Tequila & Mezcal
Tequila and mezcal both belong to the agave family and are spirits which can only be produced and bottled in Mexico. It is often taken in a shot glass along with complimentary salt and lime, or used in cocktails such as the margarita or tequila sunrise. Tequila is produced exclusively from a single variety of agave, the Tequilana Weber, or ‘blue agave’. The materials are cooked, crushed, fermented and distilled with many different techniques in-between. Tequilas are considered ‘puro’ or ‘mixto’ depending on their level of agave content, and Blanco, Plata, Joven, Reposado, Añejo and Extra-Añejo correspond to the length of time maturing in the cask. Expect aromas of lemon, pepper and a fuel-like quality. Mezcal agave takes much longer to reach maturity to be able to be harvested. The most commonly used variety is 'swordfish', both for its aromatic qualities and the fact that it reaches maturity between 6 and 12 years. For mezcal, the agave is cooked in wood-fired ovens, resulting in a smoky spirit - which is becoming increasingly popular in mixology.