When most people think of alcohol in Mexico the first image that comes to mind is a shot of Jose Cuervo tequila, a slice of lime, and a pinch of salt. But in the state of Oaxaca it’s all about the mezcal.
Tequila and mezcal are nearly the same thing, but not quite. They’re both spirits made from agave (called maguey in Oaxaca), but whereas tequila is only be produced with “blue” agave, eleven different types of maguey can be used for making mezcal.
How different do they taste? Well, you’ll just have to have a sip to find out!
A visit to Los Cántaros mezcalería
While you’ll find plenty of mezcal shops on the Adoquín or along Zicatela Beach that offer free tastings (degustación in Spanish), the best place by far in Puerto Escondido to try mezcal is at Los Cántaros Mezcalería just outside of town off Highway 200 on your way to Huatulco.
The beauty of Los Cántaros (also called Ruu Piiil) is that the mezcal is made right there on site, and unlike the other shops that only offer samples of “factory” style mezcal, at Los Cántaros you can also try mezcal artesano.
Getting there is super easy. It’s just outside of Puerto Escondido over the bridge past La Barra. (Go to Google Map)
Let’s start off with the hard stuff
There are a few different types of mezcal that you’ll get to taste at no charge. They make an artisan mezcal here that’s really cool as it’s distilled using a traditional clay still.
The flavor of artisan mezcal is quite a bit smoother, but it costs 50% more per bottle as product is lost during the distillation process when vapor seeps through the clay pot.
Next, you’ll be able to try a number of different flavors of mezcal from their copper still, including mezcals infused with fruit, herbs and of course, the gusano. You can taste as many (or as few) as you feel up to!
Cremas for the non-mezcal drinkers in your group
Not everyone’s cut out for gourd after gourd of 100 proof mezcal! Luckily Los Cántaros makes a broad range of cremas that are super smooth and come in tasty flavors like melon, coffee, cappuccino, strawberry, passion fruit, pistachio and coconut.
Even if you’re not a big drinker, a visit to Los Cántaros Mezcalería is a really cool cultural experience and one of the top activities mentioned by our guests when they look back upon their stay with us in paradise.
Learn more by watching this short video from our Facebook page.