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Mezcal

Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant (also known as the maguey plant), native to Mexico. Mezcal is traditionally made in small batches by farmers using traditional methods passed down through generations. The agave plant is roasted in an underground pit oven, then crushed and fermented with yeast and water. Mezcal is typically clear or straw-coloured, with a smoky flavour. Mezcal can be enjoyed neat or used in cocktails.

Mezcal has a long history in Mexico, dating back to the Aztec people. Mezcal was first mentioned in Spanish records in 1542, and by the early 1600s mezcal was being exported from Mexico to Europe. Mezcal fell out of favour after the Mexican War of Independence in 1810, when the new Mexican government banned the production and consumption of alcohol. Mezcal was later revived in the mid-19th century, and today it is enjoyed by people all over the world. Mezcal is an important part of Mexican culture and heritage.

Mezcal is mostly made in the region of Oaxaca, where there is a saying, "for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, too." Mezcal is usually consumed neat, and it can boast a marvellous variety of flavours, from floral and herbaceous, to rich and smoky, and beyond.

Mezcal is quite similar to Tequila in many respects, though they are made from different varieties of agave. Mezcal is also produced on a much smaller scale. First, the maguey plants are harvested, and the hearts (or "piñas") are extracted. These are then cooked, sometimes in open pits in the ground lined with rocks, then agave, and then earth, which can impart a distinctive smokiness. They are then crushed, mashed and fermented prior to at least two distillations.

Mezcal will rarely feature a small larva/worm in the bottle (the bottles will be labelled "con gusano" - "with worm"), which is most likely a marketing ploy invented in the mid 20th Century. Typically the Mezcal will be drunk, and the left over worm will be eaten. In Mexico the drink is enjoyed neat, though there are many cocktails to which it is suited.

Del Maguey Mezcal Vida

70cl, 42%
Del Maguey

A single village Mezcal from the top producers Del Maguey, this stuff is twice distilled from 100% Agave Espadin, and it's bottled unblended in a "time-honoured" 400 year old way.  More info

Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
8
$41.04
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Dos Hombres Mezcal

70cl, 42%
Dos Hombres

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston teamed up once more, but this time they're cooking agave to create Dos Hombres Mezcal! Oaxacan Espadin agave is at the heart of this joven expression, and it's…  More info

Dos Hombres Mezcal
1
$56.06

Dangerous Don Joven Mezcal Espadín

70cl, 45%
Dangerous Don

From the awesomely-named Dangerous Don is a wonderful joven mezcal! It's produced exclusively from Espadín agave, and is produced in the traditional artisanal fashion. The agave is roasted in a pit,…  More info

Dangerous Don Joven Mezcal Espadín
30
$45.16

Montelobos Joven Mezcal

70cl, 43.2%
Casa Montelobos

Montelobos Joven Mezcal is made with espadin agave and carefully crafted by Iván Saldaña. This offers up a well-balanced blend of roasted agave notes, herbaceous elements and a classic whiff of…  More info

Montelobos Joven Mezcal
3
$45.05
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Pensador Espadín

50cl, 47.5%
Pensador

Excellent Mezcal from the Pensador range, with a focus of the Espadín agave! Traditional production methods are used to produce the spirit, making for a flavoured expression that'll be perfect for…  More info

Pensador Espadín
3
$32.61

Corte Vetusto Espadín

70cl, 45%
Corte Vetusto

Under the watchful eye of fourth generation Master Distiller Juan Carlos Gonzalez Diaz, Corte Vetusto Espadín Mezcal is produced. Before distillation, the agave is cooking in traditional earthen pit…  More info

Corte Vetusto Espadín
8
$59.23
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Ilegal Añejo

70cl, 40%
Ilegal

"This stuff's so good it should be Ilegal [sic]"Chortle chortle, merriment and mirth. Oh, but seriously though, this is a very tasty mezcal, made in Tlacolula in Mexico's Oaxaca region. It was twice…  More info

Ilegal Añejo
3
$87.38
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Ilegal Reposado

70cl, 40%
Ilegal

This is a delicious Reposado Mezcal from the Ilegal company. It's distilled at Destileria Tlacolula in Oaxaca, Mexico, and is double distilled in copper stills. It's then aged in American oak before…  More info

Ilegal Reposado
5
$58.39

Pensador Mezcal

50cl, 48%
Pensador

Don Atenogenes and his family create Pensador Mezcal in his fields near Miahuatlan, Oaxaca, using traditional methods which remain largely unchanged since the 16th Century. They use a combination of…  More info

Pensador Mezcal
12
$39.64

Papadiablo Mezcal Especial (47.7%)

70cl, 47.7%
Papadiablo

Pope Devil. That's what the name of this excellent joven Mezcal translates to. As we're sure you'll agree, that's a pretty strong and genuinely awesome name - and those adjectives do indeed also…  More info

Papadiablo Mezcal Especial (47.7%)
1
$73.81
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Mezcal Verde

