Mezcal (Spanish mezcal) - traditional Mexican alcoholic beverage made by the method of dispersion of fermented juice of agave. The fortress of mezcal is 38-55%. Mescal is produced in small private enterprises, and it is difficult to meet it outside Mexico. The varieties of agave used for making mezcal: Agave potatorum, Agave angustifolia haw, Agave esperrima jacobi. This mezcal is different from tequila, which is used for the production of only blue agave (Agave azul). Mescal has a stronger taste and aroma compared to tequila. There are many types of mescal, significantly different from each other in taste.
Not to be confused with the alcoholic drink mescal with mescaline, a drug-hallucinogen. Often confusion in Russia occurs due to problems with transcription â€” very similar in both cases, whereas in Mexico the transcription is different â€” mezcal (drink) and mescal (cactus, from which mescaline is made).
In 1994, Mexico enacted a law protecting the name mescal and strictly regulating its manufacture. Mezcal is officially allowed to produce in the States of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas. Although today it is produced in other States, which of course is a violation of the law.
For making mescal core agave baked in stone-lined pits-furnaces conical shape: laid across charcoal, coated with layers of palm fibers and ground and kept there for two or three days. This method gives maskaly smoke flavor. Another difference from tequila is that mezcal is made from the pure juice of the agave with no added sugar. After the baking process is complete, the obtained agave cores are cut into small pieces and thoroughly ground, in order to destroy their hard shell and get to the insides. The remaining pulp and squeezed juice is placed in wooden barrels, poured water, and left to roam for five or more days. Thereafter, the fermented mixture of juice and pulp of the agave is placed in a ceramic or copper stills, which stoked the usual wood. Since the mid-twentieth century, mezcal is produced by double distillation.
Producers of mezcal to attract customers in every possible way to decorate their products. The classic mezcal is bottled in slightly stained bottles. Many brands of mescal are complete with a pouch containing a mixture of salt with dried and ground caterpillars Bombix agavis, living in the shoots of agave. The mixture is used in the use of mescal. Also, as an advertising gimmick, the bottle is sometimes placed a caterpillar carcass Hypopta agavis. Caterpillar has a red color in life, but in mescale quickly discolored. Although in the old days the Mexicans had placed a caterpillar of a butterfly that lives in the agave thickets, to check the quality of the finished mezcal. If the worm spoiled, it meant that mezcal is not clean enough, and if he zaspirtovanny, the quality of the drink was high.
The most famous brands of mescal are: Don Silverio, Encantado Gusano Real, Amigo, Beneva, Machos, Encantado, Cortijo, Tua, San Luis del Rio, Ultramarine, Monte Alban and a number of others (more than 100 varieties).
The period of aging the tequila is divided into:
- Natural ( Natural) - mescal, not the past excerpt;
- Anejo (Anejo) - "old", aged at least 1-3 years (sometimes more) mescal.
Mescal damage to health is primarily due to the relatively high content of ethanol and carries the same risks as the use of other alcoholic beverages of the same fortress.