What is Mezcal? And why you should be drinking it…

Mezcal has been rising in popularity in the last few years. It seems mixologists are always coming up with new fancy cocktails using this Mexican alcohol. But if you saw it on the menu and thought, “what is that?” you probably aren’t alone. And if you think Mezcal and Tequila are the same, we’re here to tell you, it’s not. So, let’s break down the facts and find out why you should be drinking it.

 

What is mezcal?

Mezcal or mescal (/mɛˈskæl/Spanish: [mesˈkal] (About this soundlisten)) is a Mexican distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave. Agaves or magueys are found mainly in many parts of Mexico and all the way down to the equator, though most mezcal is made in Oaxaca.[2] It can also be made in Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacan and the recently approved Puebla.

what is mezcal

What’s the difference between mezcal and tequila?

While mezcal and tequila are both made from agave, tequila can only be made from blue Weber agave. Mezcal, however, can be made from more than 28 different varieties of agave. While it can be made in different areas of Mexico, most mescal comes from Oaxaca.

Espadin, the most common agave used, takes eight years to grow to maturity, though other varietals can take longer. Once it’s mature, the spines are cut away, exposing the hearts — piñas — which are buried in smoky fire pits and covered. The agave cooks from anywhere between three days and two weeks. (Tequila, on the other hand, is cooked for far less time in a more conventional oven.)

mezcal

What’s all the hype about?

If you haven’t noticed, mezcal is kinda having a moment. It might be because it has a very distinct flavor. The roasting of the plant gives the finished product a smokey, savory finish  . Most people find it’s best sipped slowly like a fine whisky or scotch. But, many restaurants these days have made some pretty unique drinks from tequilas.

Best mezcal cocktails for beginners

Ok, so now that you know the facts, are you ready to try it? Here are a few mixed drinks to get you started. Once you’re in love, you can start sipping it straight like the pros. Be sure to pair it with your favorite taco for a truly Mexican experience.

Spicy Sandia: Rayu mescal, jalapeño, lime juice, watermelon puree. 

Cantarito: Rayu Mescal, orange and lime juice, grapefruit soda and tajin

Jamaica con Mezcal: Rayu Mescal, triple sec, jamaica syrup, lime juice and a tajin rim

 

If you tried to make your own specialty mescal drinks, leave us a comment and tell us how they turned out. But, if you don’t feel like putting in the work, head on down to the bar and order one up. You won’t regret it.

 

 

 

How Do I Find Tacos Near Me?

We get it, sometimes you’re  starving and you just want TACOS! But where do you look? How do you find the best tacos, or any tacos? Don’t panic. The next time you find yourself wondering “how do i find tacos near me?”, you’ll remember these tips.

Check Google

Do you ever wonder what people did before google? If you’re looking for something you can pretty much always find it there. Google my business also has handy reviews so you can see not only tacos near you, but you can also find the best ones.

Delivery Apps

Delivery apps like Postmates, Grubhub and Uber Eats have really changed the landscape of dinning. Many people are opting to eat their restaurant food at home instead of dinning out. So if you’re not in the mood to leave your house. Use this tool to find your tacos and have them delivered right to your doorstep.

Ask Your Friends

Depending on what kind of friends you have they might have some legit suggestions for finding the nearest Mexican joints. However, if your friends aren’t foodies, you could always use the recommendations tool on FaceBook and get input from all your digital friends.

Check Yelp

While you have to take yelp reviews with a grain of salt, their map tool can be pretty handy for locating restaurants near you. It’s easy to zoom in on your area and see exactly what’s open while you’re searching.

 

So, which tool do you used when finding food near you? Is it one of these or did we leave one out? Let us know in the comments. We wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on delicious options just because they didn’t know how to find them. Don’t forget when searching for tacos they always pair best with craft beer or margaritas.

 

Do you know the optimal temperature to drink beer?

When it comes to beer , you may think that colder is better. Especially if you’re dreaming of sipping that Corona on a beach in Mexico. But, colder isn’t always better when it comes to all styles of beer. Just like fine wines are served at different temps, beer should be considered the same way. So, how do you know the optimal temperature to drink beer? Well, we’re laying out a guideline just for you. You don’t want to be the awkward person drinking their imperial stout at 40 degrees, that would be so embarrassing, right?

