By Alfredo Patiño

You can find mezcal in just about every mercado or tourist stop throughout Oaxaca. There are aged mezcals, mezcals mixed with fruit and creams and more and more are available for export, showing up in New York City or Tokyo. However, many households in the Oaxaca Valley produce just enough mezcal for their own consumption and some make a little bit more to sell. They are the men and women who lumber into town carrying jerry cans filled with mezcal where they stop at restaurants and bars to sell to owners. They pull out a jicara and a bamboo straw to demonstrate the purity of the mezcal. The mezcal is placed in the jicara and then you suck a little bit with the straw and then let the mezcal fall back into the jicara- bubbles are good, no bubbles means the mezcal has been watered down.

If mezcal is the drink of the Gods, then the Mezcaloteca is a temple! With a wide selection of artisanal mezcal, this is the place you want to visit even if you are not a mezcal aficionado. A dark storefront with a wooden apothecary style bar filled with only white traditional mezcal. The door is locked perhaps to remind you that the product you are about to try is from someone’s home. Hopefully you have made an appointment and after ringing the bell will be ushered in, like into some old fashioned speakeasy during prohibition, to partake in a vibrant and passionate explanation of mezcal and a tasting.

Mezcaloteca Calle Reforma 506, Oaxaca City Opens at 6pm Tastings are by reservation only. Tel (951) 514 0082 or

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