Weaving the World
Textile and Weaving Tours, Oaxaca, Mexico
Mezcaleria - Oaxacan mezcal making
You might be wondering what all the fuss is about if you haven't visited Oaxaca yet. Mezcal is the local drink and is to the local resident what whiskey is to a Scotsman. As with so many things in Oaxaca this drink has a long and sophisticated history and production is still carried out in its original artisanal form in many areas. The starting material for the drink is the maguey plant, a cactus native to the region. The heart of the cactus is first cooked in a hot stone pit before being cut into smaller pieces and mashed to a pulp in a horse powered stonemill. The resultant mash is then fermented and double distilled. Certain superior brands are then kept in oak barrels for a number of years or alternatively smoked or turned into variety of liqueurs usually using locally grown fruits.
The whole process is fascinating to watch especially as our guide will be able to describe to you all the history and subtleties of the production.
Mezcal production process
Once you watched the process, you may actually want to try a few samples too. These are available free of charge and almost every type possible will be available. Out of interest also, Oaxaca City has any number of small, cosy mezcalerias (mezcal cafe bars) where you can sit for a pleasant hour and sip a glass of mezcal, maybe one that you've identified as being your favourite on this demonstration.
Free mezcal tasting up the demonstration