About Mexican Spirits

About Mexican Spirits
Mexican spirits are all about beverages made from the agave plant, with the two most famous products being tequila and Mezcal. These products range from rustic and rough to polished and world-class; they are enjoyed by the common man as well as celebrities and they are consumed throughout Mexico as well as in the United States and many other countries.

While both tequila and mezcal are made from the agave plant, mezcal can be produced from many varieties from several area, while tequila can only be made from the blue agave and only from the Jalisco district.

There are several types of tequila, from the most basic, clear examples that can be sipped or serve as the base of numerous cocktails, all the way up to aged (añejo) versions that have gold or amber colors, smoky, caramel and honeyed aromas and a long, elegant finish that are meant for after dinner enjoyment on their own or with a cigar.

Tequila had become an enormous industry in Mexico and today the product is made by small family-owned companies as well as large multimillion dollar beverage giants.

There is also a small amount of liqueurs made in Mexico, such as those made from honey, coconut and even local flowers such as the Xtabentun; production is limited, but quality is quite high.

Top Picks for Mexico

Del Maguey San Pablo Ameyaltepec Single Village Blanco Mezcal
98 points
$124
Clear color. Savory, smoky aromas and flavors of smoked meats and cheeses, grilled tropical fruits and corn, olive tapenade, oil paint, and terra cotta and clay with a chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, epic, very long finish imparting notes of horchata, smoked peppers and peppercorns, and exotically spiced cookies. An amazingly elegant and decadent Mezcal whose flavor and finesse may leave you speechless.
Mezcal Vago Mezcal Espadin Joel Barriga
97 points
$54
Clear color. Umami aromas and flavors of barrel aged balsamic and parmesan reggiano, chocolate dipped pineapple, jack fruit, sweet peppers and fresh garden herbs, and smoked hickory with a round, lively, dryish fat body and a complex, medium-long finish with impressions of canned pineapple, aged cheese funk, tacos al pastor with chives and sour cream, cremini mushroom, forest floor, salted, and buttered popcorn. An outstanding example of a Blanco Mezcal; it hits all the right herbaceous, savory, and sweet notes in harmony.
1800 Milenio Extra Añejo Tequila
97 points
$225
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of cherry herring, ripe and medicinal cherry, highland scotch finished in sherry barrels, honeyed pastry dough, bread pudding, pecan pie, and cocoa butter with a round, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long finish with notes of dark honey, dried grass, mixed honey roasted nuts, pears, grilled pineapple, and payday candy bar. A beautiful expression of an extra añejo sure to be a special sipper for any agave fan.
Mezcal de Leyendas Verde San Luis Potosi Mezcal
97 points
$49.99
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of cucumber, melon, lime spritz, caramelized orange, Ancho chile, Maggi, and golden raisins with a round, lively, fruity medium body and a warming, massively long finish with notes of pickled ginger, sweet guava pastry, cured meats, and black olives. A sweet, savory, salty, juicy display of complexity and finesse; enjoy this Blanco Mezcal liberally.
Awards: 2021 Best Mezcal
97 points $49.99
El Tesoro Paradiso Tequila Extra Añejo
97 points
$180
Gold color. Inviting aromas of roasted nuts, candied cherries, vanilla bean, and sweet blossoms with a velvety, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, intriguing, very long ripe melons, toffee, and white pepper finish. A tantalizing melange of complex flavors that reward each sip.
Awards: 2021 Best Tequila
El Tesoro Blanco Tequila
96 points
$44
Clear color. Cheesy, earthy, umami, grassy, green aromas of black pepper, pepper jack cheese, sweet potato, rose petal, and orange and lemon zest with a fat body and a very long savory animale, blueberry bubblegum, strawberry, and watermelon finish. A fun, bright, and fruity blanco great for fun times and complex cocktails.
Lobos 1707 Blanco Mezcal Artesenal
96 points
$54
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of olives and cured salmon, charcuterie board, pencil lead, and grapefruit and orange pith with a round, lively, off-dry medium body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish that shows shades of pickling vinegar, sauer kraut, brisket burnt ends, cured salmon, apple, and pink peppercorn. An delightfully rich, complex Mezcal for all manner of occasions.
Salvadores 70 400 2020 Artesanal Espadín Joven Mezcal
96 points
$73
Clear color. Fruity, green, overripe aromas and flavors of marzipan, over ripe red apple, green jolly rancher, guava, and dill pickles with a supple, soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a hot, interesting, medium-length finish with accents of schezwan peppercorn, toasted coconut, and wet tobacco. A complex and interesting Mezcal with a wonderful balance of spice, smoke, and sweet that keeps you coming back to the glass.
Alquimia Reserva De Oro XIV Organic Extra Añejo Tequila
96 points
$250
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of spiced nuts and dried fruits, cherry cola, praline, and pepper and coriander with a supple, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a warming, layered, very long finish conveying nuances of spiced grilled pineapple, guava and yellow peppers, horchata, and milk and honey. A robust powerhouse of an extra añejo that bursts with flavor and begs for attention; try with a few drops of water and cigars.
Peloton de la Muerte Vegan Pechuga Mezcal
96 points
$44.99
Silvery straw color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of pickled melon and pineapple, candied jalapeño, elderflower, fresh ruby red grapefruit, and mint with a satiny, lively, dry light body and a smooth, elaborate, very long finish that shows suggestions of curry. A joyous, extroverted Mezcal with juicy fruit aromas, fresh green vegetal notes, and delicate hints of fragrant blossoms; an exceptionally balanced Mezcal for elegant cocktails and thoughtful sipping.
96 points $44.99