We love all things agave! From Tequila to Mezcal, there's more than meets the eye (or tastebuds!) If you've ever wondered what the differences are, wonder no more!
Agave: Native to Central America, Agave plants are the plant from which Tequila and Mezcal both are made. Nowadays you can find different species of Agave plant in your local garden center, however only Agave tequiliana Weber (commonly known as Blue Agave) can be used for Tequila and Mezcal is made from Agave aungustifolia Haw (commonly known as Agave Espadin.)
Processes: Tequila and Mezcal both are made from the pina, which is the heart of the plant, which remains after the roots and leaves are removed. Utilizing a heating process, then crushing the pina, releases the sweet juice which will become the alcohol eventually. The pina that will eventually become Tequila is heated by steam in brick ovens, while Mezcal pina is heated by roasting in stone or clay pits. This small difference in process leads to the biggest flavor difference between the two spirits. After distillation, Tequila and Mezcal makers decide whether to age the spirit or keep it Joven. Mezcal will always have a smoky quality regardless of aging.
Joven: no oak aging (flavors remain clean, light, and bright)
Reposado: aged at least 2 months in oak barrels (flavors start to soften, may take on some baking spice flavors)
Anejo: aged at least 1 year in oak barrels (flavors deepen, notes of caramel and vanilla may come through)
Pictured: Casamigos Tequila line, made by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman.