Mezcal… what you want to know

When I think Mezcal, I think :“that bottle with the worm in it?” .My first reaction is a total yuk. But, that thought quickly changed when I went to my first Mezcal tasting. It was the El Tinieblo, which was of an absolute amazing taste. It also made me open my eyes to many new things about this spirit and its time for me to share it. Image

 

         So, firstly, mezcal is not tequila, yet tequila is a form of mezcal. Why? Well this is for two main reasons. One of them is equal to their difference in region, and the second one is that mezcal is made or can be made of 11 different types of agave. 90% of it mostly being from the agave espadin. Oaxaca is the official home of mezcal and also Mexico’s poorest state.

         Now for the way mezcal is made. Traditionally , the agave plants will be roasted in underground wood fire pits. The agave hearts will be slow-roasted over wood fires. Since all of this is made without the help of any machines it can take up to several days to cook. The cooked agave will then be crushed with the help of a horse. Sounds almost wrong but it really isn’t. 😉 The horse is towing a stone wheel to crush it. It is then distilled in small-batch copper pot stills. If you hadn’t already noticed, mezcal is entirely made out doors, without electricity or any sort of giant machine. It’s kind of like working on a farm.Image

         In all, mezcal is a great spirit to learn to truly appreciate. Typically served neat, with orange slices and a rim of sal de gusano ,a salt ground with dried caterpillars who infest the agave. For certain people that must sound not so great. To be honest though, I tried it with the dried caterpillar rim and it really wasn’t that bad! I’m sure that if nobody had told me I would have never guessed. It simply tastes like salt. When you drink mezcal you have to be mad real with it and take it to the next level. Anyways, that pretty much sums it up! I’ll have a quick briefing on El Tinieblo and the bars and restaurants where you can find it in Montreal. It’s definitely worth giving it a try.     Image

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