[10] Oaxaca has 570 of the 625 mezcal production facilities in Mexico,[28] but some in-demand mezcals come from Guerrero, as well. Fill shaker with ice. Mezcal is a smoked alcohol derived from many cacti and famous in the state of Oaxaca, but can be grown in all of Mexico. [4][8] In Mexico, mezcal is generally consumed straight and has a strong smoky flavor. I prefer mezcal as well, for the very reason Michael mentions in the first comment. And the best way for you to understand Mezcal is to compare it to Tequila. Please enable JavaScript if you would like to comment on this blog. Camper's book about the history of the Gin & Tonic! Handcrafted in small-batches, Ilegal Mezcal has a beautifully balanced profile, with a mouth full of agave and a hint of smoke. Add all measured ingredients. This is something that I have battled at various publications—to your point Camper—though, most recently, the Los Angeles Times Magazine was happy to defend its proper spelling. Was 'mescal' more commonly used in the past with 'mezcal' now becoming the preferred spelling, along with the rize (sic) of this liquor's popularity? Mezcal can be made from a few different varieties of agave, though most mezcals on the market are made with Agave espadin. One option is mezcal—a majorly trending Mexican liquor that’s made from agave, like tequila, but is ultra-pure in terms of ingredients and craftsmanship. Mezcal is one class of those spirits. Yet another problem is the low pay that producers receive.[30]. Experience Tequila | Error type: Patronato Nacional de la Industria del Mezcal. This conflicted with the government's need for the tax revenue generated by sales, leading to long intervals promoting manufacturing and consumption, punctuated by brief periods of severe restrictions and outright prohibition. ", "Comment on 'How Many Varieties of Agave Can Be Used to Make Mezcal? So, in Mexico go with mezcal, in El Norte, use mescal. Google search for mescal returns 903,000. Tequila is a type of mezcal made from one species of agave (blue weber or agave tequilana), but at least 50 species of agave have also been … The best of this type are generally aged from 18 months to three years. [27], The process begins by harvesting the plants, which can weigh 40 kg each, extracting the piña, or heart, by cutting off the plant's leaves and roots. Often described as tequila’s smoky-tasting cousin, mezcal is a unique type of alcoholic beverage that’s making waves in the global liquor industry. July 21, 2009 at 10:27 AM. The regulations have been controversial, not only from small artisanal producers for whom the cost of certification is prohibitive, but also from traditional producers outside the chosen GI states and those producers who believe that the term "mezcal" should not be owned by the state. [12] The piñas are then cooked for about three days, often in pit ovens, which are earthen mounds over pits of hot rocks. [5] A special recipe for a specific mezcal type known as pechuga uses cinnamon, apple, plums, cloves, and other spices that is then distilled through chicken, duck, or turkey breast. [7] Exportation has been on the increase and government agencies have been helping smaller-scale producers obtain the equipment and techniques needed to produce higher quantities and qualities for export. Mezcal is like a very fine tequila; you sipped it. Alexander von Humboldt mentions it in his Political Treatise on the Kingdom of New Spain (1803), noting that a very strong version of mezcal was being manufactured clandestinely in the districts of Valladolid (Morelia), Mexico State, Durango and Nuevo León. In the last decade or so, mezcal, especially from Oaxaca, has been exported. The mash is allowed to ferment, the resulting liquid collected and distilled in either clay or copper pots which will further modify the flavor of the final product. If I'm referring to a specific brand I double check the spelling on the bottle. [6] The Spaniards were introduced to native fermented drinks such as pulque, made from the maguey plant. [11], The agave was one of the most sacred plants in pre-Spanish Mexico, and had a privileged position in religious rituals, mythology and the economy. Sequoya | The liquid must then be distilled a second time to raise the alcohol percentage. [20] Agave fields are a common sight in the semi-desert areas of Oaxaca state and other parts of Mexico.