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An Introduction to Mezcal 05:02

Brian Floyd

Despite their overlapping origins, mezcal is smokier, richer, and more nuanced than tequila.

An Introduction to Mezcal 05:02

Brian Floyd

Despite their overlapping origins, mezcal is smokier, richer, and more nuanced than tequila.

Intermediate
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. Tequila is produced from a specific type of agave from the Mexican state, Jalisco. Mezcal is also made form agave, but is not limited to a certain type of agave or region. Rather, it is distinguished by a smokey flavor that comes from a specialized production process. 00:25

  2. 2. Tequila is made by steaming the heart of a blue agave plant, which helps prepare the sugars for distillation. To make mezcal, the agave hearts are roasted in the ground, in a structure similar to a barbeque pit. 00:51

  3. 3. There are many different qualities of mezcal available. The highest quality mezcals can be hard to find, as they are usually made in small batches with limited quantity. 02:09

  4. 4. Most mezcals are intended to be enjoyed straight without needing any other additions to the drink. However, mezcal is frequently used as a component in mixed cocktails. 02:39

  5. 5. Del Maguey Vida releases mezcals from different villages that vary in flavor because of the different regions and agaves that are used. 03:16

  6. 6. Mezcal Vago Tobala uses different species of agave grown in the wild. As such, it is expensive and made in very small quantities. 03:46

  7. 7. Ilegal mezcal is another example of high-quality mezcal that is best consumed straight. 04:25

What You'll Need

Ingredients

- Mezcal

Chef Notes

Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant native to Mexico. The word mezcal comes from a Spanish term meaning "oven-cooked agave". 

Tequila and mezcal, while produced from the same plant, are distinguished by the production method and location. The word “mezcal” refers to a vast family of agave spirits, making it a fairly generic term. Tequila differs in that it is produced in a particular a region, like Champaigne, and can only be made from one particular varietal of agave to be considered authentic.

Authentic mezcal can be produced in seven Mexican states: Oaxaca, Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, Tamaulipas, and Guanajuato. Most mezcal available in the U.S. is from Oaxaca. 

The alcohol content level of mezcal will range between 40% to 50%.

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Taught by

Brian floyd

Chef Brian Floyd

Austin

Brian Floyd is a bartender at Austin's craft cocktail bar, Weather Up. Weather Up has been named one of the "10 Best Bars in ... read more