Mezcal. If you've ever been to a bar in the Western world, then you have probably had mezcal before. Mezcal is one of many distilled drinks that can be found on any shelf or menu, but what is it exactly?
Mezcal is a drink that originated from Mexico and is made from cooked agave, which gives it a distinct flavour compared to tequila which uses the blue agave plant instead. Tequila actually has more similarities with mezcal than differences; both are made with Agavaceas (a family of plants containing over 200 known species) and they're both distilled twice. However there are some important differences between mezcal and tequila, mainly how they are produced; tequila is only made from Agave tequilana whereas mezcal can be made with any type of agave, including tequila's closest relative Agave cupreata.
Mezcal has an average ABV of around 40% while tequila's ABV is usually between 35-40%. Since mezcals are generally made from lower quality plants, they need to be distilled a second time in order to get rid of all the parts that would cause problems when drinking it. Tequila only has one distillation since the sugars have been refined before going into the still which leaves fewer impurities in the tequila.