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Mezcal Encyclopedia

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

Everything you ever wanted to know about mezcal but didn’t know to ask.


Bien Picado










Sal de Gusano



Vaso Veladora


7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jerry Longden #

    I read at that Mezcal and Mescal are both correct spellings. What is your understanding and why? Thanks.

    May 19, 2015
  2. Yes, neither is incorrect but mescal seems like an older term in English while mezcal is the definitive spelling in Spanish. In the English speaking world it really depends on which publication you’re reading because magazines like the New Yorker use mescal. As I write thsi response Word Press labels mescal as correct and mezcal as incorrect. Some publications use both interchangeably while still others have made the leap to mezcal. Maybe it’s finally time to find a good etymologist. Any volunteers?

    May 20, 2015
  3. Jerry #

    My feeling precisely. Mezcal seems to be the traditional use choice, which is what I use. However, in Mexico, it seems to depend where you’re from because I have seen both spellings used on labels.

    July 20, 2016
  4. Mark Huebner #

    I have encountered the idea that changing the s to z was an attempt to distance the product from any association with mescaline, the hallucinatory compound found in several types of cactus, peyote being one. There are still abundant and silly connotations which blur the line between the authentic distilled product and the stuff of drug lore. I cannot quote a reliable source.

    February 1, 2017
    • Hi Mark,

      I haven’t heard that explanation and tend to think that it’s more a question of transliteration which might meant that the word mescaline is in the same sort of linguistic territory.

      February 2, 2017
  5. Dan Coffman #

    Thank you for teaching me “bagasso”! I was wondering what the fibrous stuff they pack on top of the pinas during roasting was, but didn’t know how to describe it to Google.

    March 27, 2017
    • Hi Dan,

      Glad to be of help! If you ever have any other terminology questions, just ask!


      March 27, 2017

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