Mezcal is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant, which is also how we get tequila. There are more than 200 types of agave plants, 45 to 50 of which are used to make mezcal, Gaston says. The word "mezcal" literally means "roasted agave," Gaston shares. Three things set mezcal and tequila apart. Tobalà is referred to as "the king of mezcals" because the agave plant is more scarce and harder to harvest.