The Absolute Best Type Of Glass For Drinking Mezcal

Mezcal and other agave-based spirits are on the rise — with sales exhibiting an annual growth rate of over 10%, the sought-after spirit is projected to reach a whopping $437 million by 2028, reports Yahoo! Finance. A large part of the allure is the spirit's diversity. Distilled from 46 species of agave in nine states of Mexico, all with different production techniques, it's fair to say the resultant beverage is boundless, per The Manual.

Enhancing the intrigue is the spirit's aversion to categorization. Most production occurs in small, rural distilleries not owned by big brands. Legally calling a bottle mezcal necessitates passing through government regulation — something many mezcal producers eschew, notes Bon Appétit

All this to say, when you're presented with some of the spirits from an unlabeled bottle, embrace it. After sipping and savoring, buy a batch. Then the question arises — what glass should you reach for to maximize enjoyment?

Wide glasses that optimize aroma are best for the agave spirit

Keep in mind mezcal is a sipper, not a shooter — its aroma and taste are meant to be slowly relished. As a result, search for glasses that allow for savoring both (via Those with a wide opening optimize the surface area of the mezcal; just make sure not to go too wide, or else swirling the spirit for its flavor may be difficult. 

Next, ensure there's some space between the mezcal and the top of the glass so that the aroma can collect. And finally, consider the thickness of the glass — the thinner, the less intrusive, notes Agavache.

A range of glassware can fit these parameters, like a Glencairn whiskey glass or even a champagne glass where the narrow opening can "trap" and enhance the flavor, according to Food & Wine. Although not the perfect fit, there's nothing wrong with reaching for a typical shot glass in a pinch, per Mezcal for Life. However, for the best experience, do as in Mexico — and seek out a traditional vessel. Let's explore the options.

Traditional vessels provide an authentic experience

Opt for one of the conventional options, like the jicara, veladora, or copita, to enjoy the agave spirit. The jicara is the oldest, with a wide cup-like shape. Made from the dried and hollowed-out fruit of the Crescentia tree, its exterior is often hand painted — so seek one out for an eye-catching design, per Rosaluna. It's only one ounce in volume, so using it emphasizes savoring every sip. 

Then, there's the veladora glass, which resembles a shot glass with a thick, ribbed exterior. Typically found in mezcalerías (mezcal bars), this style is incredibly ubiquitous. Portable and durable, it looks like a candleholder since it has ties to the Catholic church and may have a cross design on the bottom.

And finally, there's the copita, which resembles the jicara in shape but is typically made from clay (via Mezcal for Life). It is also small and has a bowl-like curvature, yet still retains sturdiness to deliver the fine sipping spirit. Plus, with its wide shape, it's even encouraged to dip a finger into the liquid and rub it into your hands to intensify the smell, according to Yahoo! Life

Whether you opt for a stemmed vessel or go the traditional route, you can't go wrong — each provides a distinct experience. The only mistake would be not to pour any mezcal at all.