerhouse in one of these many ways. Check out these other interesting and alluring facts!
- Though the agave grows throughout most of Mexico, Mezcal is mainly made in Oaxaca.
- The types of agave, fermentation, fruits, herbs and other additives used determine the final taste and type. These products are all mixed at once and allowed to ferment together.
- There is a type of Mezcal called Pechuga, it is one of the rare varieties that will alter the original recipe. It is typically made November –December and is distilled through chicken, duck or turkey breast. The special recipe uses cinnamon, plums and other fruits that are currently in season that are front forward rather than the typical agave's. How is that for an intriguing beverage!
If you come across a Hypopta agavis, just know that it was put there on purpose, and you have bought a bottle of Mezcal that includes the “Hypopta agavis” or worm. The worm which is a larve is put there during the bottling process is subject to debate on its true reasoning even among the Mexican.
Drink it like you mean it. Mezcal, is served neat with a few slices of orange that have been sprinkled with a bit of ground fried larve, ground chili peppers and salt called Sal de gusano. If nothing else, at least sip it neat. They all exhibit their own form of smokiness depending on the varieties included and the region. To put into words a specific Tasting Notes on any specific one would be fruitless due to the small batch process, take any reviews of the such with a grain of salt but perhaps as a matter of a guideline.
The Mezcal is only as attractive and as Intriguing as you want it to be. It has come full force through San Diego and is spreading. The creativity is not new; it is just legal.