I ordered a shot of mezcal to start. The server was uncomfortable telling me that there was only one shot left in the bottle, and that I would likely end up with the worm, so he sent the manager over to do it. I said I was fine with the worm (show no weakness!), and poured the little guy down my gullet.
Afterwards, the owner himself (who in my head I've named "Don Picante" - real name: Guillermo Manoatl, which is basically the same thing) came over to meet the man who drank the worm. He gave me the bottle to take home. I guess I didn't realize it was a big deal. It actually turns out that they have something like eighty different types of tequila, and that the owner hosts a $10 tequila class on Thursdays. I'll probably go at some point and report back, but I was made a little wary when he described mezcal as a cheaper, lower form of tequila when it fact it's a completely different drink with its own unique and smokey character.
Depending upon the brand Mezcal you had, he was probably correct.....Gusano Rojo is the swill mezcal of Mexico and sold not only at the airports and gas stations ......The lore of the worm being good luck or medicinal was a genius marketing ploy aimed solely at Americans to get them to buy this fuel. All Mezcals are tequilas, but not all tequilas are Mezcals.... Mezcal is made from a different speciaes of the Maguey and the Pina (heart) is roasted rather than steamed to impart that smokey flavor. No self respected Mezcal maker uses a worm
I enjoy stoppiong by there every time I shoot at Blue Ridge Arsenal