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Most of us are familiar with tequila, but fewer realize that tequila is just a subset (made only in the Mexican state of Jalisco) of mezcal, the class of liquor distilled from the agave plant. And the state of Oaxaca is to mezcal as Kentucky is to bourbon and Champagne is to, well, Champagne. If you want to taste mezcal at the source, Oaxaca is the place to go.
And these days, a new brand of sustainable mezcal is being produced in Oaxaca with the opening of Sombra Mescal, a palenque (mescal distillery) which harvests not only agave but solar power and rainwater, and and up-cycles waste into adobe bricks to safeguard the land, the local economy and their people. Located in the town of Santiago Matatlán, the "world capital of mezcal" an hour southeast of Oaxaca city, production will be at full capacity by early summer 2018, and later this year Sombra will welcome spirits-seekers to tour its eco-friendly, state-of-the-art operation.