In the end, you have to take everything with a grain of salt. Some people just like red wine cold or ice cubes in their rose. The same can be said for beer.  It might be frowned to drink a lager at 60 degrees, but hey if you like it, you do you.

Here are the preferred temps by beer:

35–40°F (2–4°C):

Mass market light lagers like Coors and Budweiser. These beers have a low ABV and won’t produce more flavor if left to get a little warm. Many microbrewers and warm beer enthusiasts point to the so-called “macrobrews” for continuing the “ice cold” beer trend. Unlike with the higher alcohol and flavor content of microbrews and many European beers, many traditional American beers are improved by these cold temperatures.

 

40–45°F (4–7°C):

Czech and German Pilsners, Munich Helles, wheat beers, and Kölsch. Again, The colder the beer, the less carbonation is released; the less carbonation that’s released, the less aroma the beer gives off. These styles of beers aren’t bursting with flavor so they can be served at a slightly warmer temperature, but still chilled.

 

45–50°F (7–10°C):

IPAs, American pale ales, porters, and most stouts.The worst thing that can happen to a New England IPA is to serve it anywhere below 38 degrees, which is a common serving temperature,” says Eric Bachli, chief product officer at Sixpoint Brewery, previously at the helm as head brewer at Trillium. “If you serve it below that, you really diminish and lose out on the flavor potential for that beer.”

 

50–55°F (10–13°C):

Belgian ales, sour ales, Bocks, English bitters and milds, Scottish ales. These brewers tend to brew with different types of yeast they generally come out more full bodied. Regarding sours because there are so many varities, there isn’t really a set temperature to drink them all.

 

55–60°F (13–16°C):

Barleywines, imperial stouts, Belgian strong ales, and Doppelbocks. This temperature is considered “cellar temperature” and is best for the highest ABV and full bodied beers. A warmer temperature allows all of the flavors and notes to unlock.

 

Keep in mind these are just guides, most restaurants don’t have separate refrigerators for all their beers. And most people don’t show up to dinner or drinks armed with a thermometer. So if you want to try certain beers a little warmer, just let them sit for a few minutes after ordering. That is,  if you can wait. Now,  what is your optimal temperature to drink beer? Let us know your opinion in the comments.

 

Does ambiance matter? Why some restaurants have a better “vibe”

 

Does Ambiance Matter?

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and felt uncomfortable or rushed? Believe it or not, it happens often. Restaurants that have a good “vibe” attract people who want to sit and hang out, enjoy a beer and share stories. So what makes a place more appealing? Is it the lighting, the decor, or a combination of things? Furthermore, does ambiance matter to you when you are making your decisions?

To us, it’s a package deal. Everything has to be just right so that people want to stay and hang out. Good lighting with uncomfortable furniture is a bad combo. So here we will break down the basics of the most important factors of restaurant ambiance.

Color Selection

Do you ever notice that fast food joints always have red and yellow? That’s because those colors make people uncomfortable, and fast food is all about getting people in and getting them OUT. No one ever stays at McDonald’s for more than the time it takes them to scarf down their double cheeseburger. But that’s the point. Proper color selection is the first step to winning the ambiance game.

 

Decor

Do you ever walk into a Mexican restaurant and notice how cliché the decor can be. It’s like there is some book that everyone reads that says one wall must be orange, one yellow and one red. Cliché is not the way. In fact, most places that stand out do so because they did something different. Not just the same old same old.

 

Lighting

Lighting could be the most important ‘vibe’ factor. A lot of it is personal choice, but it also has to blend with the theme of the restaurant and the decor. A modern restaurant might have brighter lighting vs a dim warm light. But again, you don’t want lighting that makes people feel like they’re in a hospital.

Art

Who doesn’t love art? OK, maybe some people don’t. But clearly we do. That’s why in all of our restaurants we have original hand made art from local artists. Blank walls or Ikea posters just aren’t cutting it in 2019. Cool art can go a long way, especially in the days of people instagramming EVERYTHING.

 

So what’s the number one thing that attracts you to a restaurant? Maybe it’s one of the things we listed, or something we left off. Let us know in the comments that one thing that makes you keep coming back week after week.