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When in Mexico – Tequila or Mezcal?

You may have seen Mezcal popping up in fancy cocktails at higher end Mexican restaurants near you. So what exactly is it? Is it a type of tequila? While tequila is a Mezcal, not all Mezcals are tequila. Mezcal has it’s own set of rules on how and with what it can be made. Traditional tequila is made with 100% Blue Agave only. While Mezcal is made with any type of agave. Important to note that when buying tequila in the US or anywhere look for 100% Blue Agave Tequila to make sure you are getting a true product. My husband and I like Sauza signature blue and I highly recommend you give it a try. So when in Mexico – Tequila or Mezcal? I say both!

My first Mezcal experience was at Madera Food & Art in Isla Mujeres, MX. I saw a Mojito on the menu made with Mezcal and decided to give it a try. It was delicious and unlike any Mojito I had ever had before. So what made this Mojito stand out, you ask? The flavor is well, the best way I would describe Mezcal is it has a rich smoky flavor due to the cooking process. Picture large holes in the ground lined with lava rocks (hello minerals) and then filled with wood and charcoal. The final step of the process is to move the smoked agave pits to distill in clay pots.

Making the Mezcal.
Picture Credit: Pinterest

Where as Tequila is also made from the agave pit it is the cooking process that is different. The agave pits are cooked in industrial style ovens and then distilled up to three times in large copper pots. Something I found really interesting when our family went on a tour through a tequila factory in Mexico. It was so neat seeing the fields of agave. Now we just need to find a Mezcal making tour.

Our 2018 family trip to this Agave farm Mayapan Aguave Tequila Distillery

Have you ever heard of or tried Mezcal before this post? Are you a fan of tequila? Which would you prefer? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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