My first experience with mezcal was at La Botica in Condesa. The bar was lined with bottles of mezcal in all sorts of flavors (including chicken breast, which I wasn’t adventurous enough to try the first time around). We ordered melted queso oaxaca along with a shot of mezcal and a bottle of beer to wash it down (apparently, the traditional side dish for a shot of mezcal is fried larvae ground with chili peppers and salt and lime slices).
There is a saying that mezcal was invented when a lightening bolt hit an agave plant and released its juice. As it was made over 200 years ago, mezcal is still made from the heart of the maguey plant.
My new friend Camila works at a mezcaleria in Coyoacan and her restaurant actually supplies the mezcal that La Botica serves. She says the process of making mezcal is really intense and amazing to see. So many reasons to go to Oaxaca!
Photos taken at La Botica (Alfonso Reyes No. 120 Condesa, México D.F. Tel. 5212-1167)