MEZCAL VS TEQUILA
All tequilas are mezcals, but not all mezcals are tequilas. While mezcal can be made from many types of agave and takes on a smoky quality from the roasted plant, tequila can only be made from blue agave and undergoes a steaming process for a cleaner profile. Historically, tequila has been used more in cocktails while mezcal has been sipped neat, but mixologists have been exploring new ways of incorporating mezcal into cocktails such as the Oaxaca Old Fashioned.
With its distinctly fruity, smoky flavor, mezcal has a special place in most bartenders’ hearts. Mezcal producers draw on generations of wisdom, roasting the hearts of agave palms before fermenting them to achieve the spirit’s unique aroma and taste.
Tequila is made exclusively from blue agave, which grows primarily in the region surrounding the city of Tequila in Mexico. The red volcanic soil is particularly well suited to blue agave, which gives tequila its sweeter profile, although even small variations in the plant impact the flavor and aroma of the spirit.