The difference between Mezcal and Tequila is in its base ingredient- Agave. While Tequila is distilled using just the Blue Agave plant, Mezcal uses a whole variety of the different types that are on offer. What sets it apart, however, is the baking or cooking of the Agave at the start of the production process, which gives it its trademark smokey flavour.
Legend tells of how the gods sent a lightning bolt into the heart of the sacred Agave plant, setting light to it, cooking it and releasing a juice which became known as Mezcal. It is because of this tale that this drink is often referred to as ‘The elixir of the gods’ and is revered across the country.
Famed for often having a worm inside the bottle (which is the larvae of a moth who is known to have a taste for the Agave plants), Mezcal is best sipped straight up. While Tequila is better known for its use in cocktails, Mezcal is best savoured on its own. To drink it like the Mexicans do it is best accompanied only with a few fresh orange slices and a bowl of salty, chilli spiked fried larvae.