Mezcal with worm

Mezcal with worm is a process where mezcal has been rested with agave (maguey) worms inside, which modifies its sensory characteristics, especially in aroma and flavor.

The history of mezcal with worm

The worm, in the agave reproduction cycle, originally has a negative connotation, since its presence indicates that the agave is infected by this pest. If left untreated, the agave is spoiled.

However, these pests became an opportunity for farmers, who began to cook these worms, discovering their unique flavor and aroma.

Later, master mezcaleros began to add these roasted worms to the mezcal, letting them rest and changing the sensory characteristics of the mezcal. This led to the tradition of adding worms to mezcal, as well as fruits and herbs for medicinal purposes.

What is the function of the worm in mezcal?

The function of the worm in mezcal is to contribute unparalleled flavor, aroma, and protein content to the liquid. In addition to these sensory and nutritional benefits, the worm has served as a symbol of identity for mezcal, making it known to the world as an exotic product.

However, it is important to note that, although the worm contributes flavor and aroma, it does not confer color to mezcal.

mezcal with worm

Unquestionably, the worm brings an intense and distinctive flavor to mezcal, which can sometimes overshadow the original aromas of the drink. However, this does not imply that the mezcal is of poor quality or that the worm is added to mask defects. It is simply an additional nuance to the flavor.

The perception of mezcal with worm is subjective: some people love it, while others prefer it without.

It is important to note that not all regions of Oaxaca produce mezcal with worm. Specifically, it is a predominant practice in Santiago Matatlán. Adding the worm to mezcal was a strategy to distinguish it from tequila, thus gaining attention both nationally and internationally.

If you have not yet tried mezcal with worms, we invite you to do so and form your own opinion of this exotic drink.

Characteristics of mezcal with worm

  1. Gastronomic Origin: The maguey worm began to be used in traditional cuisine in the 1950s, taking advantage of its flavor, aroma and high protein content.
  2. Incorporation into Mezcal: Roasted maguey worms began to be added to mezcal, leaving them to rest in the liquor to improve its flavor.
  3. Cultural Tradition: This practice became a tradition in several communities of Oaxaca, valuing the presence of worms in the agave.
  4. Official Classification: Mezcal with worms is classified under Mexican official standard NOM-070 as “mezcal abocado con gusano”, indicating that worms are added during processing.
  5. Cultural and Marketing Impact: Mezcal con gusano has positioned itself as a symbol of mezcal identity, introducing the product to international markets as an exotic liquor.
  6. Problems and Controversies: Some producers use sweeteners and artificial flavorings to intensify the flavor and aroma, which can mask the low quality of the alcohol. In addition, the problem of adulterated alcohols and the use of plastic worms in some bottles are mentioned as marketing gimmicks.
  7. Worm Varieties: There are mainly two types of worms used in mezcal: the red worm and the white worm, with the red worm providing the most flavor.
  8. Effect on Mezcal: The worm contributes to the flavor and aroma of mezcal, but does not affect its color, which should remain clear despite the addition of the worm.

The Best 5 Mezcals with worms

1 - Mezcal gusano rojo

Gusano Rojo is a popular mezcal made from 100% agave, with aromatic and palate notes: smoky, herbaceous with sweet sparkles.

Alcoholic volume: 38%.

Mezcal Gusano Rojo – 1 L
  • Mezcal Joven
  • México
  • Imagen Ilustrativa El Diseño, Presentación O Cosecha Puede Variar Según Existencias Favor De Basarse En El Titulo De La Publicación

2 - Mezcal Oro De Oaxaca Con gusano

It presents a golden and inviting tone, with aromatic nuances of maguey worm and a subtly smoky touch. Its flavor, pleasant and smooth to the palate, evokes the characteristic taste of caramelized cooked maguey, complemented with the authentic essence of maguey worm.

The delicacy of the mezcal provides a taste experience of sweet and earthy notes, achieving an impeccable balance.

With an alcohol content of 38⁰ Alc. Vol., it presents itself as a pleasant and warm drink.

3 - Mezcal Alas de fuego con gusano

Produced in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, this mezcal carries the legacy of three generations dedicated to its production. Using the Espadín varietal, it undergoes a double distillation in copper stills. The process incorporates pine wood, which influences its final characteristics.

With an alcohol content of 45°, this potent mezcal is made with two maguey worms, presenting a translucent and dense appearance. On the nose, it offers a fruity aroma complemented by mineral notes and the distinctive smokiness of the plant. On tasting, a flavor reminiscent of cooked plum is perceived. It is ideal with venison jerky, tlayudas and tasajo, highlighting the gastronomic richness of the region.

  • CATEGORÍA: Fuerte/ Aficionados
  • ÚNICO. Hecho a base de Agave Espadín 100% Abocado con Gusano
  • ARTESANAL. Proceso de Elaboración ancestral y artesanal 100%
  • SABOR. Sabor a ciruela cocida.

4- Mezcal Recuerdo de Oaxaca con gusano

The “Abocado con Gusano” is an exceptional choice for those who appreciate the silky texture that the agave worm confers to Mezcal. It presents a bright yellow color, illuminated with golden sparkles. On the nose, it evokes the aroma of cooked agave, combined with soft herbal notes and the distinctive and exotic aroma of the agave worm.

On the palate, it reveals the profound attributes of cooked agave, accented by sweet and sour nuances and a subtle smoky effervescence. Hailing from Oaxaca, Mexico, and made from 100% Agave Espadín, this Mezcal has an alcohol content of 40%.

Recuerdo de Oaxaca Abocado Mezcal, Botella de…
  • Mezcal con gusano
  • Porcentaje de alcohol: 40%
  • Degustación: derecho con rodajas de naranja y sal de gusano en vaso mezcalero.
  • Tipo de agave: Agave Espadín.
  • Bodega: Casa Armando Guillermo Prieto

5 - Mezcal Tehuana

  • 40% ALC. VOL.
  • 100% AGAVE