Tequila Vs Mezcal: What’s the difference?

Tequila is a type of mezcal that comes from the baked heart of the Blue Agave plant. It can only be produced in certain specifically designated areas in Mexico. It comes in four main varieties: 

Blanco/silver: unaged or very shortly aged, 

Reposado (rested): barrel aged for at least two months but less than a year

Anejo (aged): barrel aged for at least a year but less than three year

Extra Anejo: barrel aged for a minimum of three years 

Make sure that the bottle states that it is made with 100 Blue Agave. Be aware of Mixtos: which only have to contain 51% Blue Agave. 

Mezcal can be made from the heart of many different types of agave but it can not be made from Blue Agave. The agave hearts are roasted in underground pit ovens which gives the mezcal the distinct smoky flavor that I love. 

Bottles of Mezcal at a tasting event at EXO in Tucson, Arizona

Recipe for Tequila Citrus Sipper or Paloma 

This is one of my all-time favorite cocktails. And it’s so easy to make. Rim a pint glass with sea salt and fill with ice. Add 2 ounces añejo tequila or mezcal and the juice from 1 lemon or 2 limes. Top with soda water.

Add a couple of ounces of grapefruit juice to the mix and call it La Paloma, which means dove. Doves in no way resemble grapefruit, so, no, I don’t know why they call it that. 

Makes 1 drink.

recipe photo for Paloma tequila cocktail
Options: Paloma cocktail with a slice of grapefruit added an not salt on the rim.