tequila or mezcal chattanooga happy hour

A staple at our Chattanooga Happy Hour – or any Mexican bar or restaurant, really -- is some variation of cocktail with Tequila as the main ingredient (margarita, Bloody Mary, Tequila Sunrise, etc.). We celebrate this great spirit as we near National Tequila Day on July 24th.

Another choice gaining ground in America bars and restaurants, perhaps confused with Tequila, is Mezcal.

What is the difference between Tequila and Mezcal?

Both drinks are made from the harvested core of the agave plant, otherwise known as the “piña”, but the two spirits are characterized by more differences than similarities. Think of it the same way in which bourbon and scotch share the category as whiskey, yet you may love one and hate the other because of variations in taste.

Geography also matters. Just as Bourbon is a whiskey associated with Kentucky (where 95 percent of it is made) and Scotch whiskey was originally made in Scotland, tequila and mezcal come from different regions of Mexico. There’s a town in Jalisco named Tequila. Spirits Writer John McEvoy explained to Food & Wine magazine that tequila is mass produced in 5 places, while mezcal is a product made in nine parts of the country.

Another spirits writer, Chris Tunstall, said the most common agave used for mezcal are tobalá, tobaziche, tepeztate, arroqueño and espadín.

How do Tequila and Mezcal differ?

The differences don’t stop there. The two drinks are distilled differently.

Industrial ovens steam the agave before distillation in copper pots to create tequila. Lava rock pits dug into the ground and filled with wood and charcoal typically cook the agave to create mezcal with distilling in clay pots to produce a characteristic smokiness.

After distillation, both drinks end up in oak barrels for varying periods of aging, the labels as different varieties based on the length of aging. Tequila, for example, comes in three varieties: blanco (silver or plato/0-2 months), reposado (2-12 months) and anejo (1-3 years). Mezcal is also grouped as joven (blanco or abacado/0-2 months), reposado (2-12 months) and anejo (at least one year).

We don’t expect anyone to come up to the bar and order an “abacado mezcal”, but hey, at least you can now that you know what it is and say it if you want to impress your date.

Fun fact: The term mezcal used to refer to any spirit distilled from fermented agave, but then the government got involved and changed the phrase from a category of spirits to something more specific.

“Tequila was originally called vino de mezcal de tequila — or the wine of the mezcal from the community of Tequila (in Jalisco),” explained Lou Bank of SACRED Agave, a nonprofit that promotes the rural Mexican communities where mezcal is made. The word mezcal comes from the Nahuatl words metl and ixcalli, which taken together mean "oven cooked agave."

Another fun fact about Mezcal: Some producers avoid the variation of the word spelled “mescal” to avoid being mistaken for some derivative of mescaline.

Mezcal vs Tequila: What’s the Difference?

Some of the more commonly available brands of mezcal available in the US include Del Maguey Chichicapa, El Jolgorio Tepeztate, Rey Campero Tepextate, Ilegal Mezcal Reposado, Mezcal Vago Olla De Barro Tobala, Montelobos Mezcal Joven.

If you’re now torn between ordering tequila or mezcal in your margarita, we suggesting ordering one of both. Then more. You know, to be sure you can tell a difference!
Besides, who’s counting when you can get 2 for 1 Margaritas during happy hour in Chattanooga? Call your favorite Amigos location for specific times & prices.

Copyright: alpaksoy / 123RF Stock Photo

Written by Steven Stiefel

 

 

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Chattanooga Mexican restaurant guacamole

Holidays are all about spreading cheer, right? What better way than with our creamy, zesty, and citrusy guac! With over 25 crowd-pleasing entrées featuring our fresh, finger-licking guacamole, here are 7 Amigo Mexican Restaurant top-guac sellers you need to order.

  • Amigo Nachos: These aren’t your average nachos. First, we pile flour tortilla chips, then generously cover them with our famous white cheese sauce and your choice of meat. Finally, we top this stack with sautéed bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, sour cream and the best part – guacamole. It’s okay to be on the naughty list this year if it involves indulging in these guac nachos.

  • Vaca Flaca Grilled Quesadilla: Have a holly jolly, vaca flaca quesadilla (say that 10x fast!) This grilled, cheesy, wheat tortilla quesadilla is filled with your favorite trio of shrimp, chicken and steak. It is then served with fresh lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo, and our creamy guac.

  • Veggie Fajitas: All we want for Christmas are these veggie fajitas. Carefully sautéed zucchini, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and mushrooms fill three flavorful flour tortillas. Accompanying sides include rice, refried beans and salad with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and tomatoes.

  • Burrito Bueno: We take one large wheat tortilla burrito and stuff it full with your choice of meat, sautéed onions and mushrooms, then cover it with our decadent white cheese sauce, burrito sauce, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole. For those of you that made it on Santa’s nice list, this Burrito Bueno is for you!

  • Yolandas: Deck the enchiladas! This satisfying plate features three enchiladas with shredded chicken, sautéed with bell peppers, tomatoes and onions. Finally, we plate it up with rice and guacamole salad, topped with supreme sauce.

  • Guakimaki Burger: Do you hear what I hear??! Yes, that is the glorius sound of our sizzling 8 oz. Angus cheeseburger topped with our signature Abuela’s Guacamole that’s made fresh when you order. Served with a side of fries. How merry!

  • Steak Ranchero: O Come, All Ye Hungry… enjoy a center-cut, aged, 10 oz. ribeye steak, topped with ranchero sauce. Don’t forget, this dish is served with rice, refried beans, three flour tortillas and a guacamole salad.

And speaking of guacamole… don’t forget to sign up for our "Guac Around The Christmas Tree" Contest. Enter now for your chance to win a Holiday Mexican Fiesta for 2 that includes chips and salsa, 2 entrees, 2 non-alcoholic beverages, 1 dessert, and guacamole, of course! To enter, click here. Good luck, amigos and Happy Holidays! 

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Mexican Restaurant Locations

  • East Ridge

    3805 Ringgold Rd
    East Ridge, Tennessee 37412
    (423) 624-4345 
  • Brainerd

    5794 Brainerd Road
    Chattanooga, Tennessee 37411
    (423) 499-5435
  • Red Bank

    1906 Dayton Blvd
    Red Bank, Tennessee 37415
    (423) 870-9928 
  • Hixson

    5450 Highway 153
    Hixson, Tennessee 37343
    (423) 875-8049
  • Harrison

    6701 Tennessee 58
    Harrison, TN 37341
    (423) 710-8970 
  • Johnson City Crossings

    3211 Peoples St,Suite 70,
    Johnson City, TN 37604
    (423) 952-0551 
  • W. Market Street

    1705 W Market St.
    Johnson City, TN 37604
    (423) 975-0252
  • Elizabethton

    623 W Elk Ave
    Elizabethton, TN 37643
    (423) 543-1711 
  • Jonesborough

    125 E Jackson Blvd
    Jonesborough, TN 37659
    (423) 788-2804