If drinking is part of your social schedule, or you work at a bar, then you’ve probably heard about Mezcal and Tequila. Mezcal and tequila are two of the best spirits you can find, and if you’ve just started as a bartender, or you’ve only just heard about the two, you’ll likely confuse the two, and think that they’re the same.
But that’s not the case at all. Mezcal and tequila are two different spirits, although they both originate from Mexico, that’s just about it for the similarities between the two. As time goes on, Mezcal keeps on gaining ground on tequila, but mostly only in American bars. We can’t say that they’re completely different, but they aren’t completely the same either.
In this article on “Mezcal VS Tequila”, we’ll list the differences between the two. Before that, try to figure out what this line means “All mezcals can’t be called tequilas, but all tequilas can indeed be called mezcals”. If you can’t figure it out, then keep reading to find out what that means.
Mezcal Vs Tequila – What is the Difference?
“All mezcals can’t be called tequilas, but all tequilas can indeed be called mezcals”. Why is that? Well, the answer to that is pretty straight forward. Tequila can be called mezcal because it’s a category of mezcal. The definition of mezcal is any agave-based liquor; something that tequila is, it’s made specifically from blue agave and originates from specific regions of Mexico.
So tequila is pretty much a type of mezcal, so it can be said that every tequila is a mezcal, but you can’t say that every mezcal is tequila. Different kinds of mezcals are made differently, that much is obvious. In the next part of this article, we’ll elaborate on that.
Made with different types of agave:
Different types of mezcals are made from different types of agave. Like tequila, for example, is made from blue agave. In total, there are about 30 different types of agave that are used to make different types of mezcal. Tobalá, tobaziche, tepeztate, arroqueño, and espadín are the types you’ll find the most.
Espadín is the most commonly used agave and contributes to 90% of mezcal. With that being said, the other types contribute their fair share to different types of mezcal.
Produced in different regions:
Both tequila and mezcal may originate from Mexico, but there is a regional difference. They’re both made in different regions of Mexico, and tequila, in specific, is made in five different places that are Michoacán, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas, and Jalisco. Among these places, Jalisco is the original town of tequila, and hence, where it comes from.
Mezcal, on the other hand, is made in 9 different regions of Mexico that are Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacán, Puebla and Oaxaca. About 85% of mezcal comes from Oaxaca.
The harvested core of the agave plant is what’s used to make both tequila and mezcal. More commonly known as “piña”, it’s the only similarity between the two. Agave is steamed inside industrial ovens if it’s going to be used to make tequilas, and after that, the agave is distilled two or three times in copper pots.
Earthen pits are lined with lava rocks to cook mezcal, and distilled in clay pots after being filled with wood and charcoal. This method is a more traditional way of making mezcal, and most modern mezcal producers don’t use it, but it’s still the most common way of making mezcal, and the source of the smoke quality of mezcal.
After the distillation process, tequila and mezcal are then aged inside oak barrels, but the aging categories for the two are slightly different from one another. Tequila has three types: Blanco (silver or plato/0-2 months), reposado (2-12 months), and Aneho (1-3 years). Mezcal also has three types: Joven (Blanco or abacado/0-2 months), reposado (2-12 months), and Anejo (about a year).
Each type (of both tequila and mezcal) differs from one another by age. One’s aged from years, while others are aged only for a few months.
That’s just about it! We’ve covered pretty much every difference in this article on “Mezcal VS Tequila”. If you have any further queries or would like to add something to this article, feel free to comment down below, and we’ll try to respond to as many as we can!
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