Distilled drinks are popular in Mexico with the most popular of these being tequila. This drink is distilled from blue agave plants in the city of Tequila and surrounding states like Jalisco, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Michoacán in Mexico. Any other form produced outside these regions do not qualified to be regarded as tequila.
Another popular drink that is gaining ground on tequila is mescal. Interestingly, it is also made from the agave plant and originates from the same region and with Geographical Indication (GI) in areas such as Oaxaca, Durango, Guerrero, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, and Zacatecas. You may read about mezcal here.
The major difference between the two is that while tequila is made from just the blue agave plant, the other is made from all the parts of the plant. Furthermore, their methods of preparation differ. These two drinks are considered to be the national spirit of Mexico.
Lots of people around the world enjoy drinking both tequila and mezcal and they take it in different ways. In Mexico, mezcal is usually consumed straight, that is as a pure shot of the liquor and tequila is served neat, meaning with no ice or any other mixers. It is poured straight into a cup from the bottle at room temperature. In other parts of the world such as the United States, it is usually served as a shot taken with salt and lime.
How Do You Take and Enjoy Mezcal or Tequila?
The container with which you drink mezcal or tequila can be very important with consideration of your enjoyment of the drinks. It is therefore important that you make the right choice here. There are several containers used in taking these drinks. Examples include: jicaras, sipping bowls, clay cups and of course sipping and shot glasses.
Some argue that sipping and swirling the drink around the insides of the container so you can perceive its aroma and flavor is the best way to enjoy it. A proper container will provide for the aeration of whichever spirit you are taking and release its rich aroma. This can be the difference between you enjoying the spirit or not. So how are mezcal sipping glasses made?
How Mezcal Sipping Glasses Are Made
Glass is usually produced from liquid sand. Sand made of silicon dioxide is heated at temperatures reaching up to 17000C until it melts, turning into liquid. As the liquid sand cools, instead of turning back into what you started with, you rather get a complete transformation of the inner structure and it takes the form of a frozen liquid. It is a substance that sits between being solid and being a liquid without any definite shape but taking the shape of whichever container it is poured into. Think of water turning into ice. You can get a full description of the process here: https://www.explainthatstuff.com/glass.html.
To make it commercially, the sand is mixed with soda ash, waste or recycled glass, limestone and chemicals used in coloring. It is then heated. The added soda is supposed to reduce the melting point of the sand so as to conserve energy. This though will result in the glass melting in water and that is what the added limestone prevents since it makes it solid and hard.
After heating and melting the sand and while it is still in the liquid form, it is poured into molds to make the different kinds of cups, bottles, or several other forms of containers. There are two processes of making it into desired shapes. The first is glassblowing which involves taking a lump of molten glass and blowing it into different shapes by virtue of a pipe. The other is float glass which is when the molten glass is poured on a molten tin metal to make flat sheets of glass that are useful in construction, windows, and the likes.
Making mezcal and tequila sipping glasses is not any different. What makes the difference is the shape, design, and strength of the glass and that is dependent on the manufacturer producing them.
Not only do good manufacturers help the environment by recycling glasses, but they also save energy too while making them. Aside from the actual quality of the glasses you purchases, you should also take some time to consider the process the manufacturers go through to produce them. You will do well to support manufacturers that employ processes that help protect the environment.