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Mezcal Secret Society Tours Oaxaca Palenques, Mezcalerias & Restaurants

by Alvin Starkman of Casa Machaya
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Mezcal tasting and dining tour
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Mezcal tasting and dining tour
  Sociedad de Mezcaleros
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Chango Mezcalero Origin
ProMéxico Promotes Mezcal
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Recicado from the Mixteca Alta
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filling an in-ground oven with agave piñas

The reclusive US based Sociedad de Mezcaleros began and ended its insatiable exploration in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, as should any tour focused on an in depth education of the manufacture of mezcal (aka mescal), its use as a cooking ingredient, and of course flavor nuances and tasting notes - based on varietal of agave, means of production, terra firma, altitude, water source and aging. After all, the world's finest mezcales are distilled in and around the central valleys of the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca.

After well over a year of planning, the truly comprehensive mezcal tour of Oaxaca proceeded with flawless precision in March / April 2012; even through random heavy downpours and the occasional earth tremor. Every hour of the itinerary was scheduled with visiting palenques to expand mind and palate; sampling, eating and imbibing to often bacchanalian proportion; and visiting both off-the-beaten-track sights as well as a selection of Oaxaca's not-to-be-missed traditional cultural attractions.

The Sociedad presidente had virtually demanded that his man-on-the-ground in Oaxaca maintain the grueling schedule for the group. "Leave it the way it is; I know these guys and they can handle it," he exclaimed. "With each assembly of agave aficionados we bring down we have to look at their personalities and primary motivation; these particular people want to learn as much about mezcal in the shortest period of time possible, and most of them simply don't have the luxury of touring at a leisurely pace."

Indeed most of the charter members of the Sociedad spent only four full days in Oaxaca. But a few did stay on longer to take in what less than a week of intensive day and night activity could simply not accomplish.

In the end, most of the newly inducted members of the mezcal order:

Organizers kept many details of the tour under wraps and unknown to participants until the hour dictated disclosure. "When it comes to mezcal and agave in Oaxaca, there's just so much more we can do," beamed el presidente, leaning over a fine oak bar one earlier morning towards the tour's end. No doubt other surprises are in store for new initiates into the Sociedad de Mezcaleros.

Alvin Starkman operates Casa Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast with wife Arlene. Alvin's interests lie in all things mezcal, pulque & agave; helping tourists to the region to get the most out of their Oaxacan vacation; and writing to promote Oaxacan travel and tourism.

This page has been visited times since November 16, 2012.

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