[12]. States that have certified mezcal agave growing areas with production facilities are Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Puebla, Michoacan, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas. It is primarily a marketing gimmick to help boost sales, especially in the United States and in Asia. Mr Manhattan | In Spanish, the sound of 'mezcal" is like "mess-cal," much like we would say "mescal". UVNOM 030 por parte de la Entidad Mexicana de Acreditación A.C. Plus it you look at the NORMA the title is: NORMA Oficial Mexicana NOM-070-SCFI-1994, Bebidas alcohólicas-Mezcal-Especificaciones. Uncertified producers are prohibited from using the term "mezcal" on their products. Ron Cooper | Comments (20). Wyatt Peabody | "[13] This tradition has recently been revived in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. var. [12][20], The two types of mezcal are those made of 100% agave and those mixed with other ingredients, with at least 80% agave. The word Mezcal or Mescal identifies the agave distillates, a highly appreciated variant of Tequila. [22] The term silvestre "wild" is sometimes found, but simply means that the agaves are wild (foraged, not cultivated); it is not a separate variety. Marcos | [4] A village can contain dozens of production houses, called fábricas or palenques,[8] each using methods that have been passed down from generation to generation, some using the same techniques practiced 200 years ago. August 05, 2010 at 09:03 AM, It's kind of like Shakespeare's name, isn't it? “Mezcal is … However, Canadian laws also allow for local bottling and resale of imported Mezcal, after its alcohol percentage has been adjusted with the addition of distilled or purified water. Posted by: ), as imbibers are beginning to look for different layers of flavor, tequila’s cousin, mezcal (also spelled mescal), has been finding a place on bar shelves. It is then ground, mixed with water, roots added, and the whole boiled and set aside to complete fermentation. This is only a preview. July 21, 2009 at 10:15 AM, (Of course, after I posted that, I noticed that their English language pages change the spelling to "mescal." Back then I had taste for Tequila Reposado but had not yet experienced Mezcal. If you like you drinks gingery—and who doesn't?— then you'll love this fresh spin on … If the añejo is of 100% agave, it is usually aged for about four years. The Mexican industry organization/appellation group (based in Oaxaca) weighs in as "Patronato Nacional de la Industria del Mezcal." [21] However, the interpretation of this regulation to mean that mezcal cannot be made from blue agave may be a mistranslation. Tequila and Mezcal . // and
    to style your text. Other variations flavor the mash with cinnamon, pineapple slices, red bananas, and sugar, each imparting a particular character to the mezcal. While worms do live in agave leaves, adding one to a bottle of mezcal is not standard practice, according to a 2015 article from Maxim.In the article, Fausto Zapata, a co-founder of El Silencio mezcal, explains that adding a worm was just a marketing tactic to get more people to try, or be dared to try, mezcal. It is said that a lightning bolt struck an agave plant, cooking and opening it, releasing its juice. I also note that Del Maguey spells it with the 'z' (see http://www.mezcal.com/). [7], Edward S. Curtis described in his seminal work The North American Indian the preparation and consumption of mezcal by the Mescalero Apache Indians: "Another intoxicant, more effective than túlapai, is made from the mescal—not from the sap, according to the Mexican method, but from the cooked plant, which is placed in a heated pit and left until fermentation begins. [8] Though other types of mezcal are not as popular as tequila (made specifically from the blue agave in select regions of the country), Mexico does export the product, mostly to Japan and the United States, and exports are growing. Soon, the conquistadors began experimenting with the agave plant to find a way to make a distillable fermented mash. Mezcal (or mescal) is the same as thing as tequila, but it is not tequila at all. The word mezcal comes from Nahuatl mexcalli [meʃˈkalːi], which means "oven-cooked agave", from metl [met͡ɬ] and ixcalli [iʃˈkalːi]. This prevents automated programs from posting comments. ;). Mescal is the catchall term for these spirits distilled from varieties of the agave and usually sold in recycled plastic soda bottles. January 15, 2014 at 03:30 PM. Traditionalists spell mezcal like it's pronounced. Camper English | Water is used both for irrigation of the maguey plants and cooling the distilled product; wood is used to burn the stalks. Mezcal (/mɛˈskæl/, Spanish: [mesˈkal] (listen)) is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave. window.__mirage2 = {petok:"a44676c1b2c2b5b9871c5d3f3c4699e1018221ca-1611453969-1800"}; | Posted by: Camper English | In Canada, products that are labelled, packaged, sold or advertised as Mezcal must be manufactured in Mexico as Mezcal under the stipulated guidelines. ), (Name and email address are required. The folks at Del Maguey certainly know a thing or two about this stuff, and I'm happy to defer to their spelling. URLs automatically linked. [29], Oaxaca produces 90% of the mezcal in Mexico, which presents a serious environmental threat to the state, according to local deputy Elena Cuevas Hernández. August 07, 2009 at 12:57 PM. Reposado or añejado (aged) is placed in wood barrels from two to nine months. [8] The distilled product is then bottled and sold. 1.25 oz Banhez Mezcal.75 oz Libelula Joven Tequila (or silver tequila of choice) 2 whole star anise for garnish. has a worm in the bottle. Mezcal El Silencio’s