Difference Between Tequila and Mezcal

Tequila vs Mezcal

Tequila and Mezcal are two different kinds of liquors from Mexico. However, because juice of agave plants is used in making both Tequila as well as Mezcal, people remain confused between these two products. Agave is not a cactus and belongs to the family of lily. It is spiky and leafed member of the Lily family. Fermented juice of these plants in Mexico is distilled, and the liquor so obtained, may be classified as Tequila or Mezcal. However, the two liquors are not the same as there are differences in taste and appearance of Tequila and Mezcal. This article attempts to bring out these differences to enable readers to know what they are being offered.


It is liquor made from juices of blue agave plant grown in specific geographical areas of Mexico. The process to make Tequila is strictly regulated, and the heart of the agave plant called pina is steamed and then distilled to get Tequila. The region of Mexico where Tequila is exclusively made today is Jalisco. Tequila can be made with the juices of only blue agave plant. Tequila is considered refined while Mezcal is considered its distant country cousin.


Mezcal is made specifically in the state of Oaxaca. It can be made from any variety of the agave plant. The process to make Mezcal is not strictly regulated causing the taste of Mezcal different in different areas. Mezcal is smoky and less refined than Tequila. Have you heard about the infamous worm inside Tequila? The legend has it that if one consumes the larva that is found at the bottom of some Mezcal bottles, he gets aphrodisiac powers. The worm inside Mezcal bottle is a reminder that the worm comes from the plant from which this alcoholic drink has been made.

Mezcal is a strong alcoholic drink, and in some tribes, women drink it to bear the pain of childbirth. On the other hand, laborers drink it to add to their strength and also to forget their sprains and pains.


What is the difference between Tequila and Mezcal?

• Tequila is made from blue agave only while Mezcal is made from any variety of the agave plant

• Tequila produced only in Jalisco town and nearby areas is considered as official Tequila while, if it is produced in any other area, it is not even considered Tequila

• Though Tequila is a form of Mezcal, it would be wrong to say that Mezcal is a form of Tequila

• Tequila is consumed with margarita while Mezcal is primarily a shooter drink

• Tequila is more refined than Mezcal that is called a country cousin of Tequila

• Tequila bottle never has a worm inside while in some bottle of Mezcal, one can find live worm that is believed to give aphrodisiac powers when eaten