Cognac / Armagnac / Brandy
Fruit Brandy and Calvados
Gin / Jenever
Port / Sherry
Rum / rhum
Besides Tequila, Mezcal is celebrated as traditional drink in Mexico. It is produced in small batches according to artisanal and ancient tradition.
The love for this extraordinary spirit exceeds all borders. Across the globe spirits connoisseurs are drawn to mezcal, which is made from agave plants, just like Tequila. Unlike Tequila, though, mezcal can be made from the agave hearts (piñas) of over 30 varietals of agave that grow wild or on estatesin different regions. For the production of Tequila, however, only the blue Weber agave is allowed. Strictly speaking, mezcal as umbrella term refers to any spirit made from agave plants. Mezcal looks back at a rich history and is the oldest spirit in the Latin American region. The artisanal methods for the mezcal production have not been changed since the 16th century, when the Spaniards conquered what is known today as Mexico. Exactly those traditional methods along with the use of the most excellent raw material give mezcal unparalleled features, rooted in Mexican culture and community.
The word “mezcal” derives from Náhuatl, the Aztec language, and means “cooked agave”. Since 1994 mezcal is listed as a protected designation of origin (Denominación de Orígen, D.O.). The production of mezcal is currently limited to the following nine regions: Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Guanajuato, Oaxaca, Puebla, Guerrero, Michoacán, Durango. Similar to Tequila, the making of mezcal is governed by rules defined in the Mexican norm NOM: 070-SCFI-1994, which specifies the methods and origin of the different mezcals. The distinction of methods and varietals of agave which are used in various regions adds fascination to this spirit which is significantly shaped by its origin. Mezcal provides a unique and distinctive universe of tastes which share an intense, smoky aroma, typical for mezcal.
Myths and quality of mezcal
Mezcal is often associated with myths and misconceptions. One of the most popular myths is the assumption that a worm inside the bottle indicates quality. However, it provides merely a visual charm and gimmick. Nevertheless, the combination of dried up worm, salt and chili powder – the “Sal de Gusano” – may offer an exciting addition to the consumption of mezcal. Passionate mezcal drinkers enjoy sprinkling it over fresh orange slices to accompany their drink. Also in cocktails mezcal perfectly unfolds it’s smoky aroma.
You may identify a mezcal of exceptional quality by shaking the bottle to see, if small bubbles (perlas) appear, indicating that the mezcal is properly distilled and has a balanced alcoholic volume and chemical composition. While tasting, rub a drop of mezcal on the back of your hand. The smell of the cooked agave should be present and linger for a few minutes.
Are you looking for products that are available on the Austrian market?
Please visit our partner distribution at www.kattus-borco.at