Mezcal is not Tequila
"Mezcal is not tequila yet tequila is Mezcal" All mezcals are made from agave plants; tequila is made from one particular species—the blue agave—while smokier mezcals are made from one of the other 150 agave species native to Mexico.
Tequila is technically a mezcal, however, there are differences in production technique and in the types of agave used. Tequila is made from a single type of agave plant – the agave tequilana (blue agave) – and is mainly produced in the state of Jalisco and in small parts of four other states. Mezcal is mainly produced in Oaxaca.
Mezcals are spirits distilled from the agave plant. Tequila is a mezcal, but tequila producers remove the agave solids before they distill. Tequila distillers put just the fermented juice into their stills, but artisan mezcal distillers include the fermented agave solids, so that well-made artisan mezcals from Oaxaca are richer and more complex than tequila.
Both spirits come in the aged varieties añejo and reposado, but only mezcal includes a maguey larva -- the infamous maguey worm -- in the bottle. Contrary to urban legend, the "worm" does not cause hallucinations when eaten, and is even a popular ingredient in tacos. Despite the similar name, mezcal does not contain mescaline or other psychedelic substances.
The maguey grows in many parts of Mexico, though most mezcal is made in Oaxaca. A saying attributed to Oaxaca regarding the drink is: "Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también." ("For every ill, Mezcal, and for every good as well.").
Today, mezcal is still made from the heart of the maguey plant, called the piña, much the same way it was 200 years ago, in most places. In Mexico, mezcal is generally consumed straight and has a strong smoky flavor. Though mezcal is not as popular as tequila that to is changing and Mezcal is gaining ground as a very desirable spirit. Certainly exports of Mezcal from Mexico are growing and to some at an alarming rate.