How to drink Mezcal?

If you’re already a fan of tequila, you’re likely ready to explore the world of mezcal, Mexico’s other renowned agave spirit.

Once considered a niche beverage in the United States, mezcal has now entered the mainstream. 
While mezcal shares some similarities with tequila, it is far more than just “tequila’s smoky cousin.” You can check this post if you are interested to know more about what is the difference between tequila and mezcal.

In this post we will talk about some recommendations on how to drink Mezcal. 

Is there a best or proper way to drink Mezcal?

While Mezcal it’s traditionally consumed neat, there are several nuances to consider when enjoying mezcal to fully appreciate its unique characteristics.

Mezcal is not meant for rapid consumption but rather for slow sipping and savoring. 

Even though, each person should enjoy their mezcal as they please, we will give you some guidelines to make the most of your mezcal experience and to show you, if you want to follow, the proper way to drink mezcal:

a) Glassware: Opt for a traditional mezcal shot glass or a small snifter to serve mezcal. These vessels enhance the sensory exploration of the spirit.

b) Temperature: Mezcal should be served at room temperature. Chilling can dull its intricate flavors and captivating aromas. Room Temperature: Mezcal should always be enjoyed at room temperature, as chilling can diminish its flavor profile.

d) Pairing: Consider pairing mezcal with traditional Mexican dishes like tacos or enjoy it as a digestif after a meal. 

e) Quality Matters: Choose a high-quality mezcal that has been crafted following the traditional methods.

c) Sip Slowly: Sip your mezcal slowly, allowing each note to unfold and reveal its complexity.

Also, one essential technique, often referred to as the “kiss” technique by aficionados, is considered the proper way to sip and savor your mezcal.

How to Sip Mezcal? The “kiss” technique

Here are the steps to follow for a perfect sipping using the “kiss” technique:

Smell It: Begin by smelling the mezcal directly under your nose.

Angle It: Tilt the glass at a 45-degree angle and take in the scent, allowing the mezcal’s complexity to unfold.

Mouth Open: With your mouth open, continue to inhale the mezcal’s bouquet.

The Kiss: Take a small sip and allow it to linger on your palate. Swish it gently and then swallow.

Exhale: Immediately after swallowing, exhale slowly. This technique helps your palate adjust to the higher alcohol content of mezcal and enables you to discern its various flavors more effectively.

How do you drink mezcal?

Even though Mezcal is traditionally savored neat, it’s also customary to accompany your mezcal with small bites of food. 

Thin slices of orange are a popular choice, but you can also opt for jicama, carrot, or grapefruit. 

These snacks are often sprinkled with a special mixed salt known as “sal de gusano” or “worm salt.” 

Worm salt is a delightful seasoning made from ground-up larvae that reside in agave plants. 

Additionally, mezcal pairs wonderfully with various foods, such as cheese, meats, and rich sauces like mole.

It’s also worth noting that mezcal can also be a versatile spirit in cocktails. It can replace the original spirit in classic cocktails, offering a unique twist. 

Ultimately, enjoying mezcal is not just about the drink; it’s an exploration of the spirit’s rich heritage, traditions, and the diverse flavors that make it a cherished part of Mexican culture.

Mezcal with Lime Juice

Mixing mezcal with lime juice can offer a delightful twist. Combine a couple of ounces of mezcal with an ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice.

Mezcal with Orange

Adding a citrusy twist to your mezcal experience, incorporating orange can introduce a delightful contrast to the spirit’s smoky notes. 

A simple yet effective method is to pair mezcal with thin slices of fresh orange. The natural sweetness of oranges complements the smokiness of mezcal, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.

Mezcal Neat

Mezcal is celebrated as a sipping spirit, much like whiskey. This simple approach allows the full complexity of mezcal’s flavors to shine through. 

How to drink Mezcal Joven

Mezcal joven, often referred to as “young” mezcal, presents a unique drinking experience characterized by its freshness and vibrant flavors.

Mezcal joven, same as Mezcal, is typically enjoyed neat as this straightforward approach allows you to savor its unadulterated flavors.

With Worm Salt

For those seeking an extra dimension of flavor, mezcal can be enjoyed with a unique seasoning known as “sal de gusano” or “worm salt.”

What is Worm Salt: Sal de gusano is a blend of salt and ground chili peppers. This distinctive spice blend is crafted to complement the earthy undertones of mezcal.

True sal de gusano includes ground, roasted worms that come from the agave plant. This addition contributes to its unique and complex flavor.

How not to drink mezcal? Our recommendations and conclusion

To fully appreciate this distinguished spirit, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes. Here are our recommendations on how not to drink mezcal:

Drinking Mezcal Chilled or with Ice: Mezcal boasts a plethora of natural congeners, which contribute to its distinctive flavor profile. 

Chilling mezcal can dull these flavors and mask its complexity. It is highly recommended to store your mezcal on a shelf and enjoy it at room temperature, allowing its vibrant character to shine through.

Avoiding the Big Shot: Drinking mezcal is not about taking a hefty shot; it’s more akin to a gentle kiss or a light touch on the lips. 

Mezcal’s flavor profile is multi-layered and complex, and to truly appreciate it, you should allow the liquid to glide smoothly over your tongue, savoring each nuance.

Starting Slow for Newcomers: If you’re new to sipping straight spirits, it’s wise to ease into the world of mezcal. 

Begin with mezcal cocktails that introduce you to its smoky essence while offering a familiar and approachable taste. 

Here we give you some easy to follow cocktails recipes that will introduce you perfectly to the word of mezcal: