What is Tequila?
Discover Tequila, Mexico’s most famous export, from traditional varieties steeped in terroir to more modern styles like reposado and añejo Tequila.
Though Tequila and mezcal contrast in many ways, they share a common origin in the heart of the agave. From this remarkable plant, the people of Mexico derive their two national spirits, each one with its own qualities and nuances. This page explores the differences and similarities of these two great drinks, covering a range of styles from traditional blanco Tequilas and mezcals to more modern reposados and añejos.
What is the difference between
Mezcal is the wider term for Mexican spirits distilled from the fermented juice of the agave plant. Tequila is one type of mezcal, made using only blue Weber agave in the state of Jalisco - where the vast majority of Tequila is made - and certain designated areas elsewhere in the country. These twin spirits vary enormously, sharing numerous commonalities as well as points of difference. Broadly speaking it can be useful to think of Tequila as cleaner and more refined, while mezcal is often more rustic in style with a pronounced smokiness.
The very best Tequilas, mezcals and other Mexican spirits, representing a range of styles from bright, citrussy blancos to rich oak-aged añejos.
Estancia Raicilla Limited Edition
Out Of Stock
Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
(£64.21 per litre)
Mezcal Neta Tequilana Candido Garcia Cruz 2015
(£164.29 per litre)
Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva Extra Anejo Tequila
Calle 23 Reposado Tequila
(£71.36 per litre)
La Higera Wheeleri Sotol
(£66.79 per litre)
There’s a wide world of Mexican spirits out there, which is why we developed our agave flavour camps to help you find your new favourite bottle. Whether you’re looking for something fruity, funky or smoky, we’ve got just the thing.
The diverse range of flavours found in agave spirits has made them a gift for bartenders the world over. Of the countless recipes inspired by Tequila and mezcal over the years, one towers above all others, the iconic Margarita. This canonical cocktail was first made by Mexican bartenders in the early 20th century and remains little-changed to this day.
Run a lime wedge around the top of a cocktail glass or tumbler. Roll it in flaky sea salt to get a good layer on the outside of the glass.
Shake your choice of Tequila or mezcal, orange liqueur, and lime juice with plenty of ice until it's good and cold. Strain it into your glass and serve - Margaritas are equally good served in cocktail glass or on the rocks, it’s really just a matter of preference.