Mezcal is an ancient agave spirit that has been around since around the Spanish conquest. Meaning "cooked agave" in Nahuatl, it can only be certified as 'real mezcal' if its production comes from one of ten states recognized by the Denominacion de Origen (DO) - with Oaxaca being the majority producer and motherland. Presently, the list includes Oaxaca, Michoacan, Puebla, Guerrero, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Durango, and Sinaloa. As this complex spirit continues to gain momentum and popularity worldwide, it is expected to expand into even more regions in the coming years.

Fun fact: Mezcal ultimately means any spirit distilled from the agave plant. That means that "Tequila" is "Mezcal" before becoming Tequila.