Slurp Mexican mezcalMexico City, Mexico
Like its milky, viscous cousin pulque, mezcal is made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant, a form of agave. It tastes smokier than tequila and can sometimes be found with a large larva worm floating near the bottom.
Some believe drinking it can help control hypertension and diabetes, while others would rather think it’s an aphrodisiac. In Oaxaca, it’s traditionally served with a side of fried larvae.
There are many bars and stores selling mezcal in Mexico but the most popular and trendy spots are in Mexico City and Oaxaca, a region where many of the finer spirits are produced. You can take a tour of a distillery to find out how small-batch, artisinal mezcal is produced (yes, sampling is encouraged!).
Check out Corazón de Maguey, Los Danzantes, La Botica, Mexicano and Muruka in Mexico City.
While you can get sips of homemade mezcal on the streets for only a few pesos, it’s best to head to a bar or liquor store. La Europea is a reputable liquor store chain that sells bottles of mezcal for anything from US$10 to US$200.
If you’re a tequila fan, you’ll likely be able to stomach this, worms and all!
The higher quality mezcals are usually bottled and served sans worms.