Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See peyote.
  • n. A Mexican liquor distilled from the fermented juice of certain species of agave.
  • n. A food prepared by cooking the fleshy leaf base and trunk of certain agaves.
  • n. See maguey.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Mexican alcoholic drink distilled from the fermented juice of the agave.
  • n. The peyote cactus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A distilled liquor prepared in Mexico from a species of agave. See agave.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A strong intoxicating spirit distilled from pulque, the fermented juice of the Agave Americana of Mexico. Also mexcal, mezcal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small spineless globe-shaped cactus; source of mescal buttons
  • n. a colorless Mexican liquor distilled from fermented juices of certain desert plants of the genus Agavaceae (especially the century plant)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

American Spanish, from Nahuatl mexcalli, mescal liquor : metl, maguey plant + perhaps ixca, xca, to bake.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Nahuatl or Classical Nahuatl mexcalli ("itoxicating drink made from fermented agave juice"), perhaps from metl ("maguey (agave)") + ixcalli ("stew").

Examples

  • Then again, I had to give up drinking altogether when I saw the worm in mescal; even though it was dead, it stared balefully at me.

    Say Bartender, make mine tuna on the rocks

  • A late afternoon toast in mescal may seem to many visitors like a fair and just reward for a long day's sightseeing, but please ensure that those doing the mescal sampling are not those responsible for driving you back to the city ...

    The Oaxaca Valley: a week's adventures in a single day...

  • Mezcal, or more usually (in English) mescal, is an alcoholic drink derived from various types of agave, as opposed to tequila which is, strictly speaking, made only from the blue agave.

    The Oaxaca Valley: a week's adventures in a single day...

  • So far this year, I have imbibed on raicilla (not bad - made in the nearby jungle) on the beach at Yelapa, mescal from a community shot glass at a fiesta in Teotitlan del Valle outside of Oaxaca City and some mighty fine double martinis on the River Walk in San Antonio.

    The Subject of Mescal

  • Oaxaca: The southern state called "the land of the seven moles", and the home of the agave-based alcoholic beverage mescal, is represented at several restaurants, among them the fifty-year-old Casa Neri, where Oaxacan specialties are served in a large, provincial-style patio at Bélgica 211, Colonia Portales (Tel. 5539 3386)

    Dining in the D.F.: Food and drink in Mexico's capital

  • The longer mescal is aged in barrels the more mellow it becomes, like a fine cognac.

    Mescal

  • Making mescal is a time honored traditional process.

    Mescal

  • Like its more sophisticated cousin tequila, mescal is distilled from a mash made of the crushed roasted hearts of the agave.

    Mescal

  • It is commonly known as mescal, but is also called the century plant from a mistaken notion that it blossoms only once in a hundred years.

    Arizona Sketches

  • There was even more grinning later, for Mangas held an enormous jollification on corn-beer and pine-bark spirit and a fearsome cactus tipple called mescal; they don't mind mixing their drinks, those fellows, and got beastly foxed, although I went as easy as I could.

    Isabelle

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