I’ve known Fernando Lopez of Guelaguetza Restaurant in Los Angeles for a few years now. Recently we sat down in Oaxaca’s Zocalo for an ice cold beer on a hot day and lots of conversation. As it often does when you are talking in Oaxaca, we soon were focusing on mezcal.
Fernando is a classic mezcal lover. The type of guy that will say the best mezcal is the one in front of you. But, after some prodding, I finally got him to give me five of his favorites, all joven espadin, and one extra… a bonus pick.
No tasting notes here, just five, okay six, mezcals that Fernando likes and hopefully, you will too.
Here are Fernando’s mezcals you must try, in no particular order…
Mezcal Tosba… by now you’ve probably heard the NPR “Can Mezcal Save a Village” story. Credit Fernando and his sister Bricia for helping on that. But that does not take away from the fact that Tosba has a first rate mezcal and is very well respected in Oaxaca.
Mezcaloteca… these folks are incredibly respected within the mezcal world. They have a wonderful tasting room on Calle Reforma in Oaxaca and truly honor mezcal with their approach.
Los Amantes… from Tlacolula, simply put, Los Amantes has some of the coolest bottles in the business. If you are in Oaxaca and want to try before you buy, check out their mezcaleria in the center of town.
Alipus… Fernando says get the San Baltazar Güelavila line. This is the purple label of their line.
Espirituoso… this comes not from the Matatlan side of Oaxaca, rather from the area known as Miahuatlan, south of the city.
Here’s the bonus, Metl… from Tlacolula, this mezcal pairs the spice of the maguey with a hint of smoke. It is also a great bargain at around $45.00 in the US.
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.