Tequila & Mescal

Tequila & Mescal

Having polished off the brandy they had brought with them, the 16th-century Conquistadors found themselves in need of something to distil. The Aztecs – including the Tarahumara & Apache Indians (Chihuahua), the Ticuila Indians (Tequila) & Zapotec & Nahuatl Indians had been producing a beer called octli – more latterly known as pulque made from species of the Agavaceae family as early as 800 years ago. Accordingly, the newcomers distilled what they found & the result was effectively the first Sotols, Tequilas & Mezcals.

But what's the difference?

Both mescal & Tequila are made from agave; basically, Tequila is a type of mescal. While mescal can be produced from up to 50 species of the agave plant, Tequila can be made from just one: agave tequilana Weber or Weber blue agave.

TEQUILA [te·​kee·​la]

Noun: a Mexican liquor made chiefly from the fermented sap of the blue agave that has been subjected to two separate distillations

The state of Jalisco, primarily from the region surrounding the City of Tequila, is made from the Agave tequilana, more commonly known as Weber Azur or Blue.

MESCAL [mes·​kal]

Noun: a usually colourless Mexican liquor made by distilling the fermented mash obtained following roasting of the thick central part of various agaves

Mescal the state drink of Oaxaca; most of its distilleries are still run by Zapotec Indians. It is made from different species, including a maguey variety and Agave Angustifolia Haw, more commonly known as Espadin. The name “Mescal” is derived from the Nahuatl Indian, meaning “roasted agave”.


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