The first time I really experienced the true magic of mezcal was November 1, 2003 at a Dia de los Muertos celebration in Oaxaca. Bottles of the elixir were passed through the crowd as we danced to banda music in the old panteon of Oaxaca. It was exhilarating, crazy and life changing. At the time I didn’t realize just how much it determined my love affair with mezcal.
Fast forward nine years, and a month of non-stop life altering events, including eviction from my home of 20 years, the death of my only sibling, and the guardianship of my eight year old nephew. Para todo mal indeed.
And so I did what I know how to do – threw a party, a housecooling to celebrate 20 amazing years at my humble abode in San Francisco’s Mission District. 20 some bottles of mezcal that had been collected over the past year that needed to be consumed, a lamb mole to feed the guests, an adult treat filled piñata, and non-stop music, all to take place on November 2nd.
Oh how the mezcal flowed – and this time it was my great privilege to pass bottles, pour copitas and introduce dozens of people to the drink that has been my passion for the past several years. Mezcal is the ultimate party beverage – the equivalent of passing a peace pipe, a shared experience, a bringing together. The distance between San Francisco and Oaxaca never seemed so slight – we danced and laughed till dawn and brought forth all of the joy of 20 years at Casa 812. And I am pretty damn sure we woke the dead, that the spirits of the people who passed through the doors over the years came and they danced with us as well.
Now it is off to Oaxaca for five weeks of mezcal adventures, and the stories that will be shared.