Mexico is proposing a small change to the rules governing mezcal — not over how it’s made or who drinks it, but simply over the word itself. That might sound insignificant, but a small tweak could have a big impact on the types of mezcals people drink in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The Mexican government owns the word mezcal, the same way it owns the word tequila, according to the Mezcal Regulatory Council. And a new proposal would force producers outside of the area of origin to call their product aguardiente de agave, or agave firewater.
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