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Sampling Mezcal in Oaxaca

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There's no better place to tune your taste buds to the subtle differences in mezcal varieties than in Oaxaca. Here's where to sample this liquor made from the agave plant.
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Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico
This small village just east of Mitla has a large sign declaring it the world capital of mezcal. Here you'll be able to see the whole process of how mezcal is made from harvesting the agave plant to distillation. There's a wide variety of...
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Diaz Ordaz 712, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
You can find Cuish brand mezcal in a few establishments in Oaxaca city, but head to their own tasting bar located on the outskirts of the city center to learn what this brand stands for. They offer mezcal that is artisanally produced from several...
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Reforma No. 506, Col. Centro, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Just down the street from where we stayed in Oaxaca there was a mezcal bar called Mezcaloteca. It was staffed by one woman, very studiously sharing her love of mezcal. She poured us a tasting of three different mezcals into the little gourd cups:...
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Oaxaca, Mexico
Mezcal is Oaxaca's smokey spirit of choice and one of the best places to try it is at the mezcaleria Los Amantes in Oaxaca City. The walls of the funky space on Allende 107 in the historical district are lined with dozens of clay pots that were...
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Oaxaca, Mexico
The natural fresh-water springs at Hierve el Agua were incredible (and cold!). The water is very high in calcium carbonate, and the minerals have formed these natural pools and crazy waterfall-like rock formations. The dusty road was somewhat...
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Calle Macedonio Alcalá 403, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
Ron Cooper, founder of Del Maguey mezcal, is the pioneering visionary who introduced the world to mezcal over 20 years ago. Before his tireless efforts to distribute mezcal around the globe, it was a relatively unknown drink in spite of being...
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Calle de Manuel García Vigil 512-E, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Mexican food is extremely varied, and even just considering the cuisine of the state of Oaxaca, there is great diversity. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is where the land thins to the narrowest strip between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean....
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Calle de Tinoco y Palacios 414, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This little cafe-bar caught my eye because the sign outside says "Chocolateria - Mezcaleria". Chocolate and mezcal is a winning combination in my book, but their menu goes well beyond that. We tried a few types of tapas, a pasta dish and a salad....
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José María Morelos (Av. Morelos) 511, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, OAX, Mexico
Mezcal lovers will delight in this mezcaleria that has over 100 different kinds to sample. Owner Ulisses Torrentera has written a few books and several articles about mezcal and he is on hand to discuss the complexities of his favorite drink. In...