3 Must-Know Mexican Spirits Worth a Spot on Your Bar Cart

I’d wager that you can order a tequila-based cocktail at nearly any bar in America. And in most major cities, you could likely sub tequila for its smoky cousin, mezcal. The American market is buzzing with excitement for Mexican spirits—just last year, …

I’d wager that you can order a tequila-based cocktail at nearly any bar in America. And in most major cities, you could likely sub tequila for its smoky cousin, mezcal. The American market is buzzing with excitement for Mexican spirits—just last year, Mexico exported nearly one billion liters of tequila to the United States.

While you might have either or both of these well-known agave spirits sitting in your home bar cart, make some space for a few additional bottles. At long last, some of Mexico’s oldest and most delicious spirits are finally making their way to the U.S., and we're here for it.

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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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Why You Should Get Excited About Anise Spirits

Here’s our cheat sheet to a formerly forbidding spirit that, in 2021, is easy to drink and easy to understand.

The European tradition of serving a herbaceous, botanical-influenced drink before or after a meal (as an aperitif or digestif) has gained gr…

Here’s our cheat sheet to a formerly forbidding spirit that, in 2021, is easy to drink and easy to understand.

The European tradition of serving a herbaceous, botanical-influenced drink before or after a meal (as an aperitif or digestif) has gained ground in America over the past few years thanks to the surge in popularity of amaro, the bittersweet Italian liqueur. For many of us this is a whole new category of beverage, sips that can be lead-ins to wine with dinner or provide a last energy surge for the night.

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How These 6 Liquor Brands Prioritize the Planet

Not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, we’re also in the grip of the sixth great extinction—a “biological annihilation” of species worldwide as a result of human activity—including planetary climate change, leading to extreme weather events…

Not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, we’re also in the grip of the sixth great extinction—a “biological annihilation” of species worldwide as a result of human activity—including planetary climate change, leading to extreme weather events, damaged marine ecosystems, and negative impact on crops. Suffice it to say that after reading that, you might want a drink. Luckily, you have the option to pour a drink that plays a small part in helping the planet. In an effort to challenge the industry’s reliance on energy-intensive processes and the production waste, many liquor producers are becoming more sustainability-minded, whether that means using less glass to make bottles or turning scraps from other industries into a liquor’s main ingredient. Get ready to mix your favorite cocktail, comforted by the knowledge that you’re giving the environment a helping hand. Here are six beverage producers who are doing their bit for the planet right now.

Avallen Calvados

Going back to the very beginning, it seems as though Avallen Calvados could have been any liquor, but sustainability brought the company to one specific fruit: “We started with a blank sheet of paper and firstly looked at the raw materials used to make alcohol,” Tim Etherington-Judge, founder of Avallen, explained in an email. “After detailed analysis, we settled on apples as the best from a sustainability point of view.”

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Not All Alcohol Is Vegan—Here Are 45 Bottles That Are

When Guinness announced that, after 256 years, its stout is going vegan, a common reaction was: Wait, what? How can beer not be vegan?
But in fact, a number of alcohols use animal-derived products in their production (especially in the aging or fi…

When Guinness announced that, after 256 years, its stout is going vegan, a common reaction was: Wait, what? How can beer not be vegan?

But in fact, a number of alcohols use animal-derived products in their production (especially in the aging or filtration processes). There could be albumin from egg whites; casein (derived from milk); carmine, aka ground beetles; chitin from shellfish; gelatin from animal bones or tissue; or isinglass, a gelatin from fish (that’s what Guinness stout has had).

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The 25 Best Costco Liquors, Wines & Beers You Should Buy

For years I’ve been well aware that Costco has great prices on food and garbage bags and books and dog beds … but I didn’t know that they were also rock stars in the world of liquor and wine. I also didn’t know that in some states you don’t even need a…

For years I’ve been well aware that Costco has great prices on food and garbage bags and books and dog beds … but I didn’t know that they were also rock stars in the world of liquor and wine. I also didn’t know that in some states you don’t even need a Costco card to buy alcohol in their stores, which are usually separate from their main warehouses for legal reasons. (Check with your local Costco to find out if that’s the case for you.)

While in some cases the pricing is just as competitive, and in others it’s a downright steal, you can’t lose by buying your booze at Costco. Their selection is limited, though, so if you’re looking for something in particular, then you might not be able to get that exact brand, vintage, or appellation. But if you’re simply in the market for some vodka or whiskey or wine, say, for a party or wedding (or just your day-to-day), then you should be able to fill your bar with some very reasonably priced bottles.

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