29 Responses

  1. […] Yes, they both come from the agave plant and are made in designated areas in Mexico but that’s where the similarities stop. Tequila is very specific—it can come only from blue agave and is made in only 5 regions; Jalisco is the heart of tequila territory. Mezcal is made from over 28 varieties of agave, including blue agave, in 8 regions of Mexico. Oaxaca is the capital of mezcal production. The methods by which they’re made are entirely different too. To make tequila, agave gets cooked down in stainless steel autoclaves—breaking down the fibers into fermentable sugar—whereas it is roasted in underground pits to make mezcal. Think of it as the difference between a pressure cooker and a BBQ pit. […]

  2. Bill in Merida at |

    I moved to Merida in the Yucatan in September 2012. After being a devotee of anejos I continued with Hornitos Anejo when I arrived but it’s not always available. One day in the Supermercado I picked up una botella del Capricho. Made in the state of Huixquilucan as stated on the label. So it’s not one of the blessed mezcals, but I don’t give a damn. It cost me about 120 pesos or less than $10 bucks. after finishing it I came here to see what you had to say about the difference between tequila and Mezcal. Viva ambos pero mezcal amo ahora!

  3. Just curious... at |

    Are there any hand-crafted tequilas out there (that are marketed/distributed in the US)? Maybe some of the more expensive ones? Or are they pretty much all industrialized?

  4. Mezcalita de Piña | Spache the Spatula at |

    […] instead of Tequila. What is Mezcal and how is it different than Tequila? Here’s a handy-dandy webpage that will get into all the specifics for you, but the bottom line is: they are produced in […]

  5. Ran Van Ongevalle at |

    Thanks man, this was a really interesting topic !!

  6. mark at |

    Are there any mezcals that are 100% blue agave?

  7. […] types of agaves used.  I go into depth on this topic in a variety of previous posts so check out THIS ONE from last August if you want more on […]

  8. Chris at |

    A friend gave me a bottle of Delirio de Oaxaca mezcal premium recently as a house warming gift. Would you share your opinion of the brand and where it would fit in the hierarchy of mescal? Thanks for your help.

  9. Scott Thomas at |

    So I am curious as to your input on this discussion about mezcal vs Tequila – according to this author there was a law passed in 1994 preventing Tequila from being labeled as mezcal, I hadn’t heard of this – also, if this is correct, does not being allowed to be labelled as mezcal mean it is not considered a mezcal?


  10. Murciélago at |

    Thank you for posting all this info, I think it is very important to expand the mezcal culture and have people know what this amazing product is about!
    On an update to your brief, there is now an 8th state that can produce mezcal: Michoacán has been recently given the “denominación de origen” :) A great thing for all the Mezcal Producers from the region. The agaves from this region are mostly, Cupreata, Americana and Inaediquens. Also, as a fun fact, some of these mezcals have a dairy-like taste, because of the many lactic bacteria around (this region is know to produce Cotija Cheese – in fact he only true “endemic” (sorry for the lack of a better word) mexican cheese. I hope you keep this up because it is great to have information!! Thank you lots!

  11. Mike at |

    Thanks for the article ! I’ve recently gotten into a discussion with a friend about the differences between mescal & tequilla. He tells me that tequilla is double-distilled, while mescal is single distilled. True? Also, have you tried an Oaxacan mescal called Joya? Its a limited edition (10,000 liters a year I think) and has been aged for 10 years. Absolutely wonderful.

  12. Colleen at |

    Gracias Maestro! I live in Guanajuato and don’t like tequila, tho I’ll have a margarita now and then. A gringa friend with a son married to a Mexican woman, gave me a bottle of mezcal made by her family. If only I could find them and more of that mezcal which was in an old wine bottle. But since then, I am hooked. Can’t find the brand I took to my son in CA, but I’ll keep looking. A new liquor store here in Gto recently opened and I bought Jarral de Berrio, about 200 pesos. I passed on the 400 peso bottle and today went back to try something different. You might not believe the crazy low prices of some and I am not jumping at trying a 40 peso bottle. I bought a bottle of Gusanos de Oaxaca for 91 pesos. Yeah, that worm is down there. Then my husband pointed out that nowhere does it say mezcal. But it also doesn’t say tequila. It’s quite smooth and not at all sharp. I am afraid I could be like those annoying wine snobs, but with mezcal. I had to look for something on the internet to find out what is the difference between the two. And that’s how I found someone with a PhD in mezcal. I look forward to reading all of your blog. And thank you very much.

  13. John Henry at |

    Muy bien Hecho y Dicho

  14. La Zorra at |

    I love the way you write! I’m going to study this article very carefully so you can quiz me later.

    1. Craig Denton at |

      John – just made Nancy her first Mezcal Margarita – loved it. Now onto your other recipes


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