Mezcal and Tequila: five key variations that set them apart
Written by Alejandro Aispuro
Warning: this article will use the correct spelling of the word “mezcal” as opposed to the incorrect British spelling “mescal”. It’s like spelling “Britich” or “jin”, “bodka” and “güiskey”. It should also be noted that there is a (not so) subtle difference between “mezcal” and “Mezcal”; the former is the collective name for agave spirits in Mexico before the law and capitalism tried to differentiate them in order to make “unique” products, and the latter is an agave spirit protected internationally by intellectual property laws and Denomination of Origin or Geographical Indication agreements with the WIPO. Neither are spelled with S. Ever.
You have most likely heard it by now: “all Tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal are Tequilas”. It’s a statement that, like many other trite phrases, is meant to sound wise while just being confusing. However, it is as good a starting point as any to delve into what the characteristics and differences are that separate Tequila from Mezcal and other mezcales…