Published On: Fri, Aug 28th, 2020

The Difference Between Mezcal and Tequila

If you haven’t heard by now, mezcal is quickly gaining its popularity over tequila. Especially in american bars. So why is this just now becoming so popular and is there a chance it could bring its cousin tequila down?

You may not know, but yes mezcal and tequila are related. They are both made from agave. A plant that you can find in South America. When an agave plant matures it creates a “pina.” or heart in the center of the plant where the juice comes from. We are going to look at the differences between mezcal and tequila.

Production- While the geographic location to production of mezcal and tequila are a bit similar, mezcal is produced in nine different area of mexico which include Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacán, Puebla and Oaxaca, which is where nearly 85percent of all mezcal is made. As where tequila is produced in 5 different areas Michoacán, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Jalisco, which is where the actual town of Tequila is located.

Image by Angel Chavez from Pixabay

The difference between them however lies with how they produce their product. Mezcal has been distilled for about 100 years whereas tequila was first created as early as 1873 when José Martí began distilling his own brand of whiskey. . It wasn’t until after World War II that tequilas were introduced into Mexico. This led to the creation of many new brands such as Patron, Don Julio, Reposado and Anejo. In addition to these brands, mezcal also has many other varieties including: Reposado, Extra Añejo, Cointreau, and even a few that have a higher alcohol content than regular mezcals like Chichicapa (80 proof), El Dorado (90 proof), and La Paloma (100 proof).

So what is the difference in their production? Mezcal and tequila are both created from the harvested core of the agave plant. Although tequila is typically produced by steaming the agave in industrial ovens before being distilled two to three times in copper pots, Mezcal, on the other hand, is cooked inside earthen pits that are lined with lava rocks and filled with wood and charcoal before being distilled in clay pots.

The process takes about six weeks. During this time the liquid is filtered through a cloth and then placed in wooden barrels called cenotaphs. These barrels are heated up to around 500 degrees Fahrenheit and allowed to ferment for another four months. After fermentation, the liquid is bottled and sold.

Mezcal vs Tequila : Taste- The main difference between tequila and mezcal is in the taste. Mezcal is much sweeter than tequila. The reason for this is because the agave plant is much more sweet than tequila. Also , tequila is made from the fermented juice of the agave plant while mezcal is made from the raw agave juice.

Mezcal vs Tequila : Price- Mezcal is the pricier option of the two, but that is because it is a lot harder to produce and sell than tequila is. The regions where mezcal is produced are often very remote making it difficult for the distilleries to get the product. Also some plants that are made into mezcal can take 30 years to grow and mature. Making it a long wait for that product.

Summary: Both tequila and mezcal are very alcoholic drinks. However, tequila is sweeter and lighter than mezcal, which makes it a better choice for those who want a drink that will be consumed faster. but if you are looking to sip and enjoy a nice smoky mezcal we definitely recommend trying a bottle and taking it to your next friends gathering or just enjoy it at home by yourself.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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