Learn how to taste Mezcal-A drink fallen from heaven

Here are some things you didn’t know about this typical drink from Mexico! 

Mezcal-A cure for all bad  things and for all good things too,” This is a popular saying when drinking mezcal.


The distillation process, legacy of Spanish and Europeans, thanks to the Arabs, was introduced to Mexico in the sixteenth century; it spread in the seventeenth century and was commonly used from the eighteenth. It was then that began to make and drink distilled spirits in our country. Mezcal, vodka and tequila fall into this category.

Mezcal is produced in most parts of Mexico where there are agaves. Northerners are famous for their mezcal as well as Oaxaca, Mezcal has its myth: lightning, hitting an agave, was the one who made the first badge. That’s why the drink is considered to be coming of heaven. To make mezcal, the leaves and roots are roasted, either in wood stoves or gas, or a barbecue, burying them in the ground. In the markets the maguey leaves are sold.

The different types of mezcal and maguey depend on the weather, the technique of distillation and the container where it was allowed to stand. The Comitan Chiapas, Sonora bacanora, ipecac and canyon of Jalisco and Nayarit, the tuxca or Quitupan of Colima and even tequila are variants of mezcal.

Mezcal, like many other alcoholic beverages, were not used only for ceremonial events and celebrations, but also have a use for remedies and medicine. In traditional medicine, mezcal, like alcohol cane used for spraying, rubbing and cleaning. It is useful for blessing cornfields, constructions and crosses.

mezcal leyenda

In the Valley of Oaxaca, on the day of the dead  November 2nd  the last drink is poured over the graves, so that the spirits are going well fired. It is important at every party: it is popular among the gifts you give at an engagement party , baptism, funerals and celebrations. Mezcal and strong drinks are distributed and exchanged in tequios (voluntary and free communal work), evenings, and drink offering to the four directions, or putting your finger and offering up these drops to the ground. Unlike beer, or chicha tepache, this is the ritual for many indigenous people living on the country side.

The “drink”, as they call the mezcal in Mitla, is blessed. The rules are quite strict to serve. Drinks that are not ceremonial or rituals do not receive a name, Mezcal is ceremonial, at parties people are always divided into hierarchical order so if you are offered mezcal, it can not be rejected. Drink only what is offered and the rate offered during the three or four days that the celebrations usually last.

Here are a few tips to improve your Mezcal tasting experience!

  • Rubbing a drop of mezcal with your hands until it dries, must keep an unmistakable smell of cooked maguey, it should never smell never cane alcohol or sugar.
  • It should preferably be served in a gourd or nose Bule (vessel made from the fruit of Crescentia güira cujete); otherwise a beaker glass.
  • Mezcal smell: the first is the perceived smell after rubbing a drop of mezcal in his hands; then you can discover different scents of mezcal.
  • Finally, take a sip of mescal (5 mL) and gently rinse your mouth for 10 seconds, stopping the rinsing process without swallowing mezcal, you have to let the fumes go through your nose for 10 seconds. After doing this, you can swallow and pay attention to the flavors and aromas. Now you must take another small sip and keep it in your mouth for 10 seconds and then swallow. The flavors of this second shot are the finest and exquisite you will taste in the mezcal. After a few minutes,your  tongue and palate will be impregnated with the flavor and aroma of the cooked maguey, it’s a feeling that can last for more than 1 hour.
    Oak mezcales should be avoided because, wood, without exception, kills the finest flavors and aromas. It can easily be detected because the mezcal takes a woody color. Traditional mezcales are almost colorless.

Here are the top 3 mezcales in Mexico! 

1. Mezcal Amores Joven

Ten years of work concentrated and solar fire and to fill each bottle with an extraordinary distillate. Smoky notes are present in every sip along with notes of lime and flowers. This was the only winner of the Great Gold Medal at the World contest of Bruxelles.

mezcal mejor

The best mezcal in Mexico
Young Mezcal Amores.
Photo: Courtesy of the brand

2. Mezcal Wahaka Joven Tobalá

The Tobalá is a wild agave in the highlands of Oaxaca and one of the richest flavors and aromas. Finding it is a challenge and to produce even more. Both the production process as the presence in the mouth of herbs and citrus make it a beverage that is well worth knowing. It won double gold medal at the 2012 World Spirits Competition.



The best mezcal in Mexico
Mezcal Wahaka Young Tobalá.
Photo: Courtesy of the brand

3. Mezcal Sacrificio

It is made with one hundred percent agave sprat. It is light, bright, has a long and elegant persistence on the palate and features floral notes. He won double gold at the WSWA Tasting Competition this year.



The best mezcal in Mexico
Mezcal Sacrifice.
Photo: Courtesy of the brand

So, Enjoy your next Mezcal tasting experience and remember, mezcal is not all about the shots!

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Eduardo from All About Playa

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