Tequila Trail meets The Mezcal March I’m knackered. Three days as a guest of Mexico’s largest tequila producer, Herradura, will do that. I flew into Guadalajara after a brief stop over in Mexico City from Guatemala and the last three days will need a little remembering, creative license, and perhaps a few downright lies in order to explain what has me here, in Tlacalula, Oaxaca nearly 1500 kilometers away from where I was mere days ago. I’ve become fascinated by agave. Blue agave, Maguey, Espadin; it no long matters. I have a new love for mezcal but in order to truly appreciate this new flame of mine I needed to start in Jalisco state, the only area of Mexico “allowed” to legally call their cactus brew tequila. I had a gag reflex to tequila owing to an ill-conceived idea in my youth. This was before I realized you didn’t have to binge drink tequila in order to enjoy it, and its ethereal buzz. La Fuente Cantina in Guadalajara was one of my first stops, and my introduction to Sangrita, not to be confused with Sangria. Sangrita is not unlike a bloody mary mix served alongside a snifter of tequila and often accompanied by a similar sized glass of lime juice. The three are meant to be sipped together in any matter you see fit. La Fuente also claims to be the first cantina in mexico where tequila was mixed with grapefruit soda. This may or may not be true but their best story is not fiction. The bicycle hanging above the bar (for the last hundred years) belonged to a customer who left it with a promised return to pay his tab. Oops. My next stop in my tequila education was the famed Hacienda de Herradura, a place where old meets new and no education is complete without a visit. I eagerly awaited our arrival while passing through deserts filled with agave and the white clad jimadores responsible for their harvest. It was here at the hacienda that I learned that tequila producers have little flexibility in how they produce their devil drink. I asked about mezcal and was scoffed at, the kind folk at Hacienda Herradura acted like I had personally insulted them. They told me that mezcal was the peasant drink of, primarily, Oaxaca. I made a mental note, go to Oaxaca. If I’m completely honest, how I got to Oaxaca City remains a bit of a mystery but three days later sure enough that is where I found myself. Not only there but in the Casa del Mezcal located a few blocks from the main square. After a few questions about their huge list, ...to continue reading the rest of the article please, click here.