Mezcal vs Tequila: Difference and Comparison

Mezcal is a national spirit of Mexico which means oven-cooked agave. Agaves or magueys are found in different areas of Mexico.

Most Mezcal is made in Oaxaca.

Mezcal is an alcoholic beverage. It’s part of the culture, people and history of Mexico. Mezcal can best be comprehended by tasting it beside Tequila.

When you compare both of them, you will see mezcal as smoky.

Tequila is made in the Tequila region of Mexico. It is a distilled spirit produced from the agave plant.

The alcohol must be delivered to assigned zones of Mexico. Today, it is one of the most famous alcohols on the planet, but it’s used in Mexico and the U.S.

Tequila is the main ingredient in margaritas; tequila shots are well known.

Key Takeaways

  1. Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant, while tequila is a specific type of mezcal made from the blue agave plant.
  2. Tequila production is restricted to specific regions in Mexico, primarily the state of Jalisco, while mezcal can be produced in multiple regions, with Oaxaca being the most well-known.
  3. Mezcal has a smoky flavor due to the roasting of agave hearts in underground pits, while tequila has a cleaner, more straightforward agave taste.

Mezcal vs Tequila

Mezcal is made from the fermented and distilled juice of the agave plant, roasting it in underground pits for a smoky flavor. Tequila is a type of mezcal made from the blue Weber agave plant, which is grown in the Jalisco state of Mexico and other regions. It is aged for different periods of time to create different types.

Mezcal vs Tequila

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Comparison Table

Parameter of comparisonMezcalTequila
DefinitionMezcal is characterized as any agave-based alcohol.It is a type of mezcal, much like how scotch and bourbon are sorts of whiskey.
MainMezcal is depicted as savoury and smoky.While tequila has a smooth, sweet flavour.
Places producedDurango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacán, Puebla and Oaxaca.Michoacán, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Jalisco.
TypesEspadin, Tabala, Tobaziche, Tepeztate and Arroqueno.Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo Tequila.


What is Mezcal?

A lot of people don’t know that all tequilas are Mezcals. Mezcal is a distillate obtained from aged cooked agave.

Contrasted with tequila, it is made in a provincial way.

The agave gets simmered in an enormous cone-shaped pit in the ground, aged in wooden tanks and refined in little copper – and once in a while, even clay stills. So, first of all, let’s understand what an agave plant is.

So, these grow in the deserts of Mexico, and they have substantial long pointy spears; it looks like a cactus, or they should be in the cactus family, but it’s not. It has its species.

More than 200 types of agave exist, various of which are indigenous in Mexico.

Mezcal can be produced using around 30 of them. The main Mezcal agave plant is called mescal bean, that’s the main one, but it can be made from a lot of different ones.

Also, the agave plant is very stubborn. It takes a long time to grow, four years but more six, eight or ten years.

Some of these Mezcal agave plants take 15-20 years.

So with Mezcal, they take the heart of the pinas.

They put them in a pit underground, and they have the volcanic rock in there, and they start a fire, it covers up the Pina, and then it roasts for about 24 hours and because it’s underground like that, it gets very smoky, and so you’ll get kind of a smoky flavour and these Mezcals that you taste.

You don’t want it to overpower some of them. Mezcals are way overpowering and smoky.

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What is Tequila?

Tequila is refined from the juice of the bottomless blue agave plant’s heart (known as the pina). It has gotten one of the most well-known alcohols on the planet.

While it’s the fundamental fixing to the exemplary margarita, it’s famously served “flawless.

The agave plants there are tequila called el jimador. It’s very average.

They dig out these agave plants, peel off the leaves, and they get to the heart of it called a Pina because it looks like a pineapple. Pina in Spanish is pineapple, very bilingual that way and once they get to the heart of these things, then they can start extracting the juice.

Tequila, so a lot of times do these above-ground ovens called autoclaves, and they’re stainless steel, and they are industrial.

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Main Differences Between Mezcal and Tequila

  1. Mezcal is any spirit made from juice and agave plants, but on the other hand, Tequila is made from the blue agave plant.
  2. Mezcal is made from about 28 to 30 other agave plant species, but Tequila is produced using blue agave.
  3. Mezcal takes a long time to grow, between seven to fifteen years to mature, whereas Tequila grows in 7 to 10 years.
  4. All Tequila is Mezcal, but the whole Mezcal is not tequila.
  5. Tequila is produced in five spots: Michoacan, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Jalisco. On the other hand, mezcal is produced in nine separate zones of Mexico: Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacan, Puebla and Oaxaca.
  6. One of the main differences between Mezcal and tequila is the production. The way they cook Pina a lot of purists like Mezcal over tequila because Mezcals make it in the same way that they’ve made it for hundreds of years, and Tequila now is being mass-produced, so they have to do it a more industrial way.
Difference Between Mezcal and Tequila

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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21 thoughts on “Mezcal vs Tequila: Difference and Comparison”

  1. A delightful read that provides valuable insights into the intricate world of Mezcal and Tequila. Well-researched and well-presented.

  2. I found the article’s detailed explanation of the Mezcal production process to be particularly enlightening.

    1. I agree. It’s evident that the writer has a deep understanding of the subject matter and has conveyed it admirably.

  3. Mezcal and Tequila are both fascinating spirits. I appreciate the detailed description of the production and flavor differences between the two in this article.

    1. Avatar of Isabelle Adams
      Isabelle Adams

      The comparison table provided is particularly useful in highlighting the distinctions between Mezcal and Tequila.

    2. Absolutely, the article effectively conveys the uniqueness of Mezcal and Tequila, making it a compelling read.

  4. An engaging and thought-provoking piece that meticulously explores the nuances of Mezcal and Tequila production and distinct flavor profiles.

    1. Indeed, the article offers a wealth of information that enriches our understanding of these traditional Mexican beverages.

  5. A very informative article, it provides detailed information on Mezcal and Tequila, including their origin, production processes, flavor profiles, and regions of production.

    1. Indeed, the article covers a wide range of aspects about Mezcal and Tequila in a comprehensive manner.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. The article also explains the differences between Mezcal and Tequila, which is very helpful.

  6. The article effectively highlights the historical and cultural importance of Mezcal and Tequila within Mexican traditions.

    1. Absolutely, the article skillfully portrays the deep-rooted connection between these spirits and Mexican heritage.

  7. Avatar of Marshall Candice
    Marshall Candice

    The article presents a compelling comparison between Mezcal and Tequila, offering a well-rounded perspective on their unique characteristics.

  8. A well-structured article that provides a thorough examination of Mezcal and Tequila, emphasizing their unique characteristics and cultural significance.

    1. Avatar of Francesca James
      Francesca James

      Absolutely. The article brilliantly captures the essence of these beloved spirits and their historical importance.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. The article masterfully distills the essence of Mezcal and Tequila with great clarity.

  9. An enjoyable and informative read, delving into the rich cultural and historical background of Mezcal and Tequila. Well done!

  10. The article provides a comprehensive overview of the characteristics and production of Mezcal and Tequila, shedding light on their cultural significance.

    1. I couldn’t have put it better myself. The article truly captures the essence of these traditional Mexican spirits.

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