The culinary geniuses at Mixtli restaurant – known for their authentic Mexican flavors presented creatively in a train box car – have opened the doors to their newest San Antonio venture: Mezcaleria Mixtli.
The team behind this unique bar was recently filmed for an episode of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and they've already garnered national attention for their superb, well . . . everything.
But as good as their food is, their drinks are even better.
Puesta del Sol at Mezcaleria Mixtli — Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta
Mezcaleria Mixtli, located at the Yard shopping center in the Olmos Park neighborhood in central San Antonio, will also focus on Mexican-centric flavors and feature Mexican spirits such as tequila and the largest variety of mezcals you'll find in the city.
"We're the only place in San Antonio that really cares about mezcal the way we do, and that’s what the real draw is – just being able to celebrate Mexican spirits in that capacity," says Co-owner and Beverage Director Jesse Torres. "There are only a handful of places like this in the country. It’s a pretty big deal."
If you're wondering what a mezcal is, then you've been missing out!
"Mezcal is the most diverse spirit out there . . . aside from maybe rum or whiskey," says Torres.
Mezcaleria Mixtli's bar shelf — Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta
Mezcal is made from different types of agave. There are about 60 of them right now that can be made into mezcal. Like champagne, a mezcal is not a mezcal unless it's produced in specific regions. The primary state in Mexico where you find mezcals is Oaxaca, but it can be produced in eight different states.
What's most unique about mezcal is the often smokey flavor that comes from how it's produced.
"The actual agave hearts, called pinas, are buried in the ground and baked, so it picks up the smoke," says Torres, who explains that it's much different than how tequilas are produced – usually steamed or baked in a commercial oven.
Somewhat of a mixologist wizard, Torres is well-known for his surprisingly inventive and delicious concoctions, including mezcals. He once presented a drink at a Mixtli dinner that was intended to taste like desert rain and, indeed, it did.
He makes the kind of drinks that not only capture flavors, but spark memories.
And for Mezcaleria Mixtli, it's all about preserving and learning about traditional Mexican methods of food and drink. They only import spirits from companies they know personally that use these traditional methods.
But the ingredients are just the foundation of what makes Mezcaleria Mixtli special. The true magic of the Mixtli group comes from not only a passion for tradition, but also a dedication to quality and craftsmanship.
You could call Torres' personal style scientific. He does a lot of research to investigate the science behind everything he works with.
"I like to know how things work - everything, such as how ice forms. So I put that all into play," he says.
If you find yourself getting hungry, don't despair! The Mezcaleria will also be serving hand-crafted edibles, called botanas, or Mexican snacks.
As they say, they've taken their inspiration from the streets of Mexico to its coasts, highlands and valleys, as well as its Spanish influences.
Although the menu will be constantly changing at Mezcaleria Mixtli, you can expect delights such as Chiles Toreados, fire-roasted serrano and jalapeño peppers with lime and Maggi; Cebollitas, charred spring onions with lime and Oaxacan sea salt; and Chicharrones con Valentina – yes, scintillating pork cracklins with salsa Valentina and lime.
If you're not sure what to do in San Antonio, start your night out at Mezcaleria Mixtli, and you're practically guaranteed an unbelievable evening!