"Drink Until You See The Cross"
Any mezcal enthusiast knows that, if options are limited, it’s possible to enjoy mezcal when served in virtually any type of glass or cup. However, they also know that, as is true of any fine spirit, drinking mezcal from the proper vessel is key to truly savoring it.
One such vessel all mezcal fans should try is the veladora. This modest-looking glass boasts a range of features that make it ideal for mezcal. It’s also played a somewhat unique role in mezcal history. Keep reading to learn more.
Mezcal Veladora Glasses: Essential Qualities
The typical veladora for mezcal is a squat glass with a relatively wide mouth and ribbed outer surface. These basic traits actually make the veladora particularly appealing to mezcal-lovers.
First of all, due to mezcal’s strength, many find that the best way to appreciate it is to sip a small amount over time, instead of taking quick shots or pouring it back fast. Thus, it’s smart to serve mezcal in a somewhat small glass that can hold the ideal amount.
Mezcal also needs to “breathe,” like many other beverages of its type. The wide mouth of the veladora allows it to do so. Additionally, because it has a wide mouth, when someone takes a sip of mezcal from a veladora, there’s little risk of the strong alcohol fumes overwhelming them.
The veladora is convenient as well. The ribbed outer surface makes it easy to grip, and its shape makes accidentally breaking one fairly difficult. It’s also compact enough to travel with.
Mezcal Veladora Trivia
Those who speak Spanish may immediately realize the veladora’s name refers to its shape. Even those who don’t speak the language tend to notice that the veladora resembles the type of small candle holder one might find at some Catholic churches.
That’s not a coincidence. The mezcal veladora glass is actually inspired by such candle holders. In fact, the Catholic Church was their original manufacturer. That’s why it’s not uncommon for a veladora to feature the imprint of a cross on its base. While it’s not entirely clear exactly when people decided these candle holders would also serve as perfect glasses for mezcal, they remind us of mezcal’s cultural roots.
Mezcal Veladora Options
The traditional veladora is glass. It has a circular base that slightly opens up as the outer surface extends to the mouth.
That said, there are some variations on the typical mezcal veladora design. For example, while most veladoras don’t have any major distinguishing features, some do have colored rims. Others may be even smaller than a common veladora, retaining the basic shape and design, but more closely resembling a shot glass in size. Again, depending on your preferences, you can also opt to sip your mezcal from a veladora with a cross imprinted on the base, or select one with no such imprint.
Regardless, if you appreciate mezcal, you need to try sipping it from a veladora. It’s not the only popular mezcal glass, but it’s among the more well-known. It may even end up becoming your personal favorite.