What is Mezcal?
Creating the spirit ‘mezcal’ involves an ancient process of converting agave to alcohol. Mezcal is the national spirit of Mexico, with the word ‘Mezcal’ originating from the Aztec word ‘Mexcalli’. When translated, this means ‘oven-cooked agave’. Spanish colonialists are believed to have taught the Nahua people (the Mexican natives) this technique in approximately the 1600s. This powerful ancient process has survived to this day.
Oaxaca, Mexico, is the largest producer of mezcal. Mezcal is not exclusively produced here though; this fantastic drink is produced all across the country in 8 different states. Mezcal is a drink rich in national pride and is drunk as a celebration of Mexican indigenous heritage.
So maybe you’re wondering what is the difference between Mezcal and tequila? Perhaps you’re pondering the old mezcal tequila question? Well, actually you will find that tequila is a form of mezcal. This is because the word ‘mezcal’ includes any alcoholic spirit made from agave. So, mezcal is the umbrella term, that covers many different drinks. Therefore, not all mezcals are tequila, but all tequilas are mezcal. Mezcal can in fact be made from approximately 30 different agave plants!
Many people think that mezcal has hallucinogenic properties, sending the user on a psychedelic ‘trip’. Back in ancient Aztec times, Aztec people did perform rituals and ceremonies using these sacred agave plants, as they believed they held magical properties. This deep respect for agave lives on for many patriotic Mexicans today. However, mezcal itself doesn’t actually have any psychoactive qualities.
How is Mezcal Made?
So, it all starts with the agave plant. These traditionally grow in dry, arid conditions, such as in the Mexican desert. The agave plant needs to be sufficiently mature before it can be converted into alcohol. So, once the agave plant is between 7-14 years old, the plant is then large and mature enough and is suitable for harvesting. The plant is picked and the juice extracted. This juice is extremely sweet and rich in sugars. It is these sugars that are extracted and fermented, to produce the alcoholic content of the spirit.
So, let’s talk sugar. The sugar is firstly distilled twice, next matured, and then finally bottled. During the maturing process the earthy, smoky flavor becomes infused. Historically, the Aztec people would dig a hole in the earth, fill it with lava rocks, and then bury the agave plant. It would be left for approximately 3 days. The agave would be surrounded by hot coals and left alone to soak up and infuse that delicious smoky flavor.
The process is not too different today! Pits are dug into the ground and the plant is buried with hot rocks. The resultant mezcal is then distilled in clay pots, bottled, and sold. Knowledge of mezcal’s specific production intricacies tends to be closely guarded and passed down the ancestral line, helping keep the treasured knowledge within families.
Health Benefits of Mezcal
First things first: mezcal is alcohol. It is very important that we remember that any alcohol consumed in excess is going to have damaging, adverse side effects. Please, always drink in moderation and with caution.
However, as alcohols go, mezcal is definitely one of the better ones! Dr. Forrelli is based in San Francisco and is a naturopathic physician. Dr. Forrelli asserts that “as far as spirits go, mezcal is the best.” This is because of its purity. So many alcoholic beverages in this modern day are jammed full of sugar, sweeteners, artificial colors, and flavorings. These are full of toxins and have negative, harmful effects on our health. They damage our livers and stomaches, pollute our skin, and have long-term negative impacts on our overall health.
Mezcal, on the other hand, is incredibly pure. Good quality mezcal brands have one ingredient and one ingredient only: agave! This level of purity is incredible when compared to many other alcoholic beverages out there on the market.
Mezcal is also thought to be a digestive aid, as doing a shot as an ‘apertif’ before dinner helps stimulate digestion, and taking a shot after, a ‘digestif’ is also thought to be beneficial. So, if you’ve over-indulged on those tacos, try a few mezcal shots to help you on your way!
Taste and Flavors Details
Mezcal has a distinct and unique smoky, earthy flavor. This rich flavor comes from the production process, as discussed above, during which the agave plant is dug into the earth and left for several days. It is during this process that the agave acquires that fabulous, smoky taste.
The original legend surrounding the smoke flavor of mezcal starts with a storm. Long ago, far out in the Mexican desert, a crazy, powerful lightning storm was exploding in the sky. Then, one single bolt of lightning hit an agave plant. The power and heat of this lightning cooked the plant, which began the fermentation process. After some days, the plant opened, and out came this smoky drink. Mexicans call mezcal the “elixir of the gods” and believe that this legend shows that mezcal was a God-given gift from the skies.
