In the grand, cosmic joke that is human history, few things have sparked as much hilarity and headache as mezcal. You see, mezcal isn’t just a drink; it’s a journey—a whimsical stroll through time with a buzz.
Our story begins, as all good stories do, in the heart of Mexico, long before the Spaniards decided to drop by uninvited. The indigenous people of Mexico, who were busy not inventing the wheel, discovered something arguably better: the agave plant. And like any reasonable civilization confronted with a spiky plant, they decided to drink it.
Thus, mezcal was born, not out of necessity, but out of the human spirit’s unquenchable thirst for “Why the heck not?”
The process was simple: find an agave, cook it, ferment it, and voila—nature’s way of saying, “Let’s see what happens.”
Fast forward a few centuries. The Spaniards arrive, bringing with them horses, guns, and an insatiable desire for gold. They also brought distillation techniques, which was their second biggest mistake, right after underestimating the Aztecs. The locals took one look at these techniques and thought, “We can make our crazy plant juice even crazier.” And crazier they made it.
Mezcal, you see, is like tequila’s older, wiser, and infinitely more mysterious sibling. It’s what tequila would be if it read philosophy and occasionally talked to cacti. In the world of spirits, mezcal is the uncle who shows up at family gatherings with bewildering stories and unsolicited advice.
The beauty of mezcal lies in its variety. Each batch is as unique as a snowflake, assuming snowflakes tasted like smoked sunshine and made you see God. The traditional method of making mezcal involves cooking the agave in underground pits, which is essentially a barbecue party where the guest of honor is a plant.
In recent years, mezcal has seen a resurgence, becoming the darling of hipsters and connoisseurs alike. Bars now serve mezcal with the kind of reverence usually reserved for religious artifacts or rare Pokémon cards.
But let’s not forget the real hero of this story: the worm. Yes, the infamous mezcal worm, which isn’t a worm at all, but a larva. It’s nature’s little joke, a protein-packed surprise at the bottom of your glass, daring you to question your life choices.
So there you have it, the history of mezcal—a tale of curiosity, conquest, and caterpillars. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the best things in life are discovered by accident, or at least by someone saying, “I wonder what happens if we drink this?”
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with a bottle of mezcal and possibly a larva. Cheers!