It is one of the Mexican drink by excellence and preference. 100% national origin, the fame which has at world-wide level is well deserved thanks to its so particular characteristics: aroma, flavor unmistakable and quality. And in fact, so it is appraised internationally (especially in Europe) that, in 1997 an important agreement was signed between Mexico - European Community for the protection on Spiritual Drinks.
This agreement guarantees that only the originating liquids of the states or regions with the climatic and propitious characteristics of the ground for the production of agave mezcalero can carry the label with the name Mezcal. These states are the following ones: Durango, Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas.
About the Mezcal
Without a doubt it is very delicious, like appetizer or digestive is always well received, but, do you know what Mezcal is?...
In Nahuatl, Mexcalmetl means Agave or Maguey (as it is known in common way).
It is much believed that the maguey is a cactus, but, within the botany, this one is considered as separate specie since exist more than 120 types.
Before the Spanish conquest, the pre-Hispanic towns only knew from maguey the denominated drink "Pulque" that is obtained from the fermentation. But once introduced in Mexico, from the distillation process could be obtained from this plant a finer alcohol that first was called "agave wine" or "mezcal wine".
Its process implies a whole rite from cultivation
1. - the agave must grow of natural form (without fertilizers) and to reach the age of 8 or 9 years for its maturity.
2.- Already mature, the long sword-shaped leaves of the plant are cut until leaving clean "la piña” (name given to the stem of maguey)
3.- An underground oven is prepared in form of cone that will be warmed up with firewood and covered with a stone river base to protect the heat.
4. - It is necessary to wrap up the piñas in a blanket and introduce them into the oven by 3 or 4 days to put them under the heat until reaching certain point of baking.
5. - Once cooked the piñas, it starts the milling process that is made in a circular stone mill mechanized by a donkey or draft horse.
6. - the paste and juice that is obtained are mixed with water (5 to 10%) and they are placed in barrels of white oak or Encino for its fermentation.
7. - After 30 days maximum, it is obtained tepache that is distilled once and again until obtaining a pure alcohol; the Mezcal.
Tips to know the Mezcal
The mezcal can be joven (no aging); reposado (rested) o añejo (old).The joven is colorless unlike reposado or añejo that denotes certain yellow color depending on the barrel aging. There are also other that are known as Mezcal 100% Agave, this is very important then they are pure totally, this means that they have been prepared with natural sugars of the maguey; those that does not show this legend are because they have been mixed with other sugars. A
nd, on the other hand, depending on the region that have been made can carry other names like: Minero, De Pechuga, De Gusano, De Alacrán or one of the most appraised, the Tobalá (prepared based on the wild young maguey, very scarce and difficult to cultivate).
Remember that the Mezcal it is not a kind of Tequila. Rather is that Tequila is kind of Mezcal. The Tequila comes from the blue agave Agave Tequilana Weber whereas the Mezcal comes from the agave Potatorum Zuuc, agave Amailidáceas (Tobalá) and agave Espadín.
How to ingest a good Mezcal?
When tasting, there also exist certain advices that turn out interesting to live the experience on to ingest a good Mezcal.
a) The Mezcal lacks a special wineglass to use. Therefore, the connaisseurs recommend using a coñaquera wineglass or royal wineglass that is where the best drinks of the world are served. By its roundness and transparency allows appreciating better at sight the content and the sense of smell.
b) When you serves it, moves slowly the wineglass in circular movements inclined to wet the walls and to examine its viscosity. As they more get wet the Mezcal is of better quality.
c) Proceed to take it, first inhaling deeply, exhale half of the air and sipped a drink of the wineglass.
d) Exhale the rest of the air while you discover in your mouth the incomparable taste of the Mezcal... Cheers!!!