Friday, June 28, 2019


By José Alberto Hermosillo
Vive Mezcal, Oaxaca 2019 Yola 1971. Proud exhibitor

Oaxaca celebrates “Vive Mezcal” in September 2019. The State of Oaxaca organizers were promoting their city's largest Mezcal Summit in Los Angeles.

Oaxaca's paradisiac beaches became famous in 2001 with the Oscar-nominated film “Y tu mamá también” by Alfonso Cuarón. In the story, a trio played by Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, and Maribel Verdú drank Mezcal, ate the worm that comes inside the bottle, and had sex afterward. 

As we saw in the film, Oaxaca is known for its friendly people, millenarian culture, exquisite Cuisine, and famous Mezcal.

Oaxaca Authorities Promoting in Los Angeles Vive Mezcal. Photo José A. Hermosillo

According to the representatives of the Southerner State, the best face of Oaxaca is its gastronomy. That includes the Mezcal. As tequila is for Jalisco, mezcal is for Oaxaca. The name of the distilled alcoholic beverage, “mezcal,” means “oven-cooked agave” from the Nahuatl (Aztec language).
Secretary of Tourism Juan Carlos Rivera Castellanos, promoting Vive Mezcal. Photo: José A. Hermosillo

The Secretary of Economy, Juan Pablo Guzmán, and the Secretary of Tourism, Juan Carlos Rivera, organized this promotional business meeting in Los Angeles to incentivize people to travel to their fascinating land for an unforgettable experience. 

The event brought together investors, restaurant owners, importers, and the local press.

Quesadilla at La Guelaguetza Restaurant. Photo: José A. Hermosillo
The guests savored the delicious varieties of Mezcal and the exquisite food of the iconic Guelaguetza Restaurant. 

The L.A. eatery became famous for being part of the 2015 documentary “City of Gold.” The film cronicles the experiences of the food critic, culinary geographer, and Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Gold, who visited the restaurant regularly when he was alive.
Tostadas de chileajo, Guelaguetza Restaurant. Photo Jose A. Hermosillo
This restaurant is located near Downtown Los Angeles and was the perfect setting to taste delightful food and remarkable Mezcal.
Guelaguetza Restaurant hosted Vive Mezcal Press Conference. Photo José A. Hermosillo
Men and women work together to prepare this drinkable artisanal liquor that many consider aphrodisiac. 

Generations transmitted the making of this stimulating beverage until it became premium. The agave takes 30 years to mature and needs 25 kilos to make one liter of Mezcal.

Mezcal Ilegal, a product of Oaxaca. Vive Mezcal. Photo José A, Hermosillo
The Mezcal has three different manufacturers: industrial, artisanal, and ancestral. The Mezcal is made from wide varieties of agave, as wine has different types of grapes. 

The Mezcal acquires personality, heart, flavor, aroma, and identity in the distillation process.
Convite mezcal, 30 years, and 15 years. Vive Mezcal, Los Angeles. Photo: José A. Hermosillo

The denomination of origin is acquired by the quality of the agave mezcal and the aging process, which takes 8, 15, and 30 years.

The acceptance of Mezcal in the world is growing at a fast pace. The production of Mezcal has increased to four million liters a year. Forty percent of the manufactured products are exported to the States, Europe, and Asia.
Gilberto Márquez. Mezcal Ilegal supports Vive Mezcal. Photo: José A. Hermosillo
92.3% of the Mezcal is produced in the State of Oaxaca. The brands we tested here were “Mezcal Ilegal,” “Yola 1971,” and “Convite.” All of the Mezcal we tried was delicious.
Critic José A. Hermosillo. Gilberto Márquez promoviendo "Vive Mezcal."
In September, the Mezcal Expo “Vive Mezcal” takes place in Oaxaca in a 247,549-square-foot facility. Over three intense days, the city is expected to receive 12,000 visitors who will learn more about the 700 brands of Mezcal from 150 producers and 40 expositors.

The Expo will host over 1,500 business meetings, workshops, conferences, and cultural activities. 

The Mexican Mezcal makers of Oaxaca have already broken a few Guinness Records and are ready to continue that tradition. The mezcal industry generates $524,000 US dollars in revenue annually.
Garra de Tigre, a sweet and spicy margarita made with mezcal. At Guelaguetza Restaurant. Photo José A. Hermosillo
The Expo also includes “Oaxaca Flavors,” which offers 70 local and international talented chefs’ culinary creations. As a friendly reminder, UNESCO declared Mexican Cuisine an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010.


Oaxaca has been the setting of many international films like Alfonso Cuarón’s “Y tu mamá también,” “The Girl,” with Charlize Theron. Death in the Garden” by Luis Buñuel. “The Important Man/Ánimas Trujano” with Toshirö Mifune earned Mexico an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film in 1961.  

More recently, the famous “Nacho Libre” was shot in Oaxaca in 2006. The Mexican production “Carmín Tropical” is an excellent crime-thriller involving the Muxes of transgender people in a small coastal community. 

The German co-production “Los Angeles” was also made in Oaxaca. Now, Netflix is producing “Desenfrenadas” in the exact magic locations.

Desenfrenadas, Netflix production in Oaxaca.

The American market represents millions of revenues and employment for investors, producers, and consumers from both sides of the border. Now, Los Angeles, Miami, and Huston are offering frequent flights to the City of Oaxaca for you to travel directly and live the whole experience that this mysterious and vibrant land has to offer.

Admission is free. You can register now at

Related Articles:
“Roma” Anarchy and Repression in an Epic B&W Mexican Drama

Festival in L.A. ©2019