Know Your Liquor: Mezcal Smokey, delicious, essential. Why you need to start drink mezcal right now
We know you consider yourself a classy gent (or lady). So, it’s time to elevate your drink to match. You’re aren’t relegated to cheap tequilas or pretending to enjoy Old Fashions anymore. Let’s introduce Mezcal. No well-stocked bar is complete without it. Time to get acquainted.
What is it?
Mezcal is the dark and mysterious cousin to tequila. Hundreds of years ago, the Spanish introduced distillation to the native inhabitants, making mezcal the first spirit of it’s kind to be made on the continent. Experts make it in much the same way as tequila by using hearts of the agave plant. Agave is placed in underground pits and cooked. After roasting, craftsmen crush it, then balance it out with water and ferment. Similar to how only true tequila comes from its namesake region in Mexico, real Mezcal hails from Oaxaca.
This kind of depends. There are plenty of cheap mezcals out there, you know the ones that advertise there’s a worm in them. Yeah, avoid those. Same as tequila and whiskey, there’s a big difference between a quality bottle of the stuff and what spring-breakers everywhere are chugging. There’s been a wave of great mezcals hitting the market right now. So there’s no excuse not to drink something worthwhile.
Here are some of our favorites:
It’s time food and drink pairings go beyond wine. Mezcal is a great accompaniment to many foods. Unlike other spirits, mezcal is clear, meaning its flavors are crisper and thus pretty much go with anything. Additionally, its smoky flavor makes it ideal for earthy vegetables and grilled meats. Next taco Tuesday, skip the tequila and see how mezcal plays out.
How to Pairing Mezcals
Mezcal’s smoky flavors make it a godsend when crafting enviable cocktails. Therefore, it’s important not to go overboard with throwing in ingredients. Doing so loses that delicious smokey quality. That’s a crime.
Keep it simple with a twist of orange and a salted rim or pair with juices and bitters to create a go-to summer classic. Make sure you balance out that smokiness with something fresh and you really can’t go wrong.
These are some ideas:
Mezcal is perfect for switching things up with your drinking game. Tell us about your favorite drinks in the comments below!