The best mezcal
Our selections of the best mezcals
Mezcal is, along with tequila, the most famous drink in Mexico. Both are obtained from the distillation of maguey or agave, a slow-growing, spiny succulent plant that grows in the Mexican desert and dies when producing its fruit. In the market you can find different types of mezcal, depending on the variety of agave used. Next, we present a selection of the best mezcals for you to enjoy this very personal liquor.
1. Red Worm Mezcal Tequila
Gusano Rojo is considered by experts as one of the best mezcals of 2022, since it is made 100% with agave and rested, following the traditional method that has been used since the 17th century.
It gets its name from the mezcal worm, which in this case is found at the bottom of the bottle.
If you are new to mezcal, Gusano Rojo is very nice, as it is a slightly sweet and smoky liquor, and it is also one of the cheapest options.
This is because, once distilled, it rests for several months in barrels, picking up the flavors of the wood and macerating the agave’s own sugars.
It has a very light color and a slightly viscous consistency, typical of great mezcals. It is perfect to drink with ice, in shots or mixed with freshly squeezed lime juice.
2. Mezcal San Cosme
The San Cosme mezcal, produced in Oaxaca, the gastronomic capital of Latin America, is made with 100% natural agave, in very small batches. Only in this way can the Mezcal label be obtained.
This liquor has a traditional flavor, it is a complex drink, with many aromas and textures.
If you are wondering which mezcal to buy, San Cosme might be one of the best options as it offers a slightly smoky flavor.
San Cosme only uses white or young espadin agave, from plants less than 9 years old. Once picked by hand, it is baked in stone ovens and crushed in an ancient stone mill, pushed by mules.
This mezcal is fermented for two days in wooden barrels and passed through copper stills, where it goes through two different distillation processes. Each step is treated with great care, which reflects the tradition of this Mexican drink.
3. Montelobos Young Mezcal
Montelobos Joven mezcal is made following the traditional method in the brand’s distilleries in Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca.
This is the best mezcal for vegans, since it has a certificate, since it is made only with hand-picked organic white espadin maguey (agave).
This mezcal is born from the vision and personal passion of Iván Saldana, an expert in agave and mezcal, who has faithfully respected the traditional production methods, followed by the families that produce mezcal, and has adapted them to the sustainability of the new markets. ecological.
It is a high-quality product, something that is noticeable by its presentation and also by its price, higher than cheaper mezcals. However, this translates into a mezcal with a transparent color and a strong flavor, ideal to drink alone.
4. Miter Origin Young Craft Mezcal 100% Maguey
One of the candidates to become the best value for money mezcal on our list is that of the Mitre house, which has a legal certificate that identifies it as an authentic distillate, so it has the flavor and characteristics of this traditional drink. Mexican.
It can be one of the best choices for those who want to experience the taste of this type of spirits, since it has less than 40% alcohol. Due to this, it is perceived as a light and palatable mezcal, with slightly smoky notes, which it acquires after its artisanal production process.
It comes beautifully presented in a clear 700 ml bottle, which allows you to observe the transparency of the drink, and adds an elegant and attractive label showing a jaguar. Such emblem is a sign of the brand’s commitment to the preservation of the felines of the country of origin.
5. Zignum Mezcal 700ml
If you are wondering which is the best mezcal, in Zignum you could find your answer.
It is a very elegant liqueur, with a superb presentation. Made 100% with agave of certified natural origin, which will be ideal to enjoy the most special moments with your loved ones.
Thanks to its elaboration and its rest days in wooden barrels, it has a very personal flavor, sweet and slightly smoky, reminiscent of agave cooked in stone ovens.
It is an ideal mezcal to start tasting this traditional liquor from Oaxaca, since the vanilla flavor is very smooth and suggestive.
It has a very attractive golden color and a slightly viscous texture that dresses the glass when you move it, so this mezcal is likely to captivate your senses.
6. Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
Del Maguey Vida is a traditional mezcal, made in San Luis del Río, in the Oaxaca area, the only one certified for the production of this type of drink. It is a very simple, but attractive presentation.
It is a double distillation mezcal, which passes very slowly through traditional copper stills and is left to rest in very small burnt barrels.
The batches are made very slowly, in small quantities, to ensure maximum care throughout the process.
This mezcal is very aromatic, with fruity touches and a spicy flavor, with notes of ginger, cinnamon, burnt sandalwood, banana and tangerine, with very long final touches of honey and vanilla.
7. Beneva Mezcal 38% 700 ml
Beneva’s mezcal is one of the most traditional in Oaxaca, made with white espadín agave picked by hand.
Like traditional mezcals, at the bottom of the bottle you can see the red worm, which develops during the fermentation of the agave fruit.
It is an amber-colored mezcal, thanks to the rest time in burnt barrels and the slow cooking of the agave hearts in traditional stone ovens.
It has a very lingering flavor on the palate, slowly releasing herbaceous notes as it moves down the throat.
According to legends, the red worm inside is a powerful aphrodisiac and is the prize for whoever gets the last drink from the bottle.
8. Casamigos Mezcal Tequila from Mexico
Casamigos could be the best mezcal of the moment. It is a liqueur made using the traditional system, 100% soft espadin agave collected and cooked in the Oaxaca region.
However, it is a different liquor, designed to be enjoyed cold as a nightcap.
