What’s the difference between tequila and mezcal?

Costa Maya Mahahual

What’s the difference

between tequila and


Tequila shots - Getty Images / Image Source

Tequila and mezcal are spirits that are made in Mexico from the agave plant. However, there are some key differences between the two drinks. Originally, tequila was considered a type of mezcal. It was labelled “Mezcal de Tequila” (Mezcal from Tequila), referring to the place in which it was produced, that is, in and around the town of Tequila, in the state of Jalisco. The term “mezcal” was broader, encompassing tequila and other liquors made from the agave plant. Sort of like the difference between scotch and whiskey, all tequila was mezcal, but not all mezcal was tequila.

As regulations on the production of these drinks were imposed, the precise definitions of the terms have changed somewhat over time. The two types of spirit are both made from the agave plant, but they are made with different varieties of agave…

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