Mezcal vs. Tequila—Do You Know the Difference?

Mezcal vs. Tequila—Do You Know the Difference?

When you're at the bar and searching the cocktail menu, do you ever think what the difference between mezcal and tequila is? If you're not a true tequila lover, you may not know the difference between the two spirits, except for the fact that they taste very different.

We talked to co-founder of Sesión Premium Tequila, Jake Wall, to solve the debate between mezcal and tequila once and for all, so you'll never have to think about the differences between the two similar-looking liqueurs again.

What are the main differences between mezcal and tequila?

There are two main differences between mezcal and tequila. There they are made and what kind of agave plant they are made from.

According to Wall, the tequila must be produced in the city of Tequila, which is located in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

"The tequila manufacturing process is severely sanctioned by the government, from the place it is grown to the type of agave, the fermentation and aging process, to bottling," he explains.

Premium tequila is made from 100% blue agave. Mezcal, on the other hand, can be produced anywhere in Mexico, although it is mainly produced in the Oaxaca region. According to Wall Mezcal can be made from up to 28 different agave varieties.

"Most mezcals are made from the Espadin agave, although some mezcal producers mix agave varieties and additives to produce a pronounced smoke flavor," says Wall.

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Is the alcohol content different in mezcal and tequila?

"If it's 100 percent agave tequila or mezcal, the alcohol content is usually 40 percent ABV, but in some cases it can be slightly lower if mixed with additives and not 100 percent agave," he says.

Simple recipe for a tequila cocktail

Wall delivers his recipe for a tequila-based Paloma cocktail.


  • 2 ounces. Sesión Reposado Tequila
  • 1/3 oz. Rhubarb & vanilla syrup
  • 2 ounces. fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 oz. fresh lime juice


Shake all ingredients, pour over ice and fill with soda water. Garnish with a salted edge and dried lime. Enjoy!

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