Best known for having a worm or two at the bottom of each bottle, Mezcal is among the least-known traditional Mexican drinks -- but not for long. The strange, agave-based drink is fueling interest in the frontier region and tourism across the border.
Mezcal has been produced since prehistoric times by Mexico's indigenous people and continues to enjoy a reputation of exoticism. The tour group T.R.I.P. has begun organizing voyages with the intent of exposing tourists to the drink, the artisans who produce it and the population that enjoys it. Thus far, such "alcohol tourism" has helped expand the national industry beyond its traditional routes. Moreover, the Mexican government sees the growing popularity of Mezcal as a reaffirmation of their culture in an increasingly homogenous, globalized world.
To give you an idea of the drink's cultural importance and personal power, remember this famous Mexican aphorism: "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, too.)
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