imageAlltequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila. That’s the first thing. Mezcal could be described as tequila’s older brother (or maybe father) as both are made from the agave plant. While mezcal can be made from any number of agaves, usually espadin agave, tequila must be made from blue agave. Tequila is industrially produced while mezcal is handcrafted in small villages, so the taste varies from village to village.

Huntington native John Rexer, owner of Ilegal Mezcal, derived the name from the many voyages he made “creatively” bringing mezcal from the Oaxaca region of Mexico to his bar in Guatemala. He found that most of his patrons preferred the artisanal quality of mezcal over tequila. He’s since brought Ilegal Mezcal to the US, available at dozens of locations in NYC and several on the west coast. Visit ilegalmezcal.com to find out where to drink and to read John’s story. Or, if you ask us nicely, we might help you get your hands on some (words@nulllipulse.com).

A young mezcal double and triple distilled. Smoke, pungent Espadin agave, pepper, heat and long finish.

Aged for 4-5 months in medium charred new oak barrels. Rounded Espadin agave, smooth smoke, green apple and heat with hints of mesquite and oak.

Aged one year in medium charred new oak. Compared to a fine single malt, hickory nose, hints of vanilla, sweet Espadin agave.