Mezcal is showing up more and more frequently in cocktails — but what exactly is it? In the video above we spoke to Richard Betts of Sombra Mezcal about this smoky liquor.
Though it has similar roots to tequila, mezcal has a different process for production. According to Betts, "[It's] ultimately taking many different species of agave and distilling [them], super traditionally." It's roasted in the ground, ground with a horse-turned millstone, then fermented naturally, says Betts. Then everything is distilled — the liquids and the solids — two times to "get the real thing."
Betts also believes that mezcal is a liquor that holds its own in a variety of cocktails. "A great place to start is to start with your favorite drink and just substitute it," he says. "The margarita, that’s my favorite way to do it, I just make a smoky margarita."
For more from Betts, including why mezcal has its distinct, smoky flavor, watch the video above!