I Need to Know: What’s the Difference Between Mezcal & Tequila

Mezcal and tequila are often used interchangeably for cocktails (I’ll take two smoky mezcal margaritas, please), but the truth is that they’re two very different Mexican spirits. Ever heard the saying, “All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangle…

Mezcal and tequila are often used interchangeably for cocktails (I’ll take two smoky mezcal margaritas, please), but the truth is that they’re two very different Mexican spirits. Ever heard the saying, “All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.” For starters, tequila is a type of mezcal, but mezcal is not a type of tequila. “The key differentiator is that while mezcal can be made from many varieties of agave, tequila can only be made from one: blue agave,” explains Autumn Chiklis, co-founder of The Pink Pig Tequila. Ahead, we break down the key differences between these two spirits.

Where They’re Made

Beyond the varieties of agave used to make mezcal and tequila, the two are produced in different parts of Mexico. According to Chiklis, there are nine regions throughout Mexico where mezcal can be produced (the most popular region being Oaxaca) and only five where tequila can be produced (the most well-known being Jalisco, where the actual town of Tequila is located).

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Byrrh Cassis Aperitif

We spent part of our summer vacation in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The region is famous for its wines, especially the reds and rosé (which we sampled – generously…), while it was once the most popular apéritif in the world, selling over 30 million bottles annually, Byrrh is also made in the region but nowadays less well-known. In fact, if you order a Byrrh in France, more…

We spent part of our summer vacation in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The region is famous for its wines, especially the reds and rosé (which we sampled – generously…), while it was once the most popular apéritif in the world, selling over 30 million bottles annually, Byrrh is also made in the region but nowadays less well-known. In fact, if you order a Byrrh in France, more often than not, you might be brought a glass of bière, unless your ear for French is pretty good as it’s pronunciation is close to ‘beer.’ (I once had to point it out on the menu at a wine bar in Paris, as the waiter had no idea what I was talking about.) There’s no beer in Byrrh, but there’s plenty of flavor in this iconic French apéritif.

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Is This the Next Big Sustainable Spirit?

More people are drinking premium tequila and mezcal than ever before—particularly, in America and Japan. Over 170,000 liters of tequila and mezcal were exported to the U.S. alone in 2017, amounting to over half of Mexico’s total exported mezcal. It’s s…

More people are drinking premium tequila and mezcal than ever before—particularly, in America and Japan. Over 170,000 liters of tequila and mezcal were exported to the U.S. alone in 2017, amounting to over half of Mexico's total exported mezcal. It's safe to assume that number's only grown since. In fact, it's projected that the agave spirit category will continue to grow 14 percent every year in North America.

All of this begs the question: How long can Mexican agave crops sustain the demands of this upward trend?

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Smoky Cider Mezcal Margarita.

New favorite cocktail alert! Say hello to the apple cider mezcal margarita. It’s shocking, I realize. I’m back with another apple cider drink! I mean, when you buy one of those huge gallon jugs of it, you need ideas, right?  Enter the smoky mezcal margarita. With apple cider. Waaaay back in the day I perfected […]

The post Smoky Cider Mezcal Margarita. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

New favorite cocktail alert! Say hello to the apple cider mezcal margarita.

This apple cider mezcal margarita is a delicious, smoky cocktail for fall! It's warming and refreshing and delicious all at once. Cheers!

It’s shocking, I realize. I’m back with another apple cider drink!

I mean, when you buy one of those huge gallon jugs of it, you need ideas, right? 

spiced sugar for margaritas

Enter the smoky mezcal margarita.

With apple cider.

Waaaay back in the day I perfected an apple cider margarita. A few years ago, I created a maple honeycrisp version. Sort of like a caramel apple margarita without the caramel but tastes like caramel because honeycrisps are everything. Both are SO good. 

If you’re an apple cider freak like I am, then you wait all year to create delicious recipes and drinks in your kitchen with said cider. 

And if I had to choose, the classic is probably what I gravitate toward the most.

This apple cider mezcal margarita is a delicious, smoky cocktail for fall! It's warming and refreshing and delicious all at once. Cheers!

I use that recipe ALL the time (just made them last weekend!) and it’s as close to fall margarita perfection I can get.

Or at least I thought so. 

Lacy reminded me that I had a bottle of mezcal on our bar and the wheels started spinning. It’s so smoky! It’s so… warming. Almost tastes charred, like your grilled your margarita or something. Just the thought was reminding me of an autumn bonfire and hayride. 

So I knew we had to try and perfect ANOTHER fall margarita. Once that was close to my original, but with a few extras, a few changes. 

This apple cider mezcal margarita is a delicious, smoky cocktail for fall! It's warming and refreshing and delicious all at once. Cheers!

Those of you that love mezcal will probably prefer this one. Those of you that enjoy tequila more will go for my old recipe. I personally like to switch it up and do both depending on the day, my mood and what else we are serving with it.

It’s a little smoky. A little citrusy… slightly heavy on the orange. Lots of cinnamon-y cider. And rimmed with spiced sugar!

This apple cider mezcal margarita is a delicious, smoky cocktail for fall! It's warming and refreshing and delicious all at once. Cheers!

Put me by a bonfire with a big plaid blanket and this in my hand! I’m done.

This apple cider mezcal margarita is a delicious, smoky cocktail for fall! It's warming and refreshing and delicious all at once. Cheers!

Apple Cider Mezcal Margarita

Smoky Apple Cider Mezcal Margarita

This apple cider mezcal margarita is a delicious, smoky cocktail for fall! It’s warming and refreshing and delicious all at once. Cheers!

to rim the glass:

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoons coarse sugar
  • orange wedges

margarita

  • 3 ounces sweet apple cider
  • 2 ounces mezcal
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier or orange liqueur
  • 1 lime wedge
  • cinnamon sticks for garnish
  • apple slices for garnish
  1. Stir together the cinnamon, allspice and sugars. Rub the rim of a glass with the orange wedge and dip the rim into the spiced sugar. Fill the glass with ice.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the apple cider, mezcal and grand marnier. Squeeze in the lime wedge. Shake for 30 to 60 seconds. Pour the mixture in the glass. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Drink!

This apple cider mezcal margarita is a delicious, smoky cocktail for fall! It's warming and refreshing and delicious all at once. Cheers!

Craving it already.

The post Smoky Cider Mezcal Margarita. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.