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Mezcal

Photo: Mezcalería In Situ

Mezcal (sometimes spelled ‘mescal’) is a distilled liquor made from the agave plant. A strong smoky drink that symbolizes local culture and tradition, what tequila is to Jalisco, mezcal is to Oaxaca.

Mezcalturismo
As mezcal becomes more famous, visitors want to see where it is made. Viva Mezcalturismo!

Good Advice
Sip, don’t gulp.

If you are buying mezcal direct from the palenqueros in the countryside, take a clean, empty bottle that can be filled.

When sampling a minero mezcal, the number and size of the bubbles in your glass signal the potency and quality of the drink. Aficionados say that if the mezcal is good enough, it does not need flavoring.

A mezcal for every taste
Mezcal can be consumed as a straight drink or in cocktails, such as the Donají made with orange juice, grenadine, gusano worm salt and ice.

Choose from a variety of flavors — minero (white), con gusano (with worm) or pechuga (chicken breast).

You can also choose the mezcal on the basis of aging — joven mezcals are very young. A strong drink is the joven white mezcal. Smoother options include reposados, aged for two months, and añejo, aged for at least one year.

Mezcals can also be served with herbs and fruits. These are curados.

Recommended
Alipus, De la Vega, Don Agave, Embajador, Matateco, Real Minero, Rey Zapoteco and Sinai

Mezcal and Tequila
Tequila is a finely distilled mezcal made from the blue agave in grown in the state of Jalisco. Oaxaca’s mezcal can be produced from 18 different varieties of agave.

Mezcal often includes the worms from the agave, gusanos de maguey, (photo) as part of the decoration and flavoring. Tequila is never bottled with worms.

Another major difference — mezcal is roasted underground while tequila is prepared in stainless steel steamers.

Quotes
Para celebrar, es condición jamás perder la fe, abrir el corazón y servir el mezcal.
– Jose Manuel Aguilera, El Mezcal

Aqui es Oaxaca, tierra del legitamo mezcal
No es mezcal, es conejo.
Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro
Al tomar que el mundo se va acabar
No es mezcal, es conejo.
Solito es lo rico.
Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también
Salud!

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Flickr
Mezcal Treasure Hunt (2013 Calendar)

Flor de Agave

Facebook
In Situ
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Mezcalería Los Amantes
Mezcales Tradicionales de los Pueblos de México
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Features
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Agaves

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