It’s Mezcal Week and we are serving up some facts about this on the rise elixir with our new friends at El Silencio! Like Tequila, Mezcal is made from agave but there are several things that make this a one-of-a-kind spirit worth adding to your home collections. Also, make sure you read all the way to the end of the article to raise the bar on your home cocktail game with a Mezcal recipe fit for a Queen.
It’s All About the Agave
That’s right! Technically any agave based liquor is a Mezcal however Tequila is special because it can only be made in specific regions of Mexico and only from the blue agave plant. In contrast, Mezcal can be made from more than 30 varieties of agave and can stem from 9 different regions in Mexico.
The Roast That Sets Mezcal Apart From The Rest
While both tequila and mezcal start from the harvested core of the agave plant, the piña, the process of how the liquors are made differ greatly. Tequila is usually produced by steaming and distilling. Where as with Mezcal the piña is roasted inside earthen pits before being distilled, giving it that unique smoky aroma.
El Silencio’s artisanal Mezcal is a testament to these processes being made from organic, fully-mature 100% Espadin Agave that is cooked with precision so it’s not overly smoky to make it a wonderful introduction to this refined liquor.
What it Takes to Craft Mezcal El Silencio:
1. Agave Plant
Tended for 7 – 9 years until it reaches maturity and ideal sugar content.
Agave leaves are shaved, revealing the coveted agave heart (piña) and taken to the distillery (palenque).
3. Underground Roast
Piñas are roasted for approx. 4 days in a pit with mesquite and encino wood over large volcanic rocks, bestowing mezcal’s signature smoky flavor.
4. Tahona Wheel
Cooked piñas are crushed with a tahona (big stone wheel).
5. Fermentation Vats
Crushed piñas (bagasso) are placed in open air fermentation vats and monitored by El Silencio’s Master Distiller for approximately 3-4 days.
6. Copper Still Distillation
El Silencio is distilled twice in copper pot stills
Aroma – Subtle smoke, citrus and earthy greens.
Taste – Slow cooked agave, roasted figs & sweet potatoes.
Finish – Charred stone fruit, earthy clay notes, and a hint of salinity and spice.
The Queen Bee Cocktail
- 2 oz. Mezcal El Silencio Espadin
- 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
- 3/4 oz. Honey-Lavender Syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a coupe cocktail glass.
Garnish with fresh lavender.
How to Make Your Own Honey-Lavender Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lavender Flowers (3-4 Sprigs)
Stirring continuously, combine honey, sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is fully dissolved.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add the lavender. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. Strain, and discard the lavender. Allow to cool completely before using.
Syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.