Thanks to its elaboration with 100% natural agave and its maturation for up to two months in barrels, it has a balanced and elegant flavor, which evokes smoky and delicate notes, culminating in a sweet and very smooth, slightly earthy final taste.
It is an ideal mezcal for those who are not used to this type of liquor. It is a young mezcal that can be enjoyed neat, served very cold, with ice or with a little fresh lime juice and a slice of orange or lemon.
9. La Chica Loca Artisan Mezcal Tobala
La Chica Loca could be the best brand of mezcal for discerning palates. This is due to the slow maturation process of their 10-year-old tobala agaves and cooking in conical river stone ovens. Added to this is a natural fermentation process, based on very specific yeast strains, and a double distillation.
In relation to its flavor, it should be noted that it qualifies as a mezcal with smoky aromatic touches, which are impregnated due to the mesquite and oak wood used for cooking. Its flavor, on the other hand, allows you to detect soft citrus and fruit notes.
In other aspects, it is worth knowing that we are dealing with a version without the aging process, with a high percentage of alcohol that reaches 45 degrees. Having said this, it is clear that, either alone or combined, it will be a strong drink, suitable for sipping slowly.
10. Artisanal Mezcal Bruxo X
Bruxo X is a different mezcal, with a very marked modern personality. Bruxo was created by a group of Mexican friends who discovered the magic of mezcal and fell in love with this drink.
It is made in San Dionisio Ocotepec, Oaxaca, by master mezcalero Juan Morales García.
Unlike traditional mezcals, it is a blend of two different agave distillates. On the one hand, it contains 80% Espadín Blanco agave and, on the other, 20% Barril agave.
The result is a delicate liquor, with citrus and floral notes, which join the notes of peanuts and jicama. On the palate it is fresh, with fruity, citrus and mineral notes.
His name, Bruxo, means shaman and derives from his personality, as each bottle is different.
Origin and Use
To continue with our guide to buying the best mezcal, we are going to tell you some of the main curiosities, such as the history of this traditional drink, the mixtures and also how to preserve mezcal, as well as its nutritional value. Next, we explain everything you need to know about mezcal.
Mezcal is, along with tequila, the Mexican national drink; there they have a saying: «For all evil, mezcal. For all good, too». Its origin is lost among the Mexica civilizations that populated the area. Legend has it that the first mezcal was produced when lightning struck an agave plant, so it is considered to be a drink that came from heaven.
Mezcal is obtained from the mezcalero maguey, a type of fleshy plant with large, spiny leaves with spears at the ends. The plant is typical of the most arid areas of Mexico, especially the Oaxaca area. This plant in the center forms a pineapple or strain, which is used to extract the liquid that will become mezcal.
The distillation process is a legacy of the Spanish and Europeans, who introduced the alembic and the distillation of alcohol in the 16th century. The use of these stills and distillation became popular and their use became common from the 18th century, when the first mezcal houses began to appear.
Mezcal is produced throughout Mexico, although only distilleries in the Oaxaca area, which work with agaves from the area, can obtain the “Mezcal” Denomination of Origin. The agave is part of a family of plants with 200 species, of which 150 belong to Mexico.
To make mezcal, the stalks, the heart or stock are roasted in stone ovens over a wood fire. Although it is also done with barbecue roasts or in campfires buried in the ground. Once cooked, they are crushed in traditional mills and the pulp is left to ferment. Later, it is distilled and left to settle. The reposado is what changes the color of the mezcal and influences how much a bottle costs in the market.
We continue with this mezcal comparison, talking about some of the best mixes. The first one is simple, it is a shot of mezcal, which is prepared in a small glass, along with a slice of lime and a pinch of salt.
To continue, we find the combination called “La mama Whoa”, which is made by filling a cocktail shaker with ice, half an ounce of pomegranate syrup, mezcal, lemon juice and ginger beer.
Another delicious cocktail with mezcal is “La Perla”, which is made with an ounce and a half of mezcal and chamomile syrup, mixed with pear liqueur, ice, lemon peel and served in a tall Martini-type glass. La Perla must be made with white mezcal, since it must be transparent.
The next one is “La Paloma”, a combination based on mezcal, natural lemon juice, salt, lemon soda, a slice of lime and lots of ice. It is a very refreshing cocktail, ideal for the hottest summer nights.
To enjoy a good liqueur, you need to know how to preserve it. This is important, as we often open these liqueurs to enjoy family gatherings or dinners, and then they stay open for a long time, sometimes years, until we use them again for another dinner or gathering.
As a general rule, liqueurs and distillates should not be kept for more than one year. It is not that they spoil, but they do lose many of their properties. To preserve clear spirits, such as mezcal, it is important to keep them in cool, dark places, away from direct sunlight.
They must also have the cap screwed on tightly, since in this way we can enjoy them for longer. In the case of clear liqueurs, the shelf life may be longer than a year, although it should never exceed three years.
Mezcal, even the cheapest, contains a large amount of oligosaccharides, a type of nutrient that increases calcium absorption and regulates cholesterol levels. In an amount equivalent to 30 ml, it contains 200 calories, zero fat and more or less 40 degrees of alcohol, although the most common is that it does not exceed 38 degrees.
It is important to drink responsibly. Mezcal has almost 40 degrees of alcohol, making it a very powerful drink. Although it is a stomach drink, which can be consumed after meals to improve digestion, you should never drive after consuming it.