Seven Reasons why you should be Drinking Mezcal
There are more than seven reasons why you should be drinking mezcal…..but let’s start with these ones….
It’s Real, Man
Mezcal is handmade. It’s not produced by soulless machinery. Real Mexican people, sometimes with the help of real Mexican donkeys create this agave wonder.
In these times we all appreciate quality over quantity. Who doesn’t want something which is in lesser supply but is of higher grade? Think craft beers over mainstream slosh. A character-filled boutique hotel over a large chain. Days working….yes, quality over quantity.
Mezcal fits this bill. The painstaking and time consuming processes mean we need to be patient, but the final result is well worth it.
Think of the time it took to make that mezcal you are enjoying.
Roughly, roundabout and approximately the agaves used to produce your drink took between 7 and 30 years to grow. That’s some time investment! A labour of love I’m guessing.
Most likely that mezcal is in your hand as a result of a shit ton of hard, manual work performed by a Mexican family. Many of which have been making mezcal for generations.
When you drink that mezcal, you are benefitting Mexican families.
This is the true drink of Mexico. It has been produced here for around 400 years using methods developed in pre-Hispanic times.
No matter where you drink mezcal, a real piece of Mexico is with you when you do.
It’s on your Lips
I guess it’s fair to say that most drinks have their own unique effects on the body and mind. I’ve always been a fan of the warm glow experienced from a good glass of shiraz. A pisco sour does all sorts of things to my feet. Yes, my feet. Mezcal is another thing altogether.
Right from the first sip my lips are buzzing. The tingly feeling is strong. Very pleasant. It’s one of my favourite things about mezcal. I have experienced a similar feeling with other spirits, but not to the same extent. Maybe because mezcal generally ranges from 45-55% alcohol.
Then you get the warm sensation through the body. Like sitting in front of an open fire watching your football team on a Friday night. It’s great.
Some drinks can bring on a bit of a Debbie Downer. Not mezcal though. It is known for keeping things upbeat. Euphoric feelings are not uncommon whilst partaking. Even hallucinations….I am still adamant that armadillo came to visit me.
It’s the Terroir!
What the hell is terroir? A French horror movie? No. It’s a fancy French term used to describe all the environmental factors that influence the taste of fancy French wine. Factors such as altitude, rainfall, temperature, sun exposure, soil and the surrounding flora and fauna. There are many more but you get the idea.
Terroir is equally important to mezcal as it is to wine.
All the influences are there with each sip, more so the more you drink it. Wild yeasts, other plants growing near the agave….and the smell and subtle taste of the roasting agave. The list goes on.
There is just so much variety when it comes to the different tastes and flavours of mezcal. Something like 50 different agaves are used all with different characteristics. In addition to that, take into account all the different factors experienced with the terroir of wildly different locations in Mexico. Then add in the fact that the production occurs by hand – not standardised machinery – and you can see why the flavours are so varied.
It is a drink of endless complexity.
Fast-Track your Language Skills
How is your Spanish? Crappy?
Drink a mezcal. Seriously. One mezcal helps, two is better. Three and you will speak like Lionel Messi or Shakira.
Four and you will play football like Shakira and sing like Messi.
It works though! Three is definitely the sweet spot.
Confidence, lubrication, magical ingredients….or all of the aforementioned. I’m not sure, but it’s more fun and effective than enrolling in Spanish School!
How’s the Serenity?
So you want to go and see where mezcal is made? Well, you will need to go to the countryside of Mexico. You will see cactus, eagles, mountains, waterfalls….and of course lots of agave. Terrible, huh?
There are not too many places in Mexico where you can find stillness and quiet. In the mezcal producing areas however, you can. Something to be savoured.
The landscapes in Mexico really are incredible. Postcard-like. Bright blue skies abound. Don’t get me wrong, I love cities, but one of the best parts about being a mezcal aficionado is disappearing for a while (hopefully not permanently!) in the back blocks of Mexico.
Be Gone Hangover
You may have heard the claims….you will not get a hangover after drinking mezcal. Actually I like the Mexican term for hangover…cruda (raw)….such a great way of describing the feelings of a hangover!
Look, in my experience it has a real ring of truth to it. The facts are it is a very pure form of alcohol. It is not pumped full of various chemicals and preservatives like most other drinks are. By law, mezcal must be produced using 100% agave, nothing else. Unlike…ahem…tequila which is only required to contain 51% agave.
The theory has its limits, sure. Drinking a bottle of the stuff in one night whilst gasping your way through a pack of Marlborough Reds will leave you feeling like your head is a half-sucked twisty. However, drinking a more respectable amount in one evening will leave you feeling fresher than if you had imbibed the same amount of any other drink that I know of.
It has been proven by non-dodgy scientists that mezcal:
- Can aid with appetite stimulation (hence it is taken as an aperitif)
- Assist the digestive process (also taken as digestif)
- Is gluten and carbohydrate free
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Works as an aphrodisiac (it is a common ingredient in love potions)
- Raises IQ levels both temporarily and permanently
**Last two claims in fact made by dodgy scientists.
Muchas gracias Ivan! Muy amable! I will be in Oaxaca in December and would love to pay you a visit 🙂 Andrew
Like this blog. You are very good at writting. Once things get back to “normal” and if you are in Oaxaca, we would like to meet you and show you our Palenque.