A category of beverages made from the heart of the agave plant. Often confused with tequila, Mezcal can be made from a variety of agave plants growing throughout Mexico, while tequila is made only from blue agave grown in specific regions of Mexico. Also, the cooking process for making the two beverages differs, thus resulting in a difference in flavor, as the agave hearts are steam cooked to make tequila and wood roasted to produce Mezcal. Wood roasting provides a peppery or somewhat smokier flavor to Mezcal. Commonly known as the liquor bottled with a worm, Mezcal varieties labeled as Mezcal de Gusanitos are the bottled versions with the worm, a Mexican tradition that provides "power and strength" to those who swallow the worm.
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