Tequila 101: The Difference Between Tequila and Mezcal

Jul 27, 2022

The Difference Between Tequila and Mezcal

As the tequila category continues to grow in popularity, people are experimenting with other types of agave-based spirits. One spirit that is growing in popularity is tequila’s smoky cousin, mezcal 

Bloomberg recently reported that in 2022, Americans will spend more on mezcal and tequila combined than U.S. produced whiskey brands. If you’re looking to expand your understanding of agave-based spirits and explore different flavor profiles, read on to learn more about tequila, mezcal, and what makes them different.

What exactly is mezcal? How is mezcal different from tequila?

First, it’s important to understand that tequila is actually a type of mezcal (as are other types of agave-based spirits). Therefore, all tequilas are mezcals but not all mezcals are tequilas.

Both tequila and mezcal are produced in Mexico and created from the agave plant, but the production process and the taste profile of these two spirits are quite different. 

Mezcal can be produced from about 30 different species of agave, including Blue Weber Agave. The most common type of agave used for mezcal is espadin. Tequila can actually only be distilled from Blue Weber Agave to be considered tequila.

Mezcal can also legally be produced in nine different regions in Mexico (Oaxaca being the most common region). In contrast, tequila can only be made in five Mexican states and the most common region for tequila production is the state of Jalisco. 

The most significant difference between tequila and mezcal is how they are produced. 

They each are produced with a unique cooking method and distillation process, and these have major impacts on their respective tastes. 

While the agave for tequila is cooked in stainless steel autoclaves or brick ovens, agave for mezcal is cooked in underground pits lined with wood, volcanic rocks, and charcoal, covered in dirt.  Mezcal is then distilled in clay pots versus copper alembic stills for tequila. Mezcal’s ancient cooking and distillation process is what gives mezcal its distinct smoky and earthy aroma and flavor, very different from the taste profile of tequila, which is usually sweet and smooth in comparison.

Both mezcal and tequila work really well together in delicious cocktails.

If you’re a tequila drinker you’ll likely discover that mezcal tends to be a bit stronger, with very deep caramelized flavors. Try different categories of tequila and variations of mezcal to see what you like best in your next cocktail.

At Inspiro Tequila, we produce two high-quality, clean, smooth, and sippable tequila options.

Both of our tequilas are certified additive free and do not contain any carbs, gluten, or added sugar. 

Inspiro Luna Blanco tequila has sweet notes of vanilla, cooked agave, caramel, and berries with refreshing hints of citrus and mint. The finish is silky, complex, and long-lasting.

Inspiro Rosa Reposado has the taste of fresh cooked agave married with sweet and complex flavors of vanilla, red berries, nuts, and roasted pineapple. It has aromatic notes of toffee, vanilla, and white chocolate balanced with distinctive fruit and honey scents.

Shop our tequilas here

Drink Inspired – Sip Inspiro Tequila.