They are two completely different personas. But now that you have a clear picture of the differences between the two, surely you won’t be surprised to find that they’re not traditionally meant to be consumed from the same type of vessels.
So, what is a Mezcal glass? Let’s find out, shall we?
Take It Slow
First things first: we believe in tradition, but we also believe in everyone doing whatever TF they want to do. So have no fear: we won’t come running if you’re at a bar and decide to throw back a shot of Mezcal or two. We’re just here to tell you about another way to do it. Many will tell you that Mezcal’s smoky flavor is meant to be sipped and savored rather than tossed down your throat. In the case of Mezcal there’s no need to bypass your tastebuds—this sh*t tastes good.
Sipping Mezcal is a much different experience. You don’t set out to get drunk when you decide to indulge in Mezcal the traditional way; you set out to relax and expand your mind. Time is a social construct anyway, so there’s no need to rush the experience. Savor it.
A Little Something Special
Mezcal, as mentioned, isn’t traditionally served in a shot glass. Instead, it is intended to be poured into one of several different vessels intended to further the Mezcal ~experience~. The three distinct glasses to be discussed are:
- Vaso Veladora
Each of these different drinking vessels offers a distinct and delightful drinking experience. Let’s get to it.
The Shallow End
The first mezcal glass is a Copita, or “little cup.” A Copita is a shallow cup usually made from clay. It’s almost like a small, shallow bowl. Because the mouth of a Copita is wide, you can get your nose up close and personal with the Mezcal and take in the notes of its bright, smoky fragrance.
Some even suggest dipping your digits into the Copita and tasting the mezcal on your fingers, something said to bring a completely different taste to the spirit. No matter your choice, there’s no denying that a Copita is a classy way to sip and savor the flavor.
Take Me to Church
Next on our list of very special vessels is the Vaso Veladora. This mezcal glass is often referred to as a candle holder because, well, it resembles one. It’s also associated with the Roman Catholic Church because the Church manufactured them back in the day. The thick glass that the vaso veladora is made from is great for an over-eager round of cheers (which we highly suggest, always).
Apples and Oranges (and Jicaras)
A Jicara is a traditional serving vessel for Mezcal that dates back centuries. This bowl-shaped cup is made from the gourd of the Crescentia tree. The fruit is cut in half, hollowed out, and left to dry. They are often then hand-painted for decoration. Like the Copita, the Jicara has a wide mouth, allowing the drinker to soak up the nose bouquet that a good Mezcal offers.
The strict warning as to the proper way to enjoy Mezcal is only to be taken tongue-in-cheek. There is no wrong way to enjoy this spirit. But we do have some suggestions that are sure to make your Mezcal experience a memorable one, if you’re looking to take things to the next level.
Read the Room (Temperature)
Mezcal is a drink best not served cold. Mezcal is made of unique compounds that, when cold, lose their “power.” This makes Mezcal lose a ton of important notes in its flavor. It is always best to serve and drink your Mezcal at room temp to maximize the magic
The Perfect Pair
For the very best Mezcal experience, don’t drink it alone. Instead, pair it with the perfect food to enhance the flavor of both (and drink it with friends, of course).
Because of the versatility of Mezcal’s flavor, it can be enjoyed as a drink to accompany appetizers, main courses, and even desserts. Chips and salsa are a go-to for Mexican food apps (LFG) and work wonderfully with Mezcal. High-fat foods also help to balance Mezcal’s flavor during the main course. Desserts are (per usual) a delight because their sweet flavors bring out the caramel tones of the spirit. TBH you really can’t go wrong with Mezcal as a dinner companion.
Mix It Up
One of the greatest disservices you can do to yourself is assume you can only use Mezcal in drinks that call for tequila. There are many other options out there in which Mezcal would be the perfect mixer. Try it in place of whiskey, bourbon, or brandy.
To create a nice twist on a classic, Mezcal can be used in an Old Fashioned—or a New Fashioned, if you will. This cocktail carries on Mezcal’s reputation as alcohol for the sophisticated. And this is just one of many examples of Mezcal replacing a traditional alcohol to put a new spin on an old favorite.
As You Wish
While these suggestions are offered so that you can enjoy the optimal Mezcal experience, they are not the only ways or the best ways. They are just the traditional ways.
We will not judge you for taking your own path with your Mezcal. You can drink it any way you want, and hopefully, throughout that quest, you’ll find the right way to enjoy your Mezcal. Though Mezcal might seem to be unapproachable at first glance, we can guarantee that if you walk up to one of us with a bottle of Mezcal in hand, you’ll be welcomed at our table with open arms.