Full confession time (better you hear it from us than read it somewhere else)…we’re having an affair. Yes, that’s right, you heard us correctly; we’re CHEATING on our first love (whisky) and have fallen hard for mezcal. Specifically, Ilegal Mezcal.
First it was the allure of that quiet earthiness and salty smokiness that drew us in and the realization that it could function equally as well as a base spirit, a balancing element or a float. We sipped it and pondered how beautifully it would pair with dried fruit, and then we heard the back story- smuggled from Mexico into Guatemala to serve at the low key Café No Sé, the charitable efforts supported by the brand, and finally it was their respect for local culture and community that sealed the deal for us.
Much as Inside F&B strives to be a champion and resource for the F&B industry, Ilegal began production with the mandate that the artisanal generations-old process of Mezcal production be honored in every bottle.
Brand owner John Rexer says, “We work with small artisanal palenques because we love the mezcal they produce and the Oaxacan culture from which it comes. Traditional, artisanal mezcal – vintage, small batch and handmade – is a part of Oaxaca that links the individual and the community to the land and sun and time. By working with these small producers throughout Oaxaca we hope to help preserve both the tradition and the spirit. Mezcal is not a product. It is a culture. It is as nuanced as the lines in the hands that make it. It is the opposite of industrial. It is familial, communal and ceremonial. It is new each year and the same as it was 500 years ago.”
Available as Joven, Reposado and Añejo (Reposado is our favorite) we’re hoping you’ll find yourself a bottle soon. We swear, you’ll quickly discover that doing something Ilegal never felt so good. www.ilegalmezcal.com