What is Mezcal? How is it different from Tequila?
Mezcal is a distilled product of the agave plant family. There are over 30 varieties of agave that can be used. Tequila uses a specific one, the Weber blue agave and it also comes from a specific area in Mexico. Mezcal can be made from several different species of agave and is usually made in the Oaxaca area of Mexico.
Tequila is a form of mezcal that is rather specialized and is distinguished from other mezcals for the most part because of the unsavory reputation mezcal had for years.
A basic analogy is the differences between cognac and armagnac. Mezcal is the country cousin, much less well known, earthier and much more traditional in its preparation than tequila ( which again is a form of mezcal).
The ‘worm’ by the way is actually a butterfly larva (read caterpillar) and is not present in Tequila. Also, a new trend is to replace the ‘worm’ with a scorpion. Look for my upcoming reviews or mescals at spiritsreview.com