40 Responses

  1. Elena Urschel at |

    My daughter and I traveled to Oaxaca for El Dia de Los Muertos %in October/November 2011 and were driven to the illegal mezcal facility outside of town. This was my first taste of mezcal and I totally fell in love with it and I also believe that the illegal brand is the best I’ve ever tasted and I’ve had probably 15-20 different brands.

    I made up a recipe of fresh pineapple, lime juice, ice, and mezcal using a Vitamix. It becomes “frothy but then the froth separates and I wonder if there’s a way to keep it together and thought of trying maybe some powdered meringue. Any ideas on that?

    The above recipe with cilantro sounds fabulous. My favorite though is straight up in a glass.

  2. Virtual Private Servers at |

    Another plant central to Oaxaca s exploding food scene is the agave, which has taken the world by storm in the last few years with the mezcal s increasing popularity. Often touted as tequila s smokier cousin, this particular agave distillate, which is native to the state, is produced differently and on a much smaller-scale.

  3. La Pomoteca at |

    Hi, Excellent article!! I just want to let you know that if you are in Mexico, you can buy online Chromium and Maria de Agave Mezcal (www.pomoteca.com). These Mezcales are also produced by Eric, the same producer of Illegal Mezcal.

  4. doxa750 at |

    Just got back from Tulum, Mexico and missed the opportunity to snag a good bottle of mezcal. The truth I didn’t know much about it and had been turned off by the worm as I felt it was too gimmicky. At the duty free airport, that was where I learned about a bit about the beauty of this pieces of art. Since then I have been obsessed in finding the right first bottle for me.

    This was where I ran into your website. BTW, I read a few other as well, but yours is stellar! Thanks for sharing all your passion with us all. I have one question though as I set my heart on Ilegal Mezcal. Should I go with Anejo or Reposado?

    1. Craig Stancliff at |

      Well, I have to weigh in on Blanco Agave spirits. The true essence lies in adorned mescal. Es verdad?

  5. Dylan Sinclair at |

    Heard great things about this bar and crew while in Oaxaca! Glad they are living up to the hype. 🙂

  6. K D Kearney at |

    Great article on the Ilegal palenque .

    I first had mezcal over the 4th of July 2013 weekend in San Antonio Texas at the Rio Rio Cantina . I had never seen mezcal anywhere before and was intrigued to try something new and different. I asked the waiter for a recommendation and he brought me an Illegal Joven which I thoroughly enjoyed . Later in the meal he brought me a drink of the El Tinieblo Reposado which had been incorrectly poured by the bartender . I accepted it greedily and I was now hooked on mezcal.

    Having moved from the Bluegrass to the Prarie, I converted from bourbon to mezcal . Soon after I found Mezcal PHD and am now a fan of the site as well as the liquid .

    Plug : I am a confirmed purchaser and reader of Holy Smoke! It’s Mezcal! .

    Best wishes and salud

    K D Kearney

  7. tabano at |

    So are we saying Jaime does not belive Eric is the No1 certified palenque??
    Are we taking about Jaime Muñoz from Danzantes and so very recently COMERCAM treasurer? or who is this Jaime? Cause this guy is friend and shareholder of Hipocrates, what it now seems to be a company (CRM) trying to control all in the mezcal world? WTH is wrong with you false prophets!!!

    It is not about believes but about facts.

    1. Craig Stancliff at |

      Ok, Jaime!! Who might you be? What’s your agenda?

  8. Mike Jones at |

    Hey John,

    All this time I’ve been using sal de gusano only to learn now that it should be sal de guano… so I guess I need to start digging around bat caves for my salt…. Here in Huatulco again on the Oaxacan coast. Was in my favorite bar the other night and met Clint Bell and his wife…. they’re just down from Oaxaca with 19 bottles of liquid gold. We toasted you. Thanks for the fun article about one of my favorite mezcals.

  9. Mike Jones at |

    Thanks, John… All this time I’ve been using sal de gusano… and apparently should have been using sal de guano. I’ll start hunting for it… Down here in Huatulco on the Oaxacan coast now… Drinking in my favorite bar the other evening ran into Clint & Mona Bell… They were just back from Oaxaca with 19 bottles of liquid sunshine. We tipped a few to your good health. Thanks for writing about Illegal… their reposado is one of my all-time favorites.

  10. Craig Stancliff at |

    As always…well written and I gotta get back down there. BTW–I’m working with the producers of Whiskey Del Bac. I just returned from doing some tastings with a few well known venues in SF…Trick Dog etc. Everyone remarked on the similarity to an Agave spirit of the Clear expression. (the malt is smoked using velvet mesquite wood). Someday maybe we can figure out the Agave nose connection. Keep those posts comin…

  11. Fly at |

    Ilegal’s añejo was my gateway drug into the Jovens and reposados. It’s caramel, vanilla and smoothness made me fall in love with the category. And by the way, paired with a square of high quality dark chocolate just takes it to a sinful new level.

  12. Jaime at |

    “first certified producer…O01X” Are your 100% certain on that fact? I know when it comes to tequila the lower the NOM really doesn’t really mean much. Great story otherwise

  13. Mario at |

    Indeed a wonderful trip….very fortunate for the gang and I to be hanging out with the PhD in Oaxaca and getting true VIP treatment at the palenques throughout the region!

  14. Rimas Sidrys at |


    As much as I’m dying to make a trip out there, I don’t see it happening soon. At least I can experience Oaxaca vicariously through your travels and connections.

    Thanks for posting – I look forward to the rest of the series!


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