I first met Francisco, or “Pancho” or “Rudy” at the 16th Annual Feria de Mezcal in Oaxaca in 2013. He was pouring and mixing for one of the many vendors offering samples of their mezcals during the Guelaguetza.
Since that time, we’ve corresponded and have become friends, seeing each other as our schedules permit. Francisco is a great mixologist, works, among other things, with Mezcal Las Javis and loves mezcal.
Here are his five mezcals you must try, in no particular order…
Real Matlatl… from Maestro Joel Santiago Hérnandez… get the Cerrudo. Copper distilled, this mezcal has the delicate taste of blackberries and herbs with a light sweet finish reminiscent of a fine cake.
Rey Campero… One word… Jabalí! Slightly floral with a fruity blend of mango and banana. This mezcal has a touch of smokiness and a slightly earthy note.
El Jolgorio… Maestro Ignacio Parada has a winner in his Tepextate. Very complex with notes of passion fruit, mandarin orange, apples and pears. On finish you’ll get a touch of mint and a rich, humid earthy feel.
La Venia… made by Master Mezcalero Celestino Sernas López of Matatlan, Oaxaca. Get the Madrecuishe and experience something very different in this mezcal. Earthy with notes of fresh herbs and potatoes, watch out! The sweetness brings a strong finish that stays with you.
Nizabisahio… A great Arroqueño. This has hints of vanilla, banana, corn, citrus, mango and lime. Like others, it has an earthy feel and a slight smokiness. The finish comes with notes of caramel, mamey and a natural smoke.
Some of these mezcals, like those from Real Matlatl and El Jorgorio are available in the US. For the others, you’ll have to visit us in Mexico. If you are interested in learning more about mezcal, or taking a private tour of some of the top palenques in Oaxaca, contact us and we’ll help you arrange a trip.