Ten years ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything other than a dusty $20 bottle of worm-drowning swill in the mezcal section of your liquor store. Today, you can easily drop $100 on wild-harvested, handcrafted tepextate or tobalá from any number of industrious importers.
As a result of its popularity these last few years, there's also a swath of wonderful Mexican mezcals in between those two price point extremes. Some are lower-proof, cocktail-friendly expressions that rarely rise above 40 percent ABV; others neat-sipping entry points for higher-shelf brands. They're all joven (young, unaged) spirits, and produced the old-fashioned way (except for one), but from 100 percent cultivated espadín agave (the genetic mother to tequila's blue weber variety). Plus, they're all excellent. Get those glasses ready.
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