The beauty of a terroir focused espadin tasting is that it is fun for people new to mezcal as well as well seasoned sippers. There are so many espadin mezcals from Oaxaca that this could be repeated with unique spirits many times over. As a start, this curated tasting features 3 different still types and three different regions. An interesting next step would be to taste three espadin mezcals that feature the same still type but from different regions, or simply from different producers, to hone in even further on the unique characteristics of every aspect of production. Anyone who says or acts like espadin from Oaxaca is boring is 100% wrong; the world of Oaxacan espadin is wildly diverse and exciting!
If you can’t find one of these, try to replace it with something that uses the same still type as the original selection.
- Don Amado Rustico: A classic mezcal from Minas, made with mechanical crushing, open air fermentation, and double distilled in traditional clay pot stills. The creamy and earthy flavor of clay pot distillation is a hallmark of the Minas terroir.
- Tosba Espadin: Agaves from the microclimate in San Cristobal Lachirioag are made with tahona crushing, open air fermentation, and double distilled in small copper pot stills.
- Mal Bien Espadin Felix Ramirez: Made with tahona crushing, open air fermentation and distilled once in a copper still with refrescadera. Refrescadera is an additional section on the still that circulates cool water, allowing an almost double distillation in one run of the still.
Local and seasonal is better than ‘authentic.’ The idea is to mimic the traditional flavor paradigms, not to try and recreate the exact experience you or a friend may have enjoyed in Oaxaca.
- Seasoned salt & fruit: don’t be afraid to use fruits other than citrus, like apples, pears, or even sweet vegetables like cucumber and tomato. Sal de gusano, tajin, or a custom seasoned salt all work.
- Cheese: Quesillo if you can find it readily, otherwise a good quality mozzarella with some flaky sea salt should do the trick.
- Dark chocolate: Ideally fair trade and 65-85% cacao.
- Crunchy Salty: chapulines if readily available, otherwise roasted sunflower seeds, peanuts, or chips.