360XQ Day 11: Mezcalería
Rather last-minute, I got an invitation from a fellow writer-in-residence to hop over to the nearby town of Ajijic. To drink mezcal. I said yes, obviously.
We got in the cab, and a few miles down the road, he turned to the cab driver and said, "Do you know the mezcal bar in Ajijic?" The driver said he did not. Cringe one.
However! Our driver was resourceful, polling people along the way, and got us to the destination...which was, apparently, a tiny pizzeria? Cringe two.
However! Behind the first room with the pizza oven was the bar...a very tiny bar, with exactly one type of mezcal. Cringe three.
However! Behind the tiny bar was an outdoor seating area with tables and couches, and the mezcal came with delicious house-made sangrita, which was flavored with orange, cilantro and mint.
Okay. Things were looking better.
My friend told me he'd heard of this place from another writer who had come to the residency earlier in the year. She'd met someone during her stay, they fell in love, and now she was moving to Mexico to be with him! Pretty good story.
But wait, there's more. A few minutes later, who should appear, but this very couple we were discussing. They invited us back up to the front, where we talked for hours, ate some of the previously mentioned pizza (complete with some magical lettuce-based sauce), and I proceeded to drink the following items:
- More mezcal. Of course.
- Agua miel, a sweet probiotic drink full of honey-laden goodness, spiked with mezcal.
- Pulque! The old-school fermented agave drink that preceded beer in Mexico, which I enjoyed mixed with mint water. It came in this amazing jarrito, and it made my night.
Actually, what made my night was the series of long, wandering conversations I had with my new friends. And all of their friends who came by. And all of their friends who came by. That tiny little room, by the time we left, was jammed full of lovely, happy people.
I almost hadn't gone out at all. And by the time I got back home I was tired and woozy. But the warm night air was amazing, and all the cringe-feelings were completely forgotten. I'm glad I didn't listen to them. They could have ruined a perfectly good adventure.