Oaxaca city is one of the most stunning gems on Mexico’s golden corona. A culturally rich, beautifully preserved town brimming with artists, musicians, chefs and designers galore. It’s heaven for the creative at heart and inspiration to the thousands of tourists who pilgrimage here in search of the ‘real’ mexico. And then there is the mezcal. That’s the other reason for a visit. Mezcal is the woody flavored, more artisenal (so the Oaxacans say) sister to tequilla and it is hand-made in typically, very small mezcalerias. Walking into a mezcaleria transports you back a few hundred years- the mules hard at work circling slowly around a massive stone grinder, huge wooden vats fermenting burnt agave, the wood burning ovens spewing smoke to heat the bubbling liquid inside delicate copper pots which slowly drips out the final product, a clear delicious beverage with an extremely woody essence. The flavor of mezcal is Oaxacan to the core. The best mezcal we drank was from the distillery Danzantes. Drink your mezcal with sliced oranges and sal de gusano, which is a ground powdered mixture of sea salt, a variety of dried chiles and dried gusano de maguey.