The History of Mezcal

You’ve probably seen that mezcal has become a lot more popular in the U.S. over the last few years. You might have thought that it just appeared out of nowhere. But that is not true. It’s been around since the late 1500 when the spanish conquistadors started experimenting with agave plants to see what they could come out with and what they got out of it was mezcal. So what is mezcal? The word mezcal comes from Nahuatl mexicali meaning “oven cooked agave.” It is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave plant. Although the most popular place mezcal to be made is in Oaxaca Mexico, it can also be made in Durango, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas and Michoacan.

Mezcal is made from the “pina” or the heart of the agave plant. The plant must mature to form the pina and that’s when it is ready to produce the mezcal liquid.

This process takes about 3 months. The mezcal liquor is then filtered through sugar cane (cane juice) and fermented for another 4-6 weeks. Then you have your mezcal.

The mezcal is then aged in oak barrels for at least 6 months. The mezcal is then bottled and sold in Mexico and in the U.S. for between $10-$15 per 750ml bottle.

The process of making mezcal is very similar to how whiskey is produced. It’s all done by hand using only natural ingredients such as agaves, water, yeast and herbs. 

In addition to being an alcoholic drink, mezcal is used in many other ways including: cooking, baking, medicinal purposes, flavoring food, as well as having its own brand of toothpaste called Mezcal de Miel. In fact there are so many uses for this drink that it is hard to know where to start.

Mezcal is a very popular drink in Mexico. It is also very popular in the U.S. and is even more popular in Europe and Latin America. In fact there are many people who have never heard of mezcal before but once they try it they will never go back to drinking regular alcohol again.A new study published in the journal Nature Communications shows that mezcal may help prevent cancer. Researchers found that mezcal consumption reduced the risk of colorectal cancer among men by up to 40%. They also discovered that myricetin, a chemical found in mezcal, helped reduce inflammation in the body.

This research suggests that consuming mezcal may protect against colon cancer because it reduces inflammation . However, further studies need to be conducted to confirm these findings.

Let’s take a look at some of the agave plants that can be made into mezcal

  • Espadin- This is going to be your most common agave. It is responsible for about 90% of the mezcal production. You might taste it and think ”this tastes familiar for some reason.“ Well then you are probably thinking tequila since it is the genetic grandfather of blue agave which is made for tequila
  • Tepeztate-If you want to try this one you might have to wait a while. As it takes 30 years for this plant to fully mature. Production obviously isn’t fast on it and it is made when it can be.
  • Tobala-Know as the”king of mezcals“ Tobala is grown in the wild and is known to be fruity and complex. It is also kind of pricey compared to other mezcals.
  • Arroqueno- This agave is the latin name meaning agave americano. Often having a spicey, bitter, chocolate note, Arroquenos are usually made from the same species as Tepeztepec.
  • Papago- Papagos are native to South American deserts. These fruits grow underground like mushrooms and ripen after 2 years. When ripe they are used as a sweetener.Papagos are made from the same species as Tepatepec.Papagos are grown in the wild

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