12 Sep Recommendation Corner: Mezcal Tasting at Zaguán Bed & Art
One of the great things about Mexico is, of course, tequila. Having worked in the industry for a couple of years, I love learning about the process, comparing and contrasting, and most of all exploring something new. While everyone knows about tequila, few dabble as heavily in Mezcal, though it’s quite the Mexican delicacy as well. With looser government restrictions, there is often a larger variety in terms of flavors and methods of production.
Mezcal comes from Oaxaca, and having visited there myself I can attest – Oaxaca is mescal heaven. But here in San Miguel where I’ve made my expat residence, Zaguán Hotel has brought us something unique. At their monthly mezcal tastings, they’ve brought us the smallest batches of artisanal mescal from tiny Oaxacan towns that are normally only tasted by the residents of those sweet pueblos.
In the most recent tasting I attended we sipped mezcal from squat, open dishes resembling ramekins. They were either fashioned from gourds (the more traditional version) or thrown in clay with beautiful glazes. Along with fascinating stories about the mezcals production and the hands that made them, we also saw photographs of the facilities where each was made. Jeff Furchtenicht did all the research himself; rambling town to town and discovering the best mezcal that Oaxaca has to offer.
You may be wondering about the differences between tequila and mezcal. Tequila is strictly regulated. Like Champagne in France or Bourbon in Kentucky, it must come from Tequila, Jalisco and the surrounding areas to be considered tequila. Mezcal is not so tightly policed and thusly has greater variety in flavor and quality. Also, tequila comes from the Blue Weber Agave while mezcal can come from a variety of different Magueys, though generally a single type is used for a batch.
After the tasting and presentations, Zaguán Hotel had live folk music and delicious food: crepes with huitlacoche (another amazing Mexican delicacy which is a mushroom like fungus that grows on corn) or chicken, each with their own delicious creamy sauce. When it comes to authentic Mexican, this lovely tasting is quite the experience. It comes highly recommended!