Much has been discussed regarding the traditionally produced Mezcal and the modern fabricating techniques which has always been characteristic of its more well known cousin Tequila. In this report we are going to be hearing from Ernesto Antonio Pérez Gijón who has been dealing with Mezcal for over 50 years.
First, we will begin with the differences between Mezcal and Tequila:
1) Mezcal is made entirely the traditional way by hand no machines or modern distilling techniques are used.
2) The Maguey plant and its wild brothers make both Tequila& Mezcal.
3) Pulque was the first drink make from this plant in times past. This the Spanish took to allowing it to ferment thereby making it alcoholic. (Oh thank you God!)
4) The Maguey Plant was taken from Oaxaca and cultivated in Jalisco whereby what was formerly known as Mescal became Tequila and subsequently went into production. Mescal production now more or less equals the quality of cognac produced, or roughly 1/8 that of tequila production.
5) The Domestic Maguey Varieties are the following:
Espadín, Arruqueño, Mexicano, Tabasiche, Bicuishe
These varieties are used for their high growth rate or production capabilities ????
6) The following are the wild varieties of Maguey which are the most cotizado for their scarify and have the most sought after properties ... like? ????
Tobalá, Tepestate, Coyote, part of the reason for the additional cost of production in the silvestres is due to the fact that no two varieties are blended together; they are never mixed.
Real difference between Tequila & Mezcal, is that tequila is produced according government specifications and thus Tequila is standardized so it is the same throughout the republic of Mexico, whether it comes from Jalisco or Oaxaca. Mezcal on the other hand varies from region to region due to climate altitude and seasonal changes as well as local methods of production like amount of worms added and other additions.