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Tequila vs Mezcal – What’s the difference?

Ola amigos! Welcome to Part 2 of our #TequilaTuesdays series here on the Boozeat Blog 2.0. Now that you know Tequila a little better through our Beginner’s Guide, it’s time you knew about Tequila vs Mezcal and how they differ from each other.

This Tequila vs Mezcal guide should give you a greater understanding between the two, and perhaps help in turning you into a better and more informed drinker too. Here are the facts about both Mexican liquors and how one differs from the other.

The agave plant. (Image credit:Marc Ryckaert via Wikipedia)

The agave plant. (Image credit:Marc Ryckaert via Wikipedia)

Both are distilled from different agave plant types
Mezcal (traditionally spelled as ‘Mescal’) is defined as a liquor that’s distilled from any agave plant that’s native to Mexico. Despite what its name suggest, Mezcal does not contain any psychedelic substances such as mescaline.

same but different

More importantly, the key thing to remember here is that Mezcal is distilled from ANY native Mexican agave. Technically, this means ALL TEQUILAS ARE MEZCALS, but NOT ALL MEZCALS ARE TEQUILAS.

Blue agave being harvested (image source: experiencetequila.com)

Blue agave being harvested (image source: experiencetequila.com)

Just remember that the Tequila nomenclature is exclusively and legally reserved for liquor distilled specifically from the Blue Agave (Agave Tequilana) plant only (pictured). You can’t call any other agave-based liquor Tequila if it isn’t.

Both are distilled in different parts of Mexico
The other thing that sets the Tequila name’s exclusivity besides the specific type of plant it is distilled from is the location of its production. This is also in direct relation to the regions of Mexico where the Blue Agave plants specifically grow and thrive.

Image source: shanghai9.com

Image source: shanghai9.com

Tequila is only produced in Jalisco, Michoacan, Guanajuato, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Mezcals, on the other hand, is made in Oaxaca, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacan, and Puebla instead.

Interestingly, note that there are three overlapping regions: Michoacan, Tamaulipas and Guanajuato. Only these three places make both Tequila and Mezcal simultaneously. While Jalisco is regarded as the world’s centre for Tequila, Oaxaca stands as the equivalent epicentre for Mezcal.

Both have different production processes
The other thing to note about Tequila vs Mezcal is the differences in their respective production processes and techniques. Though there are several similarities like fermentation and aging, everything else including their respective tastes differs.

Image source: tomzap.com / luxurylatinamerica.com

Image source: tomzap.com / luxurylatinamerica.com

The chart below will give you a much clearer idea of the differences.

Tequila vs Mezcal_table

Mezcal has countless styles, Tequila only has three
Another key fact about Tequila vs Mezcal lie in the style the respective final products are marketed. Tequila only comes in two main forms, which are Mixtos or 100% agave. Mezcal, on the other hand, shares those two styles amongst countless others.

Image source: Pinterest

Image source: Pinterest

Besides Mixtos or 100% agave, Mezcal classifications are far more diverse and rich in comparison. Don’t be surprised to find Mezcal being classified based on the type or types of Agave (or maguey) used, single-village varieties, as well as special styles called “Minero”, “Pechuga”, as well as “Cremas de Mezcal”.

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Now you know
So, there you have it. There’s more to explore on the subject of Tequila vs Mezcal, but this will stretch a little too further for this blog post. Nevertheless, what we’ve just presented here should see you standing out better than the average drinker. By the way…

Si Señor, we have Tequila on sale right now!

Si Señor, we have Tequila on sale right now!

Want some tequila?
We’re sure all this new knowledge has not only given you a better appreciation for either, you’re probably hankering for some too. Click here to see our range of tequilas that’s on sale right now and have it delivered to your doorstep rapido!

About Editor 2.0

An avid boozer and word-stringer who's paid to drink and write for the revamped Boozeat Blog 2.0

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