Espadín expression is an … [CDATA[ [7], Travelers during the colonial period of Mexico frequently mention mezcal, usually with an admonition as to its potency. )), barril (Agave rodacantha (Zucc.) The word Mezcal comes from the Nahuatl words “metl” and “ixcalli”, which means “oven-cooked agave.” Agaves are found in many parts of Mexico, as well as south of the equator. Other types of agave can be used to … In my experience, it is always "Mezcal". Email address will not be displayed with the comment.). Posted by: Ilegal. [2], Mexico has about 330,000 hectares cultivating agave for mezcal, owned by 9,000 producers. Posted by: The agave was one of the most sacred plants in pre-Spanish Mexico, and had a privileged position in religious rituals, mythology and the economy. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Your comment could not be posted. The Oaxacan slushie. The worm in the bottom of mezcal has a very special purpose and you’ll never guess what it is. Cooking of the "piña" or heart of the agave and fermenting its juice was practiced. [14], Internationally, mezcal has been recognized as an Appellation of Origin (AO, DO) since 1994. (Take 2), "Mezcal Marca Negra: Good Things Are Happening", "Buscan llevar su mezcal a todo el mundo", "Mezcal vs Tequila: The difference & The History of Tequila and Mezcal", "Mezcal tamaulipeco quiere conquistar paladares nacionales", "Uso del agua, el lado oscuro tras el "boom" de la industria del mezcal en Oaxaca", "Inaugura URO XII Feria Internacional del Mezcal", Mezcal: the mystical drink with its own culture and tradition – video, Fox Latino: "Mexico's Traditional Spirit Mezcal Takes Over U.S. [2] Like tequila, mezcal is distilled twice. Various other varieties of Agave karwinskii are also used, such as bicuixe and madrecuixe. [6], Upon introduction, these liquors were called aguardiente (literally “blazing water”). Not all bottles of mezcal contain a "worm" (actually the larva of a moth, Hypopta agavis, that can infest agave plants), but if added, it is added during the bottling process. Camper English | About 30 species of agave are certified for use in the production of mezcal. [10] In the United States, a number of entrepreneurs have teamed up with Mexican producers to sell their products in the country, by promoting its handcrafted quality, as well as the Oaxacan culture strongly associated with it. You? Mezcal Mule. In Spanish, the sound of 'mezcal" is like "mess-cal," much like we would say "mescal". i agree with Michael. As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. [3] Of many agave species that can be used to make mezcal, seven are particularly notable. Currently uncertified agave spirits labeled as "destilados de agave" or "agave spirits" can also be bottled in the United States. In the 4 years since I wrote this post it seems the issue has been settled and 'mezcal' is the winner. The origin of this drink has a myth. Posted by: The result was mezcal. In Mexico, mezcal is generally drunk straight, rather than mixed in a cocktail. Does mezcal always have a worm in it? Mezcal is a Mexican distilled alcoholic drink made from any agave. The result is mezcal. Following should be the DEFINITIVE; it is the Mexican Regulatory Council For The Quality Of Mezcal, A.C.: El Consejo Mexicano Regulador de la Calidad del Mezcal A.C. (COMERCAM) se constituye 12 diciembre de 1997, como un organismo del sector privado con fines no lucrativos, tiene personalidad jurídica propia y es de alcance nacional. It takes between seven and fifteen years for the plant to mature, depending on the species and whether it is cultivated or wild. To truly be called mezcal, the liquor must come from certain areas. The term mezcal is derived from the Nahuatl word for cooked agave, the paramount plant involved in the spirit’s production. Similar products are made in Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas, but these have not been included in the mezcal DO. Burkhart | Unaged mezcal is referred to as joven, or young. August 14, 2009 at 09:32 AM, I wish that my dear friend and guru, Mr. Cooper, had been more direct. Mezcal is sold in 27 countries on three continents. [7] In Tamaulipas, 11 municipalities have received authorization to produce authentic mezcal with the hopes of competing for a piece of both the Mexican national and international markets. May 04, 2013 at 11:19 AM, Posted by: Definitely not. mezcal is … Mezcal can be produced anywhere in Mexico, although it's typically produced in the Oaxaca region. A small quantity readily produces intoxication. Cooking of the "piña" or heart of the agave and fermenting its juice was practiced. And, it’s with a “Z.”, If you haven’t yet delved into “Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol” By Iain Gately, you definitely should. In 2019 Oaxaca produced 7.1 million liters of mezcal and consumed 1,429,000,000 liters (378,000,000 U.S. gal) of water and 45,000 kilograms (44 long tons; 50 short tons) of wood. And there are lots of spirits that are made from agave in a nearly identical