Mezcal is a type of distilled spirit that is made from the agave plant, primarily in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Mezcal has a rich, smoky flavour profile and is typically around 40-60% alcohol by volume (ABV).
The production of mezcal involves roasting the agave hearts (piñas) in an underground pit oven, which imparts the signature smoky flavour to the spirit. The roasted agave is then crushed to extract the juice, which is fermented and distilled to produce mezcal.
Mezcal is usually consumed neat or on the rocks, and is often accompanied by traditional Mexican cuisine. It is also used as a key ingredient in cocktails, such as the Mezcal Margarita, and is sometimes served as a post-dinner drink.
Mezcal is considered a high-end spirit and is produced in limited quantities, with a number of premium, artisanal producers in Mexico. The production of mezcal is regulated by the Mexican government, which requires that all mezcal be labeled with the denomination of origin "Mezcal" and specify the type of agave used in production.
There are a number of different styles of mezcal, including Joven, Reposado, and Añejo, which vary based on factors such as the length of aging and the specific type of agave used. Each style has its own unique flavor profile, ranging from sweet and floral to smoky and robust.