If you grew up in America (or at least watching American TV), you know how to drink a cosmopolitan, a beer, or a glass of wine. Our parents sipped these drinks at home or ordered them at restaurants. Even if your parents weren’t big drinkers, it only took a matter of seconds to land on a TV channel that broadcasted adults enjoying these then-forbidden beverages.
And of course, we all learned how to take shots at the then-forbidden high school house parties or behind the bleachers at Homecoming. But what about the liquors we were never exposed to? Like, say... Mezcal? An unfamiliar (to us) yet highly established alcohol like Mezcal can be a little intimidating at first—we agree..
But at the end of the day: a lack of familiarity shouldn’t keep you away. In fact, it should do the exact opposite. You may not be the bartender of the night the first time you pick up a bottle of Mezcal. But with a little practice, you’ll be well on your way soon.
What Is Mezcal?
Mezcal is a big hug, a familiar face, and a night spent under the moonlight. It’s pure magic.
A distilled spirit made from agave plants, Mezcal is made from the piña, or heart, of the agave plant. That’s why you can taste the love in every sip. <3
No, Mezcal isn’t the same as Tequila. Technically, any spirit made from agave is a type of Mezcal, meaning tequila is a type of Mezcal. However, they’re still very distinct, and there are three significant differences.
They’re produced in different regions. Just like with wine and champagne, the difference between these two liquors comes down to geography. Mezcal comes from Oaxaca, which is where 90% of the world’s Mezcal supply comes from. Tequila mainly comes from Jalisco, a state northwest of Oaxaca.
They’re made with different types of agave. There are over 200 types of agave plants, 30 of which can be used to make Mezcal. Tequila, on the other hand, can only be made from one: weber blue agave.
The last and probably most significant difference is that they’re made differently. Tequila is cooked above ground while Mezcal is cooked below, in underground fire pits. The true artisanal method for making Mezcal requires more time and effort, but that’s just another part of what makes it oh-so-premium.
Cooking the agave plants in underground fire pits is what gives Mezcal its signature smoky flavor. These pits are lined with hot rocks that burn for 24 hours before the agave is even added for cooking. By roasting the agave plants, they gain a rich, savory, and smoky taste. The agave is then milled or mashed, fermented, and put through a double distillation process to entirely capture the alcohol into the final spirit.
Mezcal is slowly but surely (but honestly, not that slowly…) creeping its way out of tequila’s shadow. In 2019, Mezcal grew an astonishing 40% in its market category of nascent spirits. 2019 was also the year that the United States became the world’s largest market for Mezcal. The people have spoken; Mezcal is one smokin’ hot commodity!
What Does It Taste Like?
For a Mezcal with only three ingredients - agave, water, and lots of love - Rosaluna has a uniquely deep and developed flavor experience. Three ingredients, three perfect taste profiles.
Earthy Agave. Roasted agave hearts and their delicious caramel notes lead the way, while spices like ginger and cinnamon are woven throughout.
Complex Aroma. With notes of citrus, tropical fruits, pineapple, and pear, Rosaluna provides bright notes that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Smooth Finish. Leading with a hunt of agave smoke, Rosaluna finishes with a subtle layer of sweet fruit and baking spice.
How To Drink Mezcal?
Mezcal isn’t like the other liquors. She deserves special attention and appreciation.
Just like with any other drink, everyone has their own serving and mixing preferences. And just like with any other drink, there are better and worse ways to go about drinking Mezcal.
Mezcal brings a full experience of unique and complex flavors that can and should be enjoyed all on its own. Rosaluna’s smooth and sweet taste makes it perfect for drinking neat.
The traditional way to drink Mezcal is out of a jicara, meaning “cup,” in Spanish. A jicara is made from a fruit of the Crescentia cujete tree. The dried fruit is split in half and resembles the shape of a small bow. They come in a variety of sizes but usually fit perfectly into the shape of your palm.
In Mezcal’s hometown of Oaxaca, jicaras are brought to life with hand-painted craftwork that transforms them into pieces of art.
The takeaway: Mezcal is so incredible when served neat. Oh, and one last tip: Mezcal is best enjoyed at room temperature. Room temperature allows the in-depth flavor profile to be enjoyed in all its multi-dimensional glory (trust us, it’s glorious as hell).
Rule of Three Margarita
Mezcal’s unique balance of flavors makes it the perfect companion to your favorite cocktail. And duh, we have to start with the margarita.
- 2 oz Rosaluna Mezcal
- 1 oz Lime juice
- 1 oz Agave syrup
- Garnish: lime wheel and pink sea salt, if your heart desires
- Shake it all together with ice
- Pour strained into a chilled rocks glass with fresh ice
- Garnish with a lime wheel and salt
Pink Moon Paloma
Mezcal is also the perfect accompaniment to citrus flavors. We love it paired with grapefruit, whether with a simple seltzer or in a fancy grapefruit cocktail. Our Pink Moon Paloma recipe brings out the best in Mezcal, and we’re pretty certain it’ll bring out the best in you, too.
- 2 oz Rosaluna Mezcal
- 1 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
- 0.5 oz Lime juice
- 0.5 oz Agave syrup
- 1 pinch of salt
- Garnish: torched rosemary sprig & topped with seltzer
- Add all ingredients to shaker except seltzer
- Shake and pour into a glass filled with ice
- Top with seltzer and garnish with a rosemary sprig
We love a good Mule. We love a good Mezcal Mule even more.
- 1.5 oz Rosaluna Mezcal
- 0.5 oz Lime juice
- 4 oz Orange ginger beer
- Garnish: lime shell and candied ginger
- Build in a chilled mule mug, then fill with ice cubes
- Garnish with the lime shell and a piece of candied ginger on a pick
Benefits Of Drinking Mezcal?
The beautiful thing about Rosaluna Mezcal is the simplicity of its ingredients. With only agave, water, and lots of love, we’ve got a zero-tolerance policy for artificial sweeteners or additives. Mezcal is all magic—none of the bad stuff here.
- Zero Carb
- Carbon Neutral
While all Mezcal is technically gluten-free, Rosaluna’s 100% vertically integrated system allows the single farm estate to go even further, securing Gluten-Free Certification (LFG). Rosaluna is a family business, and we treat our customers as if they were one of our own. We have complete oversight over our supply chain, from growing the agave plants in our backyard to the final distillation, and we use that oversight to make sure Rosaluna is as good and (good-for-you) as can be.
The simplicity of Mezcal also suggests that it’s a “healthier” alcohol alternative. We know it’s a stretch to call any alcohol healthy, but if there was one, it’d be Mezcal. Mezcal is made from 100% agave, nothing more. Tequila, on the other hand, is only required to be 51% agave, leaving lots of room for 49% of unnecessary fillers, additives, and chemicals. No wonder people feel (relatively) good after a night of drinking Mezcal.
So there you have it—everything you need to know to drink Mezcal the right way. One last thing, to really set you up for success: one doesn’t merely drink Mezcal; one enjoys, savors, and appreciates Mezcal. Did you get that?
Rosaluna is a bright, brilliant, complex, and layered masterpiece. And it should be treated accordingly. Soak it all in.