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“What’s the Difference Between Mezcal and Tequila?"

Are you team tequila or mezcal? Ahead of Day of the Dead celebrations next week, our latest edition of the Spirits Whisperer covers some of the basic differences, to help you decide between the two agave-based spirits!

The Agave 

Nothing but the blue Weber agave can be added prior to fermentation in tequila production. In contrast Mezcal can be produced using more than 40 types of agave, allowing mezcaleros more varieties of flavour to experiment with.

Where They're Produced

While there is some overlap, most mezcal is made in the state of Oaxaca, whereas most tequila is produced in the state of Jalisco

How They're Produced

To make tequila, distillers steam the blue agave piña, usually in an above-ground brick oven or autoclave, resulting in a consistent flavour.

When it comes to mezcal, the core of the agave plant (the piña) is roasted in conical pits in the ground. This is why the flavour of mezcals can vary batch to batch and taste smokier than tequilas.

The Ageing Process

Once the distillation process is over, both tequila and mezcal can be aged inside oak barrels. However, this is more typical for tequila as this is the main way producers can play with flavour.

No Matter Which: Sip, Don't Shoot

One thing is universal between tequila and mezcal - they're both designed to be sipped! Whether you're enjoying them neat or shaken up in a cocktail, we have a stylish range of glassware to suit all tastes.


Do you have a burning spirits-based question that you'd like The Spirits Whisperer to investigate? Comment below or send it via email to us ( and if we use it, we’ll send you a surprise treat!

To find out more about how to pick mezcal and tequila, head to our guides.

Tequila Guide Mezcal Guide


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