A Raicilla Worth Drinking

The bootleg cousin of tequila and mezcal gets an upgrade

There’s nothing new about raicilla as a product category. The agave spirit has long maintained a cult following in Mexico, for locals and visitors alike. Of late, it’s also been coveted by bartenders with an eye for hard-to-get spirits. The only issue has been consistency. Last year, one raicilla entered the United States by way of legal distribution after years of trickling in through a …

Learning the Anatomy of Mezcal with Montelobos

A look inside agave's distinct second spirit

There was once a time when all agave-distilled spirits were called mezcal. Tequila was simply a regionally specific iteration. As much for preservation as it was for marketing purposes, laws were put into place that ultimately made tequila and its production distinct—and cast everything else as second tier. This is no longer the case. With a boom in sales as an indicator, mezcal has not …

Olmeca Altos Tequila

A friendly 100% blue agave spirit with a smooth punch of fresh citrus, made in Jalisco

“The patience is in the fields,” explains Olmeca Tequila‘s master distiller Jesus Hernández on our recent trip to their Jalisco distillery, where we learned firsthand how they produce their Altos tequilas. While the entire process is a genuine labor of love, it all starts with a mature blue agave plant, which takes an average of seven years to cultivate. There’s no sense in harvesting the …