Oaxaca gets the super-vast majority of all press for mezcal, but that does a great disservice to the many other Mexican regions that produce the spirit. Zacatecas mezcal is, like its people, magical; mezcal in Michoacán is harsh yet beautiful.
And then you get to Guerrero, one of Mexico’s most beautiful yet misunderstood states, and a place that has sent tens of thousands of people to SanTana alone. I once had a Guerrero mezcal made with passion fruit—as spectacular as it sounds. But you see almost no mezcal guerrerense in Southern California—in fact, I had never seen one sold commercially until finding Mezcales de Leyenda at The Mixing Glass.
The Leyenda line is committed to highlighting mezcal diversity (and sustainable practices), and their Guerrero choice is emblematic of the jungle state. It starts hot but ends with a fruitiness you don’t get from Oaxacan mezcales. Don’t waste this chingón on a cocktail—it’s a sipper. And if Mixing Glass owner Gabrielle Dion doesn’t have any more on stock, buy something else—and put a deposit down on the next shipment.
Available at The Mixing Glass, 3313 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 975-9952; www.themixingglassshop.com