Posts Tagged ‘mezcal worm’



Originally Published the Week of Mar. 27, 2023 in Western Outdoor Publications

Back in the day…back in MY day a LONG time ago when things like this mattered, there were two guys that were always fun to have along.

One was the guy who brought the Cuervo Gold Tequila.  We thought that was the apex of tequilas back then.

The other was the really fun guy.  He brought the bottle of Mezcal.  You might remember.  Or maybe you tried not to remember!

It had that little worm at the bottom of the bottle.

As “party protocol” had it, the macho dude was the guy who got to the bottom of the bottle and ate that little squiggly thing. 

You always tried to get the new guy to do it.  Right?

Everyone told him we had all passed that “right of passage” and eaten the worm so it was HIS turn.  Of course, we were lying. 

But we would say anything to goad the newbie.   Solidarity in peer pressure!

We were all told that eating that worm had “psychedelic properties.” 

So what’s the deal with the worm? 

I decided to look into it given that mezcal is growing more popular these days.   Mezcalarias, that specialize strictly in mezcal are popping up everywhere and it’s rare to find a watering hole that doesn’t have bottles on the shelf.

Personally, I’ve found it to be a great mixer. 

Always in moderation, mind you which is a good thing.  Mezcal indeed has a higher alcohol content than tequila.  About 15% more buzz for the buck.

But, it adds a nice smokiness to cocktails and, to me, much added flavor compared to tequila.

But, don’t mix them up. 

Although both come from the agave plant, tequila is generally distilled from blue agave.  Tequila is produced by steaming the agave.

Comparatively, mezcal uses a larger variety of agave.  The plant is fire roasted in pits lined with lava rocks.  Hence, you get the smokey earthy flavors.

The story of the worm goes back to the 50’s when a mezcal distiller found a worm larvae in a batch of brew and thought it added extra flavor. 

It was also a nice marketing move which was soon copied by other manufacturers.


In reality, it’s not really a worm per se.  It’s an insect larvae that they say tastes a bit like chicken (why is that always the case?).  To be more precise, it’s the redworm agave moth.

I did read another study where test subjects said it tasted like almonds.  Whatever…

But, even in the party days, I’ve never seen anyone who actually admitted to chewing the darn thing.

However, the worm is often a popular culinary additive.  Roasted and crushed, I’m told it adds some nice texture and flavor to regional  Mexican dishes.


It’s perfectly safe to eat. Gulp all you want.

However…is it hallucinogenic?

Nah.  Someone was fibbing. 

There’s no proof that it has any such properties.  However,  if you make it to the bottom of the bottle to eat the worm, I have no doubt you’ll be seeing things!

On the contrary, there are some who believe that the worm has aphrodisiac affects. 

Again, if you make it to the bottom of the bottle, you probably will feel 10-feet-tall; bullet-proof and eternally attractive. 

Clinical studies have shown that when consumed by animals, there have been some aphrodisiac affects.  But, never in humans.

I did find some clinical benefits of drinking Mezcal besides getting a faster buzz.

It reduces cholesterol which is the main factor in heart disease so you can say it helps prevent heart attacks.

Surprisingly, I also discovered that you are less likely to get a hangover after drinking mezcal.

Mezcal is made of polysaccharides.  They transform into the body faster than other alcohol so begins to disintegrate as soon as it comes in contact with your mouth. 

I don’t understand that, but its kinda good to know.  Bigger brains than mine study this stuff.

Keep it moderate!

That’s my story!



Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!


Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

Read Full Post »