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5 things you didn't know about mezcal

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Over the years, mezcal has somehow gotten the reputation as 'smoky tequila' - but that's not all there is to the popular spirit. The origin and the process of making mezcal are complex, rich and actually all about the agave.

We visited El Nopal, an Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles, to learn more about mezcal. El Nopal boasts a bar stocked with more than 200 bottles of mezcal and a comprehensive beverage menu that includes mezcal flights and craft cocktails. We talked to the mastermind of it all, owner and founder Ivan Vasquez, who pretty much grew up on mezcal.

"I always tell my guests when I'm pouring the Mezcal...I'm serving you history of Mexico," Vasquez said, adding that his grandfather used to own a mezcal bar in the Oaxaca City where he grew up.

One of the most common misconceptions about mezcal that Vasquez explained was that mezcal is a type of tequila that has added smokiness to it. That's actually not true at all: All tequila is mezcal. Mezcal is a liquor that can be made from about 19 different types of agave, and tequila can only be made from blue agave, which makes it a subset of mezcal.

"The simplest way possible to describe mezcal it's father of the tequila," Vasquez said.

Watch the video above to find out more facts you didn't know about mezcal.

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