There are over 270 species of this desert plant. A fiber plant, in which many native Americans , such as the Aztecs used it for skin infections and lip balm and I’m sure for other uses. It has been used for hundreds and hundreds of years. First, I will explain the plant species. A lot of people call the agave a cactus, this is false because it is a succulent from the lily family. It is a genus of monocots (flowering plants) and grow in hot regions of the southwest and are also native to tropical areas of South America. A very important note: please don’t drink the sap of an agave plant, it is Poisonous and will give digestive problems! Please share this fact with others, it may save a life! (Hey, It could happen and anything is possible!)
The benefits of agave nectar vs. honey, which is healthier?
Both are good and trendy sweeteners, although honey is a great immune system booster, brain booster, anti-0xident, antibacterial properties. Also used for sleepless nights(milk and honey) sore throats and the list goes on, honey wins! The agave nectar is gluten free and vegan and is low on the glycemic index.
Agave nectar have about the same amount of calories, both in a tablespoon will equal 64 calories. Also, did you know that the pollinators of the agave is the Mexican long nose bat? Yes, and they use this nose as a muzzle to feed on the nectar, just like a hummingbird and transfer the pollen that collects on the fur of the bat! Cool huh? I think this is just amazing!
Alright, now let’s talk about Tequila and Mezcal! Now, the heart of the agave is called the Pina. It is harvested when ripe and this can take 7-14 years, while some 20-40 years.Mezcal is only called Mezcal if grown in these 8 states! Oaxaca, Guerrero,San Luis Poriro, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacán, and recently Puebla. Mezcal is a word from Nahuatl’ and means over cooked agave. Pronounced Mes’kal.
Here are the cocktail names for drinks with Mezcal.
Classic Paloma cocktail
Gingers lost island
El gusano rojo
Personally, I don’t drink, but if you do, You can see if the bartender knows any of these!
The difference between Tequila and mescal is Tequila must be 51% blue agave. Mezcal can be made in the Mexican regions I told you about and Mezcals can be made from either the blue or green agave.There is also Bacanora, another agave based drink in Sonora, Mexico. It use to be illegal until 1992, was bootlegged by vinateros. You can buy it online, you will find it easily! So, you see the agave does have great qualities and are a wonderful edition to our desert ! A treasure to acknowledge forever!
Thank you for reading , I hope you enjoyed and learned something new , please share and keep following me for great informative articles!