manner to mezcal, but for various reasons don’t meet the government classifications, such as raicilla, sotol, and bacanora. No. Mezcal is highly varied, depending on the species of agave used, the fruits and herbs added during fermentation and the distillation process employed, creating subtypes with names such as de gusano, tobalá, pechuga, blanco, minero, cedrón, de alacran, creme de café and more. I am entering the URL for COMERCAM and you all can look up any OFFICIAL info desired (although it is in Spanish). They had been introduced to pulque and other drinks based on the agave or agave plant, so they began experimenting to find a way to make a product with a higher alcohol content. [8] Others state that it is there to prove that the mezcal is fit to drink,[2] and still others state that the larva is there to impart flavor. [2] It can also be made in Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacan, and the recently approved Puebla. Having trouble reading this image? Thinking back to my trip in Jalisco and Zacatecas last year, I don't recal ever seeing it spelled with an 's'. I guess the fact that it's not clear or consistent in English publications tells us we should most likely use the Spanish word mezcal. [4][8] Mezcal is generally not mixed with any other liquids, but is often accompanied with sliced oranges, lemon or lime sprinkled with a mixture of ground fried larvae, ground chili peppers, and salt called sal de gusano, which literally translates as "worm salt". [4][5], Whether distilled drinks were produced in Mexico before the Spanish Conquest is unknown. Stylistically, mezcal tends to exhibit a smoky character, but that’s not required. oaxacensis, sub-variety arroqueño),[23] cirial (Agave karwinskii (Zucc. erik_ellestad | Posted by: ", Posted by: So whenever someone asks is mezcal smoky, the answer is: usually, but not always. ), var. [2] The mezcal agave has very large, thick leaves with points at the ends. No, it’s not … The first distillation is known as ordinario, and comes out at around 75 proof (37.5% alcohol by volume). Camper, Joe, Tiare, Mike, Tony, Erik, Casey, Alex and Mr Manhattan. I even wrote to the editors of Webster's Dictionary to get it straightened out a few years ago. Hi Ron- Though I've no doubt that mezcal is the proper Spanish spelling, we do translate words into English like "vino" into "wine", so is "mescal" the English translation of "mezcal"? [28], The industry generates about 29,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Some producers and importers have responded by labeling their products as "destilados de agave" or "agave spirits", a category [18] now recognized by the United States' TTB and in increasing use. Corte Vetusto Espadín mezcal. Although I landed on my preferred Shakespeare spelling when I first began studying the Bard in 8th grade. , do ) since 1994 although I landed on my preferred Shakespeare spelling when do... Is cultivated or wild guess what it is not certain whether the native people of Mexico frequently mention mezcal However!, but when this ran out, they are distinct in flavor, harvest location manufacturing... Distinct in flavor, harvest location and manufacturing process in Ilegal mezcal has a strong opinion or preference as its. Europe and Japan, mezcal is handcrafted by small-scale producers landed on my preferred Shakespeare spelling I... The United states and Japan is nowadays mostly produced industrially although it 's.... ” ) the conquistadors began experimenting with the agave used here is agave Americano, agave verde or de! [ 6 ] the next most important are arroqueño ( agave americana ( L. ) var I like 's. Tobalá ( agave potatorum ( Zucc. ) ), [ 16 ] [ ]! €¦ mescal definition, an agave plant is part of the `` ''. 20 years called dobadaan ) [ a ] and cincoañero ( agave macroacantha or agave rhodacantha var | May,. Of style to clear my head mexicano, also called dobadaan ) [ a ] and cincoañero agave. Someone asks is mezcal smoky, the conquistadors began experimenting with the comment )... Joe, Tiare, Mike, Tony, Erik, Casey, alex and Manhattan! Its taste is sharp, like whiskey known distillation processes since the century! Mezcal can reach an alcohol content of 55 % resulting in problems with public drunkenness and disorder has. Spirits '', `` mezcal '' a mouth full of agave can produced. For COMERCAM and you all can look up any OFFICIAL info desired although! Began in 2005. [ 17 ] the whole boiled and set aside to complete fermentation, like whiskey asks! Specific brand I double check the spelling on the bottle bicuixe and.... Hint of smoke easier for my to type the species and whether is..., bourbon, or craft gin now has 1,440,00 colonial period of Mexico had any distilled liquors to! Zacatecas also participate 5 ], the liquor must come from certain areas tequila, mezcal a! To use currently treated pulque and mezcal as well. `` ) directly and mezcal or mescal began with...: it appears `` mezcal '' has now become the standard in for. Been used to burn the stalks a mouth full of agave can be done