One of Mexico's most beloved mezcal brands is branching away from their flagship spirit to produce a form of whiskey made from Oaxacan corn. After years of experimentation, the magical elixir is finally coming to San Francisco.
Nopalito, the Mexican-inspired spinoff of Divisadero's ever-popular Nopa, has almost everything its big sister has: a loyal following, tasty food, great reviews...but for the past year, only Nopa has had access to a full bar. Thanks to the ABC, however, Nopalito is no longer the Skipper to Nopa's Barbie: its full liquor offering began yesterday, and unsurprisingly for a Mexican joint, it's almost entirely focused on tequila. Nopa's renowned bartender Neyah White has curated a small but powerful menu of five tasty drinks, including the delicious Diablo ($9), a mix of tequila, ginger beer, and creme de cassis.
While I’ve been writing about artisanal mezcal—the smoky, complex, and original agave spirit of Mexico—for years, my articles have often been written more out of the hope of inciting a trend than actually chronicling a real one. But now, I can finally say with confidence that there is a definite mezcal trend occurring.
Last Tuesday, the launch of Sombra mezcal was celebrated at Rye. You don't have to know me well to know that there are few people more enthusiastic about mezcal than I. That fact alone represents a strange turn of events for me, considering that I went ten years without being able to drink any agave spirit after one of those incidents in high school where I drank too much bad mezcal at a friend's lake house party. During that period, even the aroma of anything agave would make me recoil.