The Proper Way To Drink Mezcal

Glasses of mezcal
Glasses of mezcal - Etorres69/Getty Images

When you're drinking mezcal, you might find that the agave-based liquor has a range of flavors different from tequila. While some taste a little smoky or spicy, others may be lighter, fruity, and floral. No matter what kind of mezcal you're drinking, the flavors of the alcohol are best enjoyed slowly. You're likely to miss out on them if you take a shot of the liquor, so sipping the drink can help you appreciate the depth of taste.

For the best-tasting liquor, you should be sipping your mezcal neat and not on the rocks. Additionally, store the mezcal at room temperature. If it's chilled before serving, some of the flavors might be hidden, meaning you could miss out on the full experience. Adding ice to your glass will have the same effect, so avoiding adding it altogether is best. A slightly warmer temperature may also make the drink more fragrant, enhancing it further.

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There Are A Few Traditional Glasses To Drink It From

Two jicara bowls
Two jicara bowls - bmszealand/Shutterstock

A few glasses are better suited for sipping mezcal than others. A copita is a small ceramic bowl often used to serve mezcal. While it may seem a little strange to sip alcohol out of a bowl, it could actually help you to enjoy the flavors more intensely. The shape of the clay bowl allows your nose to be close to the liquor while you're sipping so you can fully take in the drink's aroma.

Jicaras are similar in shape to the copita — small and bowl-like. But instead of being made of clay, these cups are carved out of dried fruit, which means setting them down may be slightly inconvenient. But some may argue that this adds to the sipping experience.

The other frequently used drinking glass looks more standard, but it didn't start out that way. A veladora is a glass initially used to hold prayer candles in Catholic churches. In fact, they're often branded with a cross on the base of each glass. While these glasses are still found in churches, they also serve as drinking glasses for mezcal. The cups feature a wider shape, similar to the copita, allowing for a more aromatic sipping experience.

Take Your Sipping Experience Up A Notch

Mezcal margarita with salt rim
Mezcal margarita with salt rim - Linda Raymond/Getty Images

To further enhance the flavor of the mezcal, you can add some salt to the rim. But standard table salt won't cut it. Instead, you should use sal de gusano (worm salt). Larvae are harvested from agave plants and ground up to create the seasoning. The salt takes on a chile-lime flavor, which can complement the taste of the liquor.

Of course, if you can't use gusano, you can swap in chile-lime salt, like Tajin, for a similar flavor. You can also slice up an orange to enjoy along with the drink. The citrus can provide a bright flavor contrast if you opt to use a smoky-flavored mezcal or provide a similar flavor note to pair with fruity ones.

If you really don't care for the taste of mezcal on its own, there are a few cocktails in which it works well. Those orange slices can also complement an old fashioned made with mezcal. You can also swap mezcal into fruity cocktails, like a sunny Bahama Mama. But if you really want to appreciate the flavors of the agave-based alcohol, try slowly sipping your mezcal out of a more traditional vessel.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.