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Tequila and Mezcal – what’s the difference?

  1. Here at El Camion we’re famed for our varied and impressive tequila varieties, and are proud of our label as self-confessed tequila connoisseurs. But some of you seasoned drinkers may have been introduced to a little something on the market called mezcal. This is another popular Mexican drink that can be smooth, smoky, and has that wonderful punch. But what actually is the difference?

Well, when it comes to the tequila and mezcal debate, one thing is important to know – all tequilas are mezcals. Basically a mezcal is any agave based liquor. So, what specific qualities make a drink tequila?

There are generally three differences:

1) Tequila and mezcal are produced in different states of Mexico (although there is slight overlap). Tequila is produced in five states, with Jalisco being the central hub – this is where the actual town of tequila is! Oaxaca is where most mezcal is produced.

  1. 2) To be labelled true tequila, the law states it can only be made with Blue Agave.  Mezcal can be made with as many of 30 varieties of agave, though most are made with the Agave Espadin – this is the most prevalent agave variety found in Oaxaca.
  2. 3) The production process of both spirits is very different, leading to a distinctly different flavour. Although they are harvested in the same way by jimadors, shaving off the leaves to leave the ‘pina’, after that its a different process of fermentation. Mezcal often has a more smoky flavour.

So there we are! Whether you’ve sampled mezcal before, or still haven’t given it a go – just come and ask our advice!


Tags: , , , , | Filed under: cocktails, Mexico

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