Often in bottles of mezcal, you will find a juicy worm waiting for you at the bottom. This larva is thought to bring richness to the flavor of the drink, and provide a unique taste. It is also rumored that the worm brings medicinal, or even hallucinogenic qualities! These are yet to be proven though.
How to choose the right bottle of Mezcal?
Are you looking to buy mezcal online? Are you searching for good quality mezcal for sale? Well, if you want to order mezcal online then definitely check out our CWSpirits website. We have a great selection of quality and trusted mezcal liquor products. Mezcal tequila? We’ve got you covered!
When choosing your bottle of mezcal, one thing to consider is of course the price. At CWSpirits, we have a great range of affordable products. We offer the fantastic El Silencio Mezcal Espadin, at only $29.99. Now that is an absolute bargain! We also have a Burrito Fiestero Mezcal for $44.99. So, whatever your budget, we’ve got something for you.
When wanting to buy mezcal online, you can also base your mezcal choice on different flavorings. Some mezcals will be more fruity, with apricot or sweet-stone fruit flavorings, whilst others will be more smoke-earth heavy.
Are you asking yourself where to buy mezcal? Make sure to check out CWSpirits if you want to order mezcal online, as you can get your favorite mezcal delivered straight to your door! Check out our fantastic range of mezcal tequila and mezcal liquor products.
When hunting for mezcal for sale, try this Del Maguey Vida Mezcal. Priced at a very reasonable $44.99, this mezcal is great for those of you out there not wanting to exhaust the purse. This drink is fantastically smooth with a soft finish, that makes it great for straight sipping. It also is versatile enough to be mixed into long drinks or shaken into cocktails. This mezcal has orange, ginger, apricot, pear and cinnamon flavors. Go ahead, and try a generous splash on the rocks today!
Our second must try mezcal is this El Recuerdo Mezcal Abocado Con Gusano. Now, this mezcal is for all of you straight-drinkers out there. This drink is silky smooth, with a seriously silky finish. Definitely one to be enjoyed neat!
Thirdly, this Burrito Fiestero Mezcal is a creamy, lightly smoky drink, aged for 12 years minimum. There are also tropical notes present, making it perfect for mixing into cocktails and long drinks.
Last but certainly not least, this El Silencio Mezcal Espadin. This one is great for cocktails, and has a rich, sweet, smoky flavor. Not one to be missed! So, if you’re wondering where to buy mezcal, then head over to our CWSpirits website for a great selection at a range of different prices.
Frequently Asked Question'sWhen Does Mezcal Expire?
We’ve got great news for you - never! Well, not never, but if left unopened and out of direct sunlight, mezcal will survive for a very long time. It can sit on your shelf to be admired for months or even years! Unlike wine, mezcal will not age in the bottle, as it is a distilled spirit. So, your mezcal can withstand the test of time, but this also relies on your willpower, and avoiding the temptation of drinking this fantastic drink! Our bet is, that it won’t last that long at all!
Can We Drink Mezcal and Liquor Together?
Yes, of course, you can mix mezcal and other liquors - in fact, for the sake of delicious cocktails, we actively encourage you to! As always, when mixing drinks remember to drink in moderation, and be careful as mixing drinks can lead to high levels of alcohol consumption and intoxication. You may also be hit with a strong hangover! However, when mixed sensibly, mezcal can make some fantastic drinks. Some great examples of mezcal cocktails include a Mezcal Mexican Mule or a Mezcal Margarita.
Is Mezcal More Alcoholic Than Wine?
The long and short of it is - yes. Mezcal is a distilled spirit, with an ABV of approximately 40%. Wine usually tends to dance around the 11% ABV mark, but can stretch between 5.5% and 16%. Fortified wine can be up to 25%, so is more potent, but still not as strong as Mezcal. So, when drinking mezcal, make sure you remember this high ABV percentage and drink responsibly, whilst also drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated!
What Does Mezcal Taste Like?
Mezcal has a wonderfully unique smoky flavor. It is earthy and smoky, with strong rich flavors. It is more intensely flavored than tequila, its more well-known counterpart. Mezcal has strong oily, vegetal flavors with herby notes. Mezcal also often has a worm at the bottom of the bottle, which brings its own unique flavor.
What Type of Spirit is Mezcal?
Mezcal is an agave-based liquor. It is fermented and then distilled. It is around 40% ABV, and is a versatile spirit that is great for drinking alone as a shot, for sipping neat, or for being mixed into cocktails or mixed drinks.
So there we have it, a deep dive into the world of mezcal! If after all of this great information you are wondering where to buy mezcal, then head over to CWSpirits for a broad range of many different mezcals. You’re sure to find the one that suits you best!