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Watch Bobby Heugel's Visit With Mexico's Unsung Mezcal Producers

You think you know mezcal, but you have no idea.

Mezcal's rise in popularity has been a rocky one. Always playing second fiddle to tequila, its more popular agave-based sibling (which is technically a mezcal itself), mezcal is finally receiving the recognition it deserves but not some of its producers. Similar to certain regions of France, there are regions within Mexico that are allowed to refer to their spirits mezcal through the Denominación de Origen Mezcal (DOM).

Bartending wizard and restaurateur Bobby Heugel finds out, "you have to stop putting mezcal in a box," through his recent travels with the Tequila Interchange Project to Mexico. Heugel crosses paths with unknown mezcal producers DOM doesn't recognize and comes to the realization that "we need to have a fascination with [mezcal producer's] lifestyle," versus being fascinated with small producers in Mexico.