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Mezcal 101

Mezcal 101

Mezcal is in vogue, and with a good reason; no other distilled spirit has such a sense of place, or what the French call terroir, as Mezcal. Unlike Tequila, which must be made with blue agave, Mezcal can be made from a wide variety of agaves. Espadin, Tobalá, Arroqueño, there are a dozen agave species suited for Mezcal production, and each has unique aromas and flavors, making every Mezcal bottle an unforgettable, unique experience.

Seven Mexican states can produce Mezcal, from which Oaxaca leads in quality and quantity. Here, Mezcal is produced with artisanal methods in small batches, adding a story to each label. These are mostly family-owned estates, crafting the spirit with the most time-intensive, traditional practices. The wood-fired ovens used to cook the agave hearts infuse the spirit with the loveliest smokiness.

As with Tequila, you’ll find Mezcal labeled as White, Reposado or Añejo, but those-in-the-know prefer the clear spirit over aged Mezcal to better appreciate the particular agave cactus used to craft the spirit. You can also find mezcal labeled as ancestral, artisanal, or industrial, depending on the tools and technology used during the Mezcal making process.

Mezcal is better enjoyed with orange wedges and a pinch of worm salt, that’s how it’s done in Oaxaca, but creative bartenders have shown innovative ways to experience the smoky spirit. Mezcal has an old soul and deep roots in Mexico’s native history. Always pure and honest, there’s no other spirit like Mezcal.

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