It’s an age-old debate that has spanned many decades, particularly for those who have travelled to Mexico or who are huge fans of Mexico’s two mot favourite spirits, Tequila or Mezcal, and which is better.
Whilst outside of their Mexican homeland, Tequila remains one of the most popular spirits across the world today, I mean who doesn’t love a frozen margarita on a hot summers day? The fact that these two products both have so many similarities, including that they both originate from Mexico and are essentially even made from the same plant, this is a battle that is sure continue for many years to come.
But is there an actual answer? Is Tequila better than Mezcal? Is Mezcal better than Tequila?
We take a look at the difference between Tequila and Mezcal, and attempt to answer the question, of which is actually better!
The difference – Who is who?
Before considering which is better it is important to understand what the difference actually is between Mezcal and Tequila. Both spirits are distilled from an agave plant, which is literally the basis of the argument that they are both the same. However, the primary difference being that Mezcal can be produced from up to 50 different varieties of the agave plant, where as tequila, it can only be produced from one particular agave variety, ‘agave tequilana’ which is also known as the blue agave.
Given the different species of agave involved in the production of each spirit, it also comes as no surprise that Tequila and Mezcal are also produced in different regions of Mexico, with areas of production closely associated with the optimal growing conditions of the plant. Tequila is produced in 5 regions of Mexico, including Jalisco which is where tequila first originated from.
In comparison Mezcal is produced in more regions, with up to 9 regions within the country producing the spirit, with the vast majority of Mezcal produced in the region of Oaxaca.
Do they taste different?
Another distinguishing feature between Mezcal and Tequila is the taste, with both spirits tasting considerably different, which comes as no surprise due to the different plant varieties used as well as different aging and production methods.
Both Mezcal and Tequila are classified as either, blanco, reposado and anejo, which is used to differentiate between colour, age, and flavours. Mezcal is often describes as being more inconsistent in terms of flavour than a tequila, for example sometimes you may have a strong citrus flavour with a Mezcal whereas other times you may note a more chocolaty flavour. Mezcal is traditionally most recognised for its ‘smoky’ flavour, which makes it easy to identify when compared to a tequila, as a tequila does not have the smoky tone and traditionally has a more sweet and earthy flavour.
Are there any other differences?
Yes, there are certainly some other differences which distinguish Mezcal from tequila. Despite the aging process including both spirits aging in oak barrels, the time each of the spirits is aged is considerably different, with Mezcal having a significantly shorter aging process than tequila. For example, an anejo Tequila is aged for between 1 and 3 years as a minimum, with an anejo Mezcal aged for only a year minimum. Other differences between Mezcal and Tequila also include how the products are distilled, with each having a slightly different process.
The important question – Is one better than the other
The world would certainly be boring if we were all the same, and just like some people believe scotch is better than bourbon when it comes to whiskey, some people believe Mezcal is better than Tequila and vice versa.
Whether one is actually better than the other is purely a matter of opinion and is an impossible question to provide a definitive answer to. Some people prefer the excitement and the variety of flavours associated with Mezcal, particularly when most variations come complete with scorpion in bottle, whereas other prefer the reliability and consistency that comes with Tequila, and also the fact that it is widely used in cocktail recipes throughout the world.
Pauls Liquor is proud to stock a premium range of global brands, including both Tequilas and Mezcals, ensuring that our customers are bound to find a variety of the popular Mexican spirits that suit their tastes. With online delivery available, meaning you can have your favourite product delivered to your door conveniently and easily, even without a bottle shop near you, in addition to having 20 years of industry experience behind us, make contact with us today and we can help you choose, Mezcal or Tequila today!