Ibiza restaurants: La Mezcalería – The culture of Mezcal
A single sip of mezcal is all one needs to develop a love and desire for understanding this ancient potion’s unique culture. The deliciously smoky spirit, lovingly distilled by hand from the agave plant native to Mexico, is enough to captivate any creative spirit or bohemian soul and is fast becoming the drink of choice for forward thinking drinkers. Here in Ibiza, mezcal has a home base: La Mezcalería – the place to drink, sip, love and experience the true culture of mezcal.
La Mezcalería are indeed pioneers when it comes to spreading the word of this magical spirit, having been one of the first to introduce it to Europe. Set within the stone walls and on the cobbled streets of the island’s UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site Dalt Vila, this intimate, Mexican-inspired eatery is a colourful, casual setting that spills into the street – perfect for people watching, sampling gourmet bites and sipping the most unique selection of artisanal mezcals on the island, straight up or in cocktail form designed to introduce newcomers to the drink.
Certainly not your typical Mexican restaurant, La Mezcalería boasts a carefully crafted menu that respects the freshness and purity of each ingredient, whether it be all the way from Mexico or directly plucked from the Mediterranean sea or soil. The most delicious creations are local, seasonal and fresh paired with tantalising spices brought in from the agave capital of the world. The result? Dishes chockful of zesty flavour that perfectly respects and accents the appealing taste of the spirit, in keeping with current culinary trends leaning towards artisanal, organic products and purity.
The ethos of La Mezcalería is simple: it’s about quality and giving back to the land from which you take. The founders of La Mezcalería learned this from their experiences in the mountains of Mexico where the importance of building strong relations with local artisans and farmers is essential. “It’s about connecting the guest to the earth and bringing meaning to each bite,” says Javier Solorzano, one of the owners of the hip hangout. “Whether you use a product from Mexico or Ibiza, it enforces the meaning of local quality.” How is it possible for a Mexican product to be considered ‘local’ in Ibiza, you ask? The team bring back different seeds and species (of chillies, for example) to Ibiza soil, fusing the two worlds so Mexican and Mediterranean gastronomy become one. All hail the wonderful world of Mexterránea!
Working closely with local farmers to cultivate the quality of produce they desire, La Mezcalería remove any ‘middle men’ from the trade equation, with ingredients going instantly from the land to your plate. “Mezcal in its purest form can work with any type of food,” explains Javier. “It’s best with the purest, freshest food – like fish, oysters and fresh tomatoes. It’s not about tacos and nachos.” Think fresh ceviche and tiraditos of Carabinero shrimp or Corbina amped up with zesty flavours, delicate cuts of salmon marinated in soy given the Mexican touch with agave syrup and habanero plus flavours of cactus, agave and seaweed woven in throughout the menu. Guacamole creations are fused with beetroot, strawberries or green apple and mint, or try the unique ‘black guacamole’ made with shrimp and squid ink. For a unique Mexterránean experience, La Mezcalería has designed a special tasting and pairing experience that includes multiple courses, tales of the spirituous liquor, a variety of flavours, learning how to identify high-end mezcals and more.
If you find yourself sipping on a delicious mezcal at famous island restaurants, clubs and bars – think Lio, Experimental Beach Ibiza, La Paloma, Km5, La Granja, Elements or Destino among others – you are indirectly sipping from the cup of La Mezcalería. Cultura Mezcal is the company’s very own importing/exporting label, with around 30 venues on their delivery books, thus spreading the culture of mezcal far beyond the walls of Dalt Vila. Should you host a party in a villa, an event on your yacht or an exclusive dinner at home, La Mezcalería is also completely mobile, with private catering, pop-up bar services and entertainment all part of the package. They’ve even been flown directly to Monaco to create a tasting experience for Prince Albert!
From annual trips to Mexico and working with the government encouraging sustainability and taking care of small producers to ensuring the production process maintains its purity – respecting the spirit is at the heart of La Mezcalería’s philosophy. The passion for purity extends all the way to the front of house staff as each team member has been extensively trained and tested to understand the distinctive traits of the spirit and its multifaceted history – some going as far as the Mexican region of Oaxaca to see the very special production process for themselves.
La Mezcalería is not some flash-in-the-pan trend or hipster fad. Rather, it is a new way for purveyors of fine food and drink to experience and take part in an ancient culture: the culture of mezcal.