Tequila & Mezcal
Tequila, mainly produced in Jalisco, in the city of Tequila, can only be produced from the Agave plant of the Agave Weberiana or Azul variety, with its typical blue colour. Unlike the vine, agaves are "disposable" plants, the heart, also known as piña, is cut and processed to produce this distillate. After the leaves are cut from El Jimador, with a specific tool in the shape of a flat shovel, the heart is steamed in special ovens to prepare the starches for fermentation and distillation, which in traditional tequilas takes place strictly with alembic pot -still.
Quality Tequila is produced with 100% Agave Azul and is a fine distillate. Cheap Tequilas are often Tequila Mixto, a distinctly inferior distillate in which the agave distillate is blended with neutral distillate from a multicolumn still.
Mezcal is one of the great distillates in the world: complex, sumptuous and endlessly tantalizing, it stands out, like great wines, for a strong sense of place" Eric Asimov, Food&Wine author, New York Times 2010
That's right, as with wine the word Terroir is pivotal in the essence and history of Mezcal. It is a distillate with ancient roots. It is presumed that it was born in Mexico with the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in the 17th century, who applied their knowledge of distillation to fermented local plants, i.e. agaves. But previously there was talk of Pulque, or a drink based on the juices of the heart of the agave plant.
But what are the differences between Tequila and Mezcal?
First, Tequila can only be made in the town of Tequila, Jalisco
Only Agave Azul or Weberiana can be used for Tequila, while around 50 different varieties of agave can be used for the production of Mezcal.
Finally, Mezcal usually has a smoky flavor that can be very mild to very intense. Be careful though, this must not be too intrusive otherwise it turns out to be more of a defect than a feature.
Rested Yuu Ball Mezcal