70cl, 42%
Verde Momento

Mezcal from the Verde Momento, now bottled at a slightly bumped up ABV of 42%. The labels still feature artwork from Mexican artists, and the mezcal within still impresses greatly. Good stuff all…  More info

Mezcal Verde
1
$33.11
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Banhez Joven Ensemble Mezcal

70cl, 42%
Banhez

A top mezcal from Banhez, perfect for mixing or sipping! It's a blend of 90% Espadín agave and 10% Barril agave, with oodles of tropical fruit sweetness balancing a whiff of smoke. We're already…  More info

Banhez Joven Ensemble Mezcal
$38.43
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Pelotón de la Muerte

70cl, 41%
Destilados Artesanales

Pelotón de la Muerte is a silver Mezcal made using Espadin agave. The name means 'Brigade of Death', named after a group of insurgents during the Mexican Revolution - their flag is also featured on…  More info

Pelotón de la Muerte
3
$44.17

QuiQuiRiQui Matatlan Mezcal

70cl, 45%
QuiQuiRiQui

A spectacular starter Mezcal for those looking to get into the traditional spirit, QuiQuiRiQui Matatlan Mezcal is a grandstand of classic flavours, from smoky to sugary sweet, from earthy notes to a…  More info

QuiQuiRiQui Matatlan Mezcal
7
$36.43

Bruxo X

70cl, 40%
Bruxo

This handcrafted Joven mezcal was made from an ensemble of Espadin and Barril Agave using traditional production methods. The agave is slow-cooked in an earthen pit and crushed with a tahona, before…  More info

Bruxo X
3
$38.62

Casamigos Mezcal Joven

70cl, 40%
Casamigos

George Clooney and Rande Gerber may have sold their five-year-old tequila company, Casamigos, to Diageo for $700 million (with the potential for another $300 million based on sales performance,…  More info

Casamigos Mezcal Joven
7
$58.16

Ojo de Tigre Joven Mezcal

70cl, 37%
Ojo de Tigre

This artisanal mezcal from Ojo de Tigre showcases a blend of both Espadín and Tobalá agave! This is an unaged Joven expression, with oodles of fresh fruit and citrus to be found alongside gentle…  More info

Ojo de Tigre Joven Mezcal
$35.16
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Mezcal Vago Elote

70cl, 49.9%
Mezcal Vago

An interesting expression from Mezcal Vago – Elote is a mezcal made with espadín agave where, between the second and third distillation, roasted corn is added into the mix. This imparts a touch of…  More info

Mezcal Vago Elote
$67.28

Madre Mezcal (70cl)

70cl, 45%
Madre Mezcal

Madre Mezcal is produced by the Morales family in Oaxaca, using a cracking combination of Espadín and Cuishe agave, cooked over hot stone in earthen pits and crushed with a stone tahona wheel. A…  More info

Madre Mezcal (70cl)
$61.75

Ilegal Joven (70cl)

70cl, 40%
Ilegal

A 70cl bottling of the classic Ilegal Joven mezcal. This stuff is excellent, and it's produced using traditional methods, like roasting the agave in an earthen pit, which is always appreciated.  More info

Ilegal Joven (70cl)
$44.97

Corte Vetusto Tobalá

70cl, 43.8%
Corte Vetusto

The Corte Vetusto Tobalá comes hand-crafted by fourth generation master distiller Juan Carlos Gonzalez Diaz, and boasts 100% wild agave. This Joven (un-aged) mezcal stands at 42% ABV. It's a smooth…  More info

Corte Vetusto Tobalá
4
$96.47
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Del Maguey Santo Domingo Albarradas Mezcal

70cl, 48%
Del Maguey

A superb single estate Mezcal from Del Maguey. This was produced at Santo Domingo Albarradas, which is located in the Mixe region in southern Oaxaca.  More info

Del Maguey Santo Domingo Albarradas Mezcal
$74.26

Gem & Bolt Mezcal

70cl, 44%
Gem & Bolt

Gem & Bolt Mezcal is made using espadín agave, but that's not all - it also features damiana, a traditional Mexican herb. The name comes from a story of how Mezcal came to be: a lightning bolt struck…  More info

Gem & Bolt Mezcal
1
$55.27

Madre Mezcal (200ml)

20cl, 45%
Madre Mezcal

A zazzy little 20cl bottle of Madre Mezcal! It's distilled in a copper pot still in Oaxaca from Espadin and Cuishe agave varieties, full of herbal smoky notes. The perfect little gift for agave…  More info

Madre Mezcal (200ml)
$24.06

Jaral De Berrio Mezcal

70cl, 36%
Jaral de Berrio

Jaral de Berrio Mezcal is made using 100% Salmiana agave using traditional methods. The Salmiana species is native to central and southern Mexico. A surprisingly sweet nose develops vegetal notes of…  More info

Jaral De Berrio Mezcal
$30.65

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