About Mezcal

About Mezcal
Mezcal is a distilled beverage produced from the maguey plant of Mexico. Maguey is a type of agave, a plant found in desert climates. The word mezcal, in the ancient Aztec dialect, means "cooked agave".

Mezcal is often confused with tequila, as both are made from agave. But while tequila must be made from one specific blue agave, mezcal can be produced from eighteen different types of agave (maguey). There are two types of mezcal, those made exclusively from maguey and those made from at least 80% maguey mixed with other ingredients. Mezcal has similar aging terms as tequila, such as reposado and añejo, but generally mezcal is more of an artisanal product, so examples of mezcal vary more than tequila.

Most are double-distilled, while some are triple-distilled and then aged for several years in oak barrels. Flavors range from smoked herbs and pepper to tobacco and charred fruits. Serve these on their own, in an adventuresome cocktail, or with a cigar.

Top Picks for Mezcal

Nucano Mezcal Espadin Joven
90 points
Brilliant clear color. Aromas of flint, dried chile pepper, smoked lingonberry, cumin, and ginger with a silky, fruity medium-full body and a warming, engaging, medium-long peppered cantaloupe and water crackers, cucumber, carnation, Amish butter, and spring peas and pea flower finish. A tasty and complex mezcal with a silky mouthfeel and crowd-pleasing style.
90 points $44.99