Between the festival de mezcal and talking with mezcal producers, we’ve discovered a few reasons to enjoy it.
- Did you know the whole worm-in-the-tequila/mezcal-bottle was to demonstrate the alcohol content? Makes drinking alcohol seem a little too much like biology lab.
- Bats are a primary pollinator of agaves allowed to bloom (mezcal/tequila producers usually don’t let them bloom, wanting the plant’s sugars to stay in the heart or piña for turning to alcohol).
- Depending on the variety and setting (namely, shade or sun) of a specific plant, maturity may come between 7 and 70 years.
Mezcal is distilled alcohol made from agave, or maguey. Tequila is the most famous mezcal (made from agave azul) but in Mexico it’s passe. Since tequila is such a hit in the US it is mass-produced with corner-cutting. There’s a lot of bad tequila out there.
Artisinal or even ancestral mezcals are in resurrgence.
We’ve got a ton of agave azul en El Terreno and here are countless agaves on the hillsides where we hike. But I don’t think we’ll be ambitious enough to harvest any for mezcal (or any of dozens of other uses). Between the spikes and the equipment, I think it’s better for the pros. We’ll support the local economy.