los angeles | Drink + Dine

Mezcal 101: A Beginner’s Guide

February 24, 2015
Image via El Silencio

Mezcal—Tequila’s smokier brother and a foodie favorite—has been making its way onto respected cocktail menus more than ever before. That’s great news for us since we love it’s exotic bite that immediately transports us to far-off locales like Mexico, where it originates.

As part of our ongoing “Cocktail Study” series at The Library at The Redbury—where we host exclusive tastings with industry experts—we’ll launch a night dedicated solely to this premium spirit. It all goes down Thursday, February 26th from 7 – 9 pm with a special pairing of El Silencio Joven with Mediterranean bites courtesy of Cleo, and cocktails made with El Silencio’s single agave Espandin. For this special evening, our El Silencio expert preps us with a little Mezcal 101 below, but all you need to know how to say is “Mas Mezcal!”

We’ve heard a lot about Mezcal lately. What is it? And what’s the difference between Mezcal and Tequila?

Mezcal is the category that encompasses Tequila. Technically, Tequila is a type of Mezcal but just a different type of style. The biggest difference is the way the Agave plant (that is cooked, fermented, milled, and distilled in the production of both Mezcal and Tequila) is cooked. In Tequila, the agave is steam-cooked and in the case of Mezcal, it is roasted.

How should Mezcal El Silencio be served and consumed?

The Joven is meant to be sipped and paired with food. The Espadin is meant to put in cocktails or as a shooter!

Are there any foods that pair well with El Silencio?

In the case of the Joven we’ve had a lot of luck with heavy proteins, briny seafood like oysters, and bold cheeses.

What is the deal with the worm in bottles of Mezcal?

It’s a caterpillar that grows on the Maguey or Agave plant. It’s a gimmick and no quality Mezcal needs that gimmick to make their Mezcal better.

Any Mezcal lingo we should know before attending the Cocktail Study next week?

Salud! = Cheers!
Mas! = More!

Be sure to reserve your spot to El Silencio Cocktail Study at The Library at The Redbury HERE.