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Is Mezcal Better Than Tequila ?

Is Mezcal Better Than Tequila ?

Auli Cinantya
04 May 2023


While both spirits are made from the same plant, they have distinct tastes. In fact, tequila is a type of mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila.


A staple of Mexican bar culture, Mezcal, and Tequila are familiar drinks you can find easily, especially in a Mexican Bar joint. Tequila is familiar to you; Mezcal may still be unfamiliar to many people. But in Mexico, these two beverages appear to go together without fail. 

Though both have been considering a staple, many still confuse the two. Tequila and mezcal are both agave spirits, so what’s the difference between tequila and mezcal? While both spirits are made from the same plant, they have distinct tastes. In fact, tequila is a type of mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila! Still with me now? 

Mezcal and tequila may appear to be two sides of the same coin when choosing one over the other. After all, agave plants are used to make both. But in reality, these two spirits are very different from one another and have distinctive flavor profiles.

Though these two agave-based liquors are often used interchangeably in cocktails, they have unique flavor profiles and production methods. 


Mezcal is a distilled spirit from the agave plant, which is native to Mexico and Texas. This broad category includes other agave-based alcoholic beverages like tequila, sotol, and bacanora. Although mezcal is a type of tequila, mezcal is made from different varieties of agave, such as espadin or arroqueno. Depending on how long it has been aged in oak barrels, mezcal can be either light or dark in color. 

One of the distinct characteristics of mezcal is its signature smoky flavor, which comes from cooking the agave in pits in the ground. In addition to smokiness, mezcal has notes of caramelized fruit and tropical fruits, making it a unique drinking experience.


For various people, tequila has different meanings. Tequila can be easily enjoyed in many settings, whether you prefer it neat, shot with lime, in a Margarita, or on the beach.

Tequila, a distilled spirit from the agave plant, has long been connected to Mexico. The blue agave plant, grown exclusively in some areas of Mexico, is used in tequila production. Typically, the liquid is distilled twice at low temperatures in copper pots. There are various types of tequila, including blanco (or silver), which is unaged, and reposado and añejo tequila, aged for less than a year and a year, respectively. Tequila has a clean and crisp taste, with a blend of pepper and citrus flavors.

Mezcal vs Tequila

The nuances in taste between Mezcal and tequila can be attributed to several factors, such as the type of agave used, the geographical region where it is grown, and the method of cooking and distillation employed. Additionally, the aging process also plays a significant role. Tequila generally has a smoother and sweeter flavor profile, with fruitier and more complex notes, primarily influenced by its oak aging. Conversely, Mezcal boasts a more savory taste, with smoky and earthy undertones accentuated by hints of vegetal, tropical, or floral flavors.

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