Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tequila and Mezcal Festival!

This weekend at the Lath House in Heritage and Science Park in downtown Phoenix is the Tequilaaz tequila and mezcal celebration! I am attending of course and I'm thrilled to see they are honoring mezcal alongside tequila. I am a big fan of mezcal (as you might have guessed from previous blog posts), another product of the agave plant, but I will say it took me numerous attempts at drinking mezcal before I became an avid supporter. Mezcal originates from Oaxaca, or so I have been told, and many regard it as a cheaper, harsher version of tequila. It is definitely true that crappy mezcal can often taste a lot like gasoline but once you have experienced a good mezcal it is a bit of a revelation. I was told that many Oaxacans think that mezcal holds medicinal powers and use it ceremonially and I have to say I believe it; mezcal has made me feel like no other alcohol has, in good and bad ways (avoid the cheap stuff). I'm particularly fond of the drink because it is so important to Oaxacans. For an introduction to mezcal check out the Mezcal del Maguey company website for a good explanation of the drink, its production, and its importance to Oaxaca. I'm not endorsing the company or their mezcal but the website is written in English and provides some good information. In the meantime avoid cheap mezcal and if you don't like it the first time, try it again with some chili and an orange slice.

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