Technically, I supposethat it should be Mezcal, it is a Nahuatl word, after all, meaning 'oven-cooked agave'. In any event, we had seen a cooking show called Taco Trip, and were interested in a place in Denver that was featured, Adelitas on South Broadway.
In a nutshell, an absolutely fantastic taqueria. And all the other things on their menu are great as well, additionally the best house margarita I've ever had, for five bucks. In about half an hour, it became one of our favorite places.
On with the story. They have a very nicely lit bar, and it's pretty much all Tequila and Mezcal. Kyri and I are both curious folks, so we asked one of the guys there about Mezcal--and we picked the right person, Nathan, the gent who makes the trips down to Oaxaca, looking for the best of the best in Mezcal to buy for the bar. He sat down with a couple bottles of Mezcal and some tiny little clay cups, and we had a Mezcal tasting.
Wow. Great stuff, that. Similar to good single-malt Scotch, because the agave is harvested, ground and smoked before it's distilled. Tequila is made from 100% blue agave; Mezcal is made from a single-strain of agave, or up to forty different species blended together. Mezcal is also known as a stimulant, rather than a depressant, like straight alcohol. Interesting.....
So, for the last couple of months, we've been having Saturday lunch at Adelitas, and having a Mezcal-tasting afterwards.
Like Scotch Whisky, there are hundreds of distilleries, one or more in most villages in Oaxaca and Guerrero, each blend is subtly different (some not-so-subtle differences too), "traditional glasses, all sorts of little hints and kinks. One of the traditional glasses for mezcal is a flat-bottomed votive candle holder, with ribs (pretty for the candle light, but makes it easier to hang on to) with an embossed crucifix in the bottom.
....and that's the way it looks from here.