Difference between Tequila and Mezcal

Tequila vs Mezcal

Both the tequila and mezcal are beverages extracted from the same plant and have a similar production process. Although both come from the Agave fermentation they have many differences.

It can be said that tequila has an industrial production process and for the mezcal is completely handmade.

Comparative table between Tequila and Mezcal

 tequila vs mezcal
TEQUILA
tequila vs mezcal
MEZCAL
type of
Agave
Blue Agave
Tequilana Weber
Mainly Agave Espadín
Production
Process
IndustrialHandcrafted
Where is the main productionJalisco
Oaxaca
Certificate
of origin
YesYes
TypesBlanco
Reposado
Añejo
Extra Añejo
Joven
Reposado
Añejo
Aged in glass
Alcohol
Saturation
35 - 40ºover 40º
TasteCitrus
Frutty
Vanila notes
Smoked
Frutty notes

Main differences between Tequila and Mezcal

The Agave is a genus of monocots plants, generally succulent, belonging to the ancient Agavaceae family which gave it its name. They are currently in the Asparagaceae family according to the APG III classification system.

There are different types of Agave, and Tequila is extracted only from Blue Agave Tequilana Weber, while mezcal can be distilled from different types of Agave and not even necessarily from a single plant, the most famous is called Espadín.

Blue-agave

Of the 200 existing species of Maguey in America, Mexico has at least 90% of them on its surface.

One of the differences between tequila and mezcal is that the blue agave’s cooking process for tequila is done in masonry ovens. Instead, the Mezcal’s cooking is completely handmade, underground in clay ovens, where the piñas (the heart of the Agave) can acquire smoky notes.

Both beverages have a controlled designation of origin. Tequila can only be produced in the states of Jalisco, Tuliapas, Nayarit, Guanajuato, and Michoacán.

On the other hand, mezcal can only be produced in San Luis Potosí, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Durango, Tamaulipas, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Puebla, Michoacán, Morelos.

which-is-the-best-mezcal

The state of Oaxaca is said to be the mezcal’s cradle and is where up to 80% of its distillation is produced.

As for the types of tequila, there are Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo. While mezcal is classified as Joven, Reposado, Añejo and Madurado en Vidrio.

Referring to alcoholic saturation, tequila must be between 35 and 40º. Mezcal can go over 40º. Both are tasted in a cocañera or tequila glass.

tequila-glass

On the finish, tequila is characterized by its citric, fruity flavor with notes of vanilla. Mezcal should be slightly smoky with fruity notes.

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