If you find yourself torn between ordering a tequila or a mezcal Margarita, but don’t know the difference between tequila and mezcal, we’re here to help. Both Mexican spirits, both used in similar drinks – but there’s more than a few differences.
Velas Resorts in Mexico has helped out with some tips for telling these two spirits apart….
The Difference Between Tequila & Mezcal
The main ingredient of tequila is the blue Tequilana Weber agave. But, mezcal requires about 20 different varieties of agave to make it. These can be mixed to create different flavours.
When it comes to how tequila and mezcal are made, mezcal is more artisanal .Its fermentation takes place in stone ovens free of chemical yeasts and is distilled in a copper still.
Tequila, however, uses large steam ovens, crushers, and chemical yeasts, so it’s easier to produce larger quantities.
3. The Taste Difference
They really do taste very different! In a nutshell, tequila is usually sweeter and floral, while mezcal usually tastes smokey, with certain agave and wood dyes.
4. Where it Comes From
Did you know that these two spirits can only be made in special regions in Mexico? You can only produce tequila in cities within the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Michoacan, Tamaulipas, and Guanajuato. Mezcal’s Denomination of Origin extends to the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan, Tamaulipas, Durango, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, Puebla, State of Mexico, Morelos and Aguascalientes.
You’ll find small spirit producers all across these states. If you’re in one of the regions, be sure to ask for the local speciality.
5. How You Drink it
Yep, of course you can drink both in a shot. But, you should really be taking small sips to properly taste the flavours of each spirit. Serve tequila with a lemon wedge and salt, while mezcal is best consumed with worm salt and an orange wedge.
As for cocktails? Tropical flavours are the ideal combo for tequila, while sour or bitter flavours go best with mezcal cocktails.