Both Gabino Juarez and his father Jacopo pay to use a couple of small stills in a communal distillery in Rancho Viejo

On the way to Ranch Viejo. Four hours from Oaxaca City

Gabino does single-distillation mezcals. On top of his still is a refrescadera, a water-cooled rectification chamber. To our taste, these mezcals are truer to the agave.

Gabino ferments in small cylindrical vats. There’s a bit of added complexity from variations in fermentation.

Jacobo Juan and his grandson at Gabino’s house. The kid, aged four, brought out folding chairs when we drove up.

Talking mezcals and prices.

Loading Jacobo’s tobala.