And awesome. The alcohol’s evaporated and you’re left with the sugars from the roasted agave.”. Pretending It’s Gin. Like tequila, mezcal must be made in Mexico from the agave plant; however, mezcal is a broader category under which tequila falls. Therefore, tequila is technically a type of mezcal, but mezcal is not tequila. 2 ounces mezcal How to Drink It Straight Watch out. 1/2 tsp pureed chipotle from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo. Here, we break down the top facts about the spirit, provide tips for drinking it like a pro, and share three of our favorite mezcal-based cocktails. That evaporation comes up with all these aromas, but the alcohol starts to bunch up in the fat part in the vessel, and then they’ll travel faster as the mouth gets more narrow, so they’ll literally blast into your face when you smell it.”. Hold a lighted match over the drink in one hand and the orange peel in the other. gtag('js', new Date()); Directions And awesome. Leave it on your tongue for the count of five. Jicaritas of mezcal are often served with orange slices sprinkled with sal de gusano, a mix of salt, ground chile peppers, and ground roasted worms from the agave plant. Garnish with a small piece of beef jerky. All that said, drinking spirits neat isn’t for everyone, especially with something as distinct as mezcal. “That also helps open up the palette,” Bank says, noting it’s really up to you to enjoy the drink how you want. 3/4 ounce agave nectar You can buy copitas from Bank’s nonprofit here. Garnish with a small piece of beef jerky. He’s also the co-host of Agave Road Trip, a podcast that helps bartenders better understand agave, agave spirits and rural Mexico. Stir until chilled and garnish with an orange slice. Flamed orange peel, for garnish. Put out the match and drop the peel into the cocktail. Stir until chilled and garnish with an orange slice. https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/g21285354/mezcal-cocktail-recipes Add all ingredients to an old fashioned glass and fill with ice. Despite the similar obsession across the United States — sales have doubled over the last four years thanks in large part to its growing availability and appearance on craft cocktail menus all across the country — mezcal remains one of the most misunderstood spirits on the market. Shake until chilled and pour without straining into a rocks glass. function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} This mixology blog is brought to you by Cocktail Builder, a tool that helps you tell what cocktails you can make out of ingredients in your bar. While Bank says he pretty much only drinks mezcal in these half sips, he’ll occasionally enjoy it in a paloma. Too much work? If drinking a quality product (not a bottle with a worm in it, which is just a marketing gimmick and will typically land you with some very cheap alcohol), mezcal should be enjoyed slowly. If you want to dip your toe in the water instead of diving in the deep end, try one of the following three cocktails. With the orange side facing the flaming about an inch away, squeeze the peel until oil sparks. gtag('config', 'UA-759662-3'); that highlight and balance the spirit’s signature smoke to swapping it into cocktails that are classically made with its agave-based cousin, tequila. This opens up your palate and allows your taste buds to adjust to the initial burn of the alcohol. Drink all three and take in the differences each type of wild agave can bring to your drink (the cooking, fermentation and distilling techniques behind each release are the same). Despite the similar obsession across the United States — sales have doubled over the last four years thanks in large part to its growing availability and appearance on craft cocktail menus all across the country — mezcal remains one of the most misunderstood spirits on the market. Jicaritas of mezcal are often served with orange slices sprinkled with sal de gusano, a mix of salt, ground chile peppers, and ground roasted worms from the agave plant. Tequila’s agave is typically baked in stone ovens or autoclaves, while mezcal distillers traditionally slow-roast the agave by burying it in underground pits lined with volcanic rock, which imparts the spirit with its signature smoke. What else do you need to know? Beef jerky, for garnish. And what better way to get rid of the pests than by eating them yourself? 3 lime wedges He tells us he’s traveled to that agave homeland more than 50 times to seek out knowledge on his spirit of choice, and he’s developed a unique and nuanced way of drinking it that will help newcomers fully appreciate what they’re imbibing. All that said, drinking spirits neat isn’t for everyone, especially with something as distinct as mezcal. The winner of the 2020 New York International Spirit Competition for best mezcal. Get InsideHook in your inbox. Below, Bank outlines a proper mezcal tasting in the same manner that one would sip a fine Scotch — though the methods are very different. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice. And while he doesn’t practice the following, many mezcal sippers will drink their tipple along with slices of orange or pineapple (with those often dipped in spices like Tajin), or with grasshoppers or worm salt. According to Diana Corona of the Gran Mitla brand of sal de gusano, these worms, if left alone, can eat the agave from the inside. Combine tequila, mezcal, agave, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. “I like to drink these neat agave spirits in a very specific way.”. Ingredients If done the authentic Mexican way, the spirit is served in a shallow clay cup called a jicarita. These are wide, bowl-like vessels for your mezcal. This is not the time to bust out a shot glass and pour an ounce of mezcal down your throat. That said, this smokiness can range from subtle to in-your-face, and it’s just one of the many characteristics to be found in mezcal, from earthy to fruity to floral. “The copitas are shaped that way for a reason,” says Bank. Hold a lighted match over the drink in one hand and the orange peel in the other. First of all, the notion that high-quality mezcal can and should come with a worm in a bottle couldn’t be further from the truth. 1 tsp agave nectar You’re basically clearing your palette. Which is not “smoky tequila.” Mezcal is its own creature. The gentle smoke and spice of the salt brings out those same flavors in the spirit, while the freshness of the citrus keeps your palate cleansed so that you keep uncovering new dimensions sip after sip. Mezcal vs. Tequila 1 ounce mezcal The other big difference between the two spirits is the production method. This is a blend of a rare, 14-year-old Tobala maguey with an eight-year-old Espadín and brought through three distillations. For a neat, unaged spirit? Then, take “the smallest sip” you’ve ever taken, Bank says. You’ll want something wide so the aromas can work around you, not at you. Shake … https://www.supercall.com/entertaining/best-mezcal-mixed-drinks-recipes According to Diana Corona of the. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime wedges and bell pepper slices. Combine tequila, mezcal, agave, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. You’re ready to start discerning different flavors and truly enjoying the spirit. Mezcal Convite There are actually three varieties of this mezcal: the Esencial features briny, citrus and even green bell pepper notes (you don’t want to start your mezcal journey here, but it’s a fun place to end up), while the Madrecuishe and Coyote variations are your sippers. Like with a glass of fine red wine, the shape of the vessel allows you to breathe in the aroma before taking a sip and swishing the liquid around in your mouth. Recently, here at Cocktail Builder, we’ve been obsessed with everything mezcal — from finding new recipes that highlight and balance the spirit’s signature smoke to swapping it into cocktails that are classically made with its agave-based cousin, tequila. News, advice and insights for the most interesting man in the room. Put out the match and drop the peel into the cocktail. There are two varietals here: El Recuerdo de Oaxaca Joven is not so much “smoky” as white peppery and a pleasantly smooth mezcal with hints of caramel and vanilla, while El Recuerdo de Oaxaca con Gusano features an actual agave worm and is a bit “silkier.” Check out more on the brand here. 1 dash Angostura bitters There are actually three varieties of this mezcal: the Esencial features briny, citrus and even green bell pepper notes (you don’t want to start your mezcal journey here, but it’s a fun place to end up), while the Madrecuishe and Coyote variations are your sippers. As Bank instructs us, put your nose in the copita and smell it. Then set it down and pop your finger into the liquid.