How to drink Mezcal like a Boss
Kiss It, Don’t Drink It
How to drink mezcal? Well, naturally you can consume mezcal any damn way you want. Sip it, smash it, snort it. OK snorting I don’t particularly recommend.
On its own, with food, or accompanied by your favourite beer. On the couch watching football, in a fine dining restaurant, or at the local cantina.
The choice is yours, however if you really want to appreciate it to the utmost….here is what you should do.
Firstly pour the mezcal into a jicara. It’s a very round cup, traditionally made from wood or clay. When I say round, it’s kind of like the shape and size of an orange cut in half and hollowed out. If you don’t have a jicara – use a shot glass with the widest opening possible. The idea is to be able to get your snout into whatever vessel you are using so you can smell the mezcal as you drink. The usual thin shot glasses used in bars for mezcal suck.
Next, you want to prepare some sliced oranges. Also, salt…preferably sal de gusano (salt made from worms, mixed with chilli). Sprinkle some of the salt onto the orange.
Take a big old sniff of the mezcal. Notice all the different elements. Sometimes lots of smoke, maybe citrus tones, earthy hints or sweetness. The possibilities are many and varied.
Now, eat some orange…..this will open up your tastebuds in preparation for the main event. Immediately after you have finished the slice of orange….take a small sip of the mezcal. Hold your breath as it sits on your tongue, swallow, then breathe out. Take in all the flavours you can detect. Then, repeat the process. Once or twice, or many times. Depends on what your commitments are for the rest of the day.
You will find that like wine, with time…. each sip will taste different. The mezcal and your tastebuds will open up and lead to a different drinking experience.
Anything that takes so long to produce….sometimes up to 30 years….deserves to be savoured.
Kiss it, don’t drink it.
Or smash it with a beer!
Drinking mezcal straight might be the most traditional (and my favourite) way to enjoy mezcal, but there are other delicious possibilities.
In recent times mezcal has become super popular – especially in the US – as the key ingredient in many cocktails.
The mysterious, smoky elements of mezcal result in a complex and exciting tipple.
There are many a recipe to be found, and at a later time I will provide the best of them!
What to eat with mezcal? Let’s be honest, it’s probably going to be tacos!
There are plenty of options though. As mezcals have such varied flavours…the possibilities are endless.
Super smoky mezcals are great matched with a big juicy beef burger. Aged cheese and smoky cold meats will also do the trick.
Subtle, citrusy mezcals are fantastic with fish, and all types of seafood….including delicious ceviche.
As for anejo – aged mezcal……..try it with dark chocolate or something like my favourite, sticky date pudding. The smooth properties of anejo work great as a Mexican dessert wine!