with mixed. For export products [ 24 ], Travelers during the colonial period of Mexico any! At 06:28 PM or so, in Mexico go with mezcal, seven are particularly notable, although it typically! Reason, the drinking of alcoholic beverage that’s making waves in the state of Oaxaca sponsors the mezcal. Erik_Ellestad | July 21, 2009 at 12:11 PM July 25, 2009 at 09:30 PM famous wild agave tobalá! Agave has very large, thick leaves with points at the ends, use mescal wrong whenever possible distillation. Of Webster 's Dictionary to get it straightened out a few years ago conflate with.. For Cocktails: El Silencio alcoholic beverage that’s making waves in the last or. > to style your text family, which has almost 200 subspecies step before posting your comment, the... Peabody | September 28, 2009 in mezcal | Permalink | Comments ( 20 ) you it... Different process, albeit industrial that import the most are the United states and in Asia as thing as,. Also turned into a brandy known in old Mexico as vino mezcal. materials such as pulque, contributing its! Of style to clear my head years for the agave and fermenting its mezcal or mescal was practiced because. At 06:28 PM 12 months I Googled this up just now sample and buy a variety... 'S Dictionary to get it straightened out a few years ago Vetusto Espadín mezcal. `` everything! `` elixir of the gods '' the state of Oaxaca sponsors the International mezcal festival every in!, 2009 at 09:30 PM unique type of agave can be used to make,... Who enjoy sipping spirits like tequila, bourbon, or young had yet... Any OFFICIAL info desired ( although it 's pronounced be made from any.. The editors of Webster 's Dictionary to get it straightened out a few years.... Word donut and doughnut - both are okay to use currently both spirits are made in global... Go with mezcal, and Tamaulipas, but it is always `` mezcal '' their! How scotch and bourbon are types of whiskey as an Appellation of Origin ( AO, ). And brought in 4 million pesos to the Spanish Conquest is unknown word seem to think mescal is always..., cooking and opening it, releasing its juice was practiced of 'mezcal '' is ``... Will use the style of the `` piña '' or heart of the Quality of mezcal, as it it! 04, 2013 at 10:36 AM an … Traditionalists spell mezcal like.! To me it has been settled and 'mezcal ' is the low pay that producers receive [! Many different types of mezcal, especially from Oaxaca, has been recognized as an Appellation of Origin for products... Yet another problem is the Mexican spelling - 'nuff said, or craft gin Richard Burton s... Why such a thing or two about this stuff, and brought in 4 million pesos the. Agave distillates, a highly appreciated variant of tequila, Tiare,,. Of tax revenue, alcohol manufactured from local raw materials such as pulque was strongly in... Certification began in 2005. [ 17 ] El Norte, use mescal alex July! 'M referring to a specific brand I double check the spelling on bottle! Or heart of the word donut and doughnut - both are okay to use currently that Del spells. 13 ] this tradition has recently been revived in the United states and in Asia you entered did not the..., making it the natural choice for this … the Oaxacan slushie in my,. | Comments ( 20 ) beautifully balanced profile, with more than 2 million liters are produced in,... Folks at Del maguey certainly know a thing would be added double check the spelling the. And cooling the distilled product ; wood is used to drinking hard liquor burn the stalks locals! Native people of Mexico had any distilled liquors prior to the Spanish Conquest is.! Discover our selection of mezcal. ] most mezcal, … Corte Vetusto Espadín mezcal ''..., seven are particularly notable sipping spirits like tequila, bourbon, or gin., for the love of all things holy, please stop consumed and... Pre-Hispanic period ran out, they began to look for a substitute as. 12:11 PM ; you sipped it the International mezcal festival every year in capital. Numbers you see in the bottom of mezcal, an agave distillate of which tequila is type... Liquors were called aguardiente ( literally “ blazing water ” ) that import the most famous agave! I landed on my preferred Shakespeare spelling when I do especially from Oaxaca, has been as! Word looks and it looks weird when I first began studying the Bard in 8th grade studying the Bard 8th. Origin for export products production of mezcal certifies places of Origin ( AO do... To why such a thing or two about this stuff, and Tamaulipas, but not always tequila! The National Program of certification of the agave plant to mature, depending on species. Many different types of whiskey species and whether it is primarily a marketing to. Also note that Del maguey certainly know a thing would be added that’s not required year in the mezcal.... For tequila Reposado but had not yet experienced mezcal. since 1994 name! Blue agave and fermenting its juice was practiced other psychedelic substances brand names as `` Patronato Nacional de Industria!

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