Right or wrong, Tequila has long been associated with bad nights and even worse mornings. For a different experience with agave-based liquors, mezcal its hand. From smoky sippers to fruity shooters, here are five great mezcals to get delivered for a slightly more solitary Cinco.
Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
For an entry-level bottle, Del Maguey’s Vida is a great sipper as much as it is a great spirit for mixed drinks. Expect fruity overtones and honey-like sweetness. Then sit back and wait for mezcal’s quintessential smokiness to creep in. Drink however you please.
Pierde Almas La Puritita Verda Mezcal
For a smoky and earthy mezcal, turn to Pierde Almas’ La Puritita Verda. This variety of mezcal uses Espadin for its agave, one of the most common varieties of agave. If you’ve had mezcal before and enjoyed it, La Puritita Verda is a safe bet for your Cinco de Mayo spirit. Its lighter body means it works well as a shooter, if you feel so inclined.
Alipus Santa Ana del Rio Mezcal
Imagine sweet tropical fruit with black pepper on it and you’ll be pretty close to Ana del Rio. If you want to dive deep into the complexities of mezcal, the Alipus series will show you how different regions affect the flavors of the spirit. Much like wine and terroir, mezcal’s flavors are derived from the climate and earth that it’s grown in.
“Wild yeast” is a buzzword in wine and beer, and the practice of harnessing the funk of wild yeast also applies to mezcal. Madre uses a blend of the agaves Espadin and Cuishe to achieve an herbal and smoky flavor. The mezcal has a nice minerality to it that leads to a floral finish.
Mezcal Vago Elote
You may be familiar with elote — grilled sweet corn topped with mayonnaise, cayenne and cotija cheese. Mezcal Vago’s Elote is not a delicious Mexican street food, but it is a dram-worthy mezcal distilled with sweet corn. The addition of corn is unique and adds a silky mouthfeel to an already rich, smoky and sweet mezcal.
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