Mezcal or Mescal
A Mexican distilled spirit that's made from the fermented juice of the agave plant's core. The core is roasted underground over pits of hot rocks. This technique gives mezcal a characteristic smokiness. The difference between mezcal and tequila is the plant (tequila is made from the blue agave only) and the roasting method (for tequila, the agave core is cooked in an oven). Although it's produced throughout Mexico, the Oaxacan region is best known for its production and consumption of the potent liquid.
May 4 2009