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Tequila vs. Mezcal

If you’ve ever dined at a Mexican restaurant and ordered off the drink menu, you’ve probably noticed tequila and mezcal on the menu. Many people are unsure of the difference between these two Mexican spirits. Learn about tequila vs. mezcal by continuing on.

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Both tequila and mezcal are popular beverages in the United States. In 2017, 17.2 million cases of tequila were sold and 360,000 cases of mezcal were sold. It may seem confusing, but all tequila is a type of mezcal, yet not all mezcal is tequila. This is similar to how all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Tequila must be made in the Tequila region of Mexico, while mezcal can be produced anywhere in Mexico (however, it is most commonly produced in the Oaxaca region). Both mezcal and tequila are made from agave, but tequila is made from blue Weber agave specifically, which is only produced in Jalisco and some parts of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Meanwhile, mezcal can be made from more than 30 types of agave.

As far as flavor is concerned, mezcal is smokier than tequila. This is because the agave used to make mezcal is cooked in underground pits lined with hot rocks that are burned for 24 hours before the cooking process begins. This caramelizes the agave plants, giving a rich and flavorful taste.

Speaking of rich and flavorful tastes, both tequila and mezcal can have enhanced tastes when aged. Blanco/silver tequila is tequila that is bottled right after the distillation process or less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrel. Joven mezcal is a mezcal that is bottled right away or fewer than two months as well. Reposado tequila or mezcal is a spirit that has rested in oak for a minimum of two months, but less than a year. Anejo tequila or mezcal has aged for one to three years in oak barrels, while extra Anejo has aged for at least three years in an oak barrel.

Now that you know the difference between tequila and mezcal, order up either of these spirits at Verde Kitchen & Cocktails! We are located at 70 East Main Street in Bay Shore, New York, and hope to serve you soon!




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