Through my friend Brigam, who used to manage Chautauqua’s Vetter Vineyards winery, I volunteered with a group called Adventures In Life Ministry on a Mission trip to Oaxaca Mexico (Mexico’s Culinary Capitol!). In addition to the ruins at Monte Alban, I got to visit an incredible market with fresh meats, wonderful cheeses, leather goods and crafts. Most stunning was the fantastic local Spirit, Mezcal- available for sampling!
In the mornings we would leave our base camp in the city of Tlacolula and ride through the hills and mountains in the back of a pick up truck to San Baltazar to visit local people and work on various projects. The air in some little stops along the way appeared almost foggy with the sweet smoke of the local Mezcal makers “smoking’ their Agave plants before using them to make their delicious spirit. The resulting drink was complex, delicious and had a great smokey flavor a connoisseur of fine Islay Scotch might appreciate.