The idea of a budget mezcal might as well be an oxymoron. It’s up there with “jumbo shrimp” and “Amtrak schedule” as a phrase that doesn’t really make an awful lot of sense. If you want to go cheap on Mexican spirits, there’s a plethora of plastic handled, bottom shelf tequilas — perfect to mix into your favorite cocktails. They might also come with a wicked hangover the next morning but that’s neither here nor there.
If you want to delve into the world of mezcal this winter (and you should), you’ll have to pay a little more (don’t worry, it won’t leave you penniless). Don’t worry, the payoff is huge. The smoky, vegetal flavor of mezcal is perfectly suited for slow sipping on cold winter nights. So we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their favorite “bang for your buck” mezcals to drink this winter.
El Silencio Espadin
View this post on Instagram
⚫️ ➖ ➖ El Silencio, Espadin🌵 ✖️ Fuente Chateau Fuente Maduro 💨 ➖ ➖ Arguably, the perfect & most versatile entry level Espadin, El Silencio’s shows a sharp, slightly dusty and semi dry nose. Assertive smoke with the scent of a new pair of Adidas. Some powdered tart candy as well. The palate has a light body with medium spice and tons of roasted agave on the front of the tongue. The finish is medium-long with a slow spice decrescendo. Drinks bolder than 43% ABV, & holds up beautifully in cocktails. ➖ This Fuente won’t overpower this lighter Espadin while the smoke from both parties creates a beautiful marriage. Salud 🙏🏻 ➖ ➖ #elsilencio #elsilencioespadin #arturofuente #arturofuentecigars #candles #espadin #mezcal #mezcalito #mezcalería #mezcalartesanal #mescal #agave #wildagave #mexico #california #mezcalifornia #mezcalandcigars #sanfrancisco #cigar #cigars #nowsmoking #cigarsociety #cigarsmoking #cigarstyle #cigarstagram #cigarsocialclub #salud #cheers
Tara Shadzi lead bartender at BOA Steakhouse in Los Angeles
“What’s the best budget mezcal? El Silencio Espadin. We carry it at BOA. It’s smoky, has character, and works well in margaritas or on the rocks.”