In Defense of Mezcal

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Discussion (4)

  • Rich posted 4 years ago

    Actually, the main "legal" aspect is proprietary / trademark related, the same as "Tennessee" whiskey, and "Champagne", etc. It's just a regional thing, where the ingredients must originate from. (A sparkling wine made from California grapes is...a sparkling wine. BUT, grown that very grape species in Champagne, France, you get it.) That, and Tequila has to be made from 51% or more Blue Weber Agave, Mezcal can be any agave. So, yes, Oscar, EVERY Tequila falls within (the Venn diagram) of Mezcal. But not EVERY Mezcal is considered "Tequila" (Jalisco, Mexico). Just like all Champagne is wine, but not all wine is Champagne.

  • posted 5 years ago

    Both tequila and mezcal are spirits made from agave using similar methods, but they are entirely separate categories when it comes to legal definitions. According to the Norma Oficial Mexicana that defines tequila, it must be made from one specific agave species in a specific geographical area. On the other hand, mezcal is defined as a spirit made from one of several other agave species in a different set of regions. In other words, under Mexican law, no tequila may be called mezcal, and no mezcal may be called tequila.

  • Oscar Bueno posted 5 years ago

    Good post on mezcal. I could never do mezcal. It just reminds me too much of smoked ham. But I love showing my friends the difference between tequila and mezcal. Another good one is sotol, which I quite like. I have yet to have mezcal in a cocktail, will try this weekend.

    By definition, isn't tequila considered a mezcal?

  • Thirsty South posted 5 years ago

    I really dig Fidencio's Classico mezcal, tremendous stuff, wonderful neat, but also very interesting in cocktails. Here's one to try:

    2 part Mezcal
    1/2 lemon juice
    1/4 lime juice
    squeeze of agave syrup (to taste, I used a bit less than a tsp)
    2 dash bitters

    Shake over cracked ice, strain into chilled glass.

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