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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mezcal in Oaxaca

Mezcal is the drink of Oaxaca.  Factories are found everywhere.  You can literally follow the smell of roasting agave hearts down the side roads to small backyard stills. Sauza country, this is not. At a time when its agave-based relative, tequila, is all about business and mass marketing, mezcal manufacturers are largely family-owned and bottled by hand.

Mezcal is everywhere in Oaxaca.  There are bars devoted to artisanal mescal, and in contrast to the first time I was in Oaxaca, there are now what I would call more or less the equivalent to single barrel bourbons.  They are mezcals that are made from a particular kind of agave, so small batches with distinctive flavors to be tried and appreciated (or perhaps one will discover that they prefer the less distinctive flavors these offer).  It is all part of the adventure of travel in the region, and well worth stopping at a few factories to see what the process is and to try some of the product. 

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