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Once you take a sip of mezcal, you’ll discover the elegant, full spectrum of flavors that this amazing spirit delivers. If you don’t know much about this sophisticated liquor, that’s alright. Mezcal experts are sharing their knowledge and the reasons why you should pick up a bottle to enjoy this incredible spirit that is distilled right from the heart of the famous agave plant.
Those Are Not Pineapples
Agaves are well-known in beautiful Mexico as native succulent plants, and it is from these supersized-looking pineapples that mezcal and tequila are made. Typically, a single agave plant can weigh some 40 pounds, but there are others that have grown up to a whopping 300 pounds!
To begin making mezcal, the core of the agave plant is roasted to release its natural sugars. To produce fermentation, agave is cooked and mashed to a pulp, and after, water and yeast are added to the brew. As the mixture sits for days in wooden tanks exposed to the air, the sugars eventually turn into alcohol, and then, the delicious liquid goes through refinement in copper stills, according to tradition.
Mezcal has become so popular with demand so high, that there are agave thieves who steal the plants in the dead of the night in return for a hefty cash reward.
Mezcal and Tequila: What’s the Difference?
Both mezcal and tequila are spectacular spirits, but all you need to know is that tequila is a type of mezcal, and it is only made from the blue weber agave plant and must be cultivated.
Meanwhile, mezcal can be created from about 30 different types of agave plants that are all grown in different parts of Mexico. Much mezcal is produced from the espadin agave plant because it ripens fast and contains an abundance of sugar.
The beauty of mezcal is that a range of awesome flavors can be made due to the small batches being produced, the company or brand making it, and the kind of agave species involved.
Mezcal can be Smoky Flavored
To truly enjoy drinking this spirit, the experts recommend taking small sips or “little kisses” of a good mezcal to appreciate its distinct taste. The best kind is made via a unique, artisanal process that honors the long-time, proud Mexican tradition.
There are wonderful mezcal flavors available depending on the type of agave plant that was chosen to make the distilled spirit. Generally speaking, most folks describe mezcal as having a voluptuous smoky taste, but that is not all. The alcoholic beverage can be layered with a variety of flavors, including citrus notes, vanilla blossom, sweet fruits, custard, or earthy pepper, for instance.
Popularity is Soaring
Mezcal has actually been around for many, many generations and is believed to have originated some 3,000 years ago with the Aztec people. They called it “the elixir of the gods,” and peasants were not allowed to drink it.
Yet, some people didn’t know much about this alcoholic beverage in the United States until a few years ago, and by 2021, mezcal’s value had increased by 50%, according to InsiderBusiness.com.
Today, mezcal has been called “The Fastest Growing Liquor in the US,” and many folks want a taste.
Mezcal Pairs Nicely in Cocktails
The classic way to experience the pure taste and intensity of mezcal is by sipping it in a small cup. However, the distinctive liquor goes beautifully with other ingredients for complex layers of flavors that delight the palate.
You can make your own elegant cocktails at home to wow your friends, and you can find some simple recipes online.
A mezcal Negroni cocktail is an excellent drink to try. The classic, Italian cocktail features three ingredients:
Mix equal parts of mezcal, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Add a handful of ice, and stir it for 30 seconds. Then, strain the beverage into an “Old Fashioned” glass filled with ice. Slice an orange peel, squeeze it over the drink, and run the peel around the edge of the glass. Enjoy!
Mezcal has become the hottest drink in town, and its proud tradition continues. Thanks to the fantastic agave plant, the world can experience the value of this exquisite liquor.