Join us on Friday, May 11 for a crash course in all things Mezcal featuring Francisco Terrazas, National Brand Manager for Mezcal Vago. Tickets are $15, with $10 back toward any purchase that evening. Reserve your spot today, purchase tickets here.
What is Mezcal?
Mezcal (traditionally spelled mescal) is a Mexican distilled spirit that is made from the agave plant. Tequila is technically a mezcal, however, there are differences in production technique and in the types of agave used. Tequila is made from a single type of agave plant – the agave tequilana (blue agave) – and can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and in small parts of four other states.
When tequila is made, the agave head is baked in an above-ground oven. This began in the late 19th century. Mezcal producers, however, often follow the traditional method of using in-ground pits. The agave heads (also called agave hearts, or piñas) are roasted or grilled over hot rocks in a cone-shaped pit (called palenques or hornos). A fire is started and burns for about 24 hours to heat the stones that line the pit. The agave heads are put into the pit and then covered with moist agave fiber that is left over from the fermentation process. A layer of agave leaves or woven palm leaves cover the fibers and the agave heads are left to cook for two to three days.
Mezcal traditionally has a very unique, smoky flavor that makes it fairly easy to distinguish from tequila. It also tends to taste sweeter, or richer, than tequila.