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The History of Mezcal
Mezcal, the rustic and smokier cousin of tequila, is derived from the Nahuatl word “mexcalli.” It means “boiled agave,” and while tequila is made from blue agave, mezcal can be made from one of 150 agave species native to Mexico. Think of it this way: tequila is mezcal, but mezcal isn’t tequila. Plus, mezcal must be made with 100 percent agave, which is different from its cousin tequila.
The plant was used to fashion many products, including clothing and shoes, paper, tools, and construction materials. The indigenous people also used its sap to make pulque, a milky, alcoholic beverage that was used in religious rituals.
The Spanish were intrigued by pulque and realized that by cooking the agave, they got a much sweeter juice. They then fermented it, and called the resulting spirit “Mezcal wine.” The Spanish applied their knowledge of distillation and mezcal was born.
During the production process, the hearts of agave plants, known as piñas, were cooked in the ground. The resulting agave was then crushed, mixed with water and set aside to ferment. This process gave the spirit its well-loved, smokey flavor.
Only estate owners and villagers consumed mezcal, until the popularity of the drink grew. While tequila production went industrial in the early 1900s, mezcal production remained rather low-key in comparison. Local distilleries kept production small, categorizing it as a craft beverage.
Today, the tradition of making mezcal continues. It is made in eight Mexican states, including Oaxaca which is the nation’s leading producer.
When deciding what brand of mezcal to buy, look for a label that lists the agaves used. Espadín offers the heartiest flavor, while Barril, Cirial, Largo, Madrecuixe, Tobaziche, Tripón, Verde, Tobalá are also highly-regarded agaves. The label should also tell you the type of pot that was used to distill the mezcal: a copper pot gives a smooth spirit, while a clay pot gives a more earthy flavor.
We recommend drinking mezcal straight, much like you would cognac or scotch. Some of our guests prefer to have their mezcal chilled, so they can sip it like they would whiskey. You can also enjoy mezcal in the Oaxacan style, which is served in a wine glass at room temperature and enhanced with a fresh orange slice and pinch of salt. Lime slices work well, too.
Tips for Relaxation
There’s no time like to present to put a bookmark in your busy life and take up the art of relaxation. It does a body good to relax, decompress and reset your emotional and physical well-being. In fact, relaxing on a regular basis comes with essential benefits for a well-balanced lifestyle.
- Lowers blood pressure and the chance of stroke or heart-related conditions
- Decreases mood swings and irritability
- Reduces the risk of depression
- Quickens mental recall
In the Kitchen with Ada sailing
In the Kitchen with Ada Sailing: Orange-Brandy Shrimp
From Red Snapper to our classic Empanadas Argentina, we have a great spread of gastronomical goodies for food lovers. We always get rave reviews, many of which are asking for the recipes.
That’s why we’re heading to the kitchen to bring you one of our most requested recipes: Ada Sailing’s Orange-Brandy Shrimp. So grab your eco-shopping bag and scoop up the freshest, seasonal ingredients from your local market because tonight, you’re in for a real treat!
Puerto Vallarta Famous Sunsets
Enjoy Puerto Vallarta’s Famous Sunsets Maya-Style
The Maya priests observed the daily journeys of the sun, moon, planets and stars, knowing that their patterns impacted the existence of the Maya people.