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Ilegal Mezcal 7-year Añejo Deserves a Spot Alongside Your Best Aged Spirits

“Seven years ago, John was having a conversation about the history of aged mezcal and he had the idea,” Ilegal global brand ambassador Gilbert Marquez tells Men’s Journal. “He spoke to our master distiller and asked him to set aside some mezcal for a very special edition, and that’s where the 7-Year Añejo was born.” According to Marquez, the long aging process has imbued the spirit with some sweet notes that are reminiscent of cognac, but the whole point was to never lose the “ripe espadin agave” notes that are inherent to the spirit.

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Ilegal Mezcal 7 Year Añejo Launch Party

Ilegal Mezcal helped introduce the world to aged mezcal with our Reposado and Añejo expressions, and our rare, new Limited Edition 7 Year Añejo expands our showcasing of barrel aged innovation and artisanal craft.

On a rainy New York night in November 2022, we gathered a small group of friends, downtown luminaries, and industry leadership into the opulent South Loft of the Soho Grand to commemorate this very special occasion.

Those in attendance were among the first in the world to try the 7 Year Añejo, with a celebratory toast from our Global Brand Ambassador Gilbert Marquez, who also curated the cocktail menu and, along with our dear friend Stefan Marolachakis, played host to the evening’s festivites.

DJ Alberto Pazzi helped set the mood, followed by a lively set from City of the Sun. A classic downtown night, and the perfect way to introduce this exceptional mezcal to the world.

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Jaxon Beer Garden | Dallas

Opened by John Rexer in the early 2000s, Café No Sé has become the beating heart of an international music scene in Antigua, Guatemala. This is the original home of Ilegal Mezcal + the first mezcal bar opened outside of Mexico.

Bar Ilegal is an experiential outpost of Café No Sé. In 2022, our tour has stopped through Hunter (NY), Florida, California, Texas, Nashville, and Montauk, and New Orleans. Our Dallas pop-up at Jaxon Beer Garden went down big, right in the middle of downtown’s AT&T Discovery District. Our bartenders were crafting delicious mezcal cocktails with mixers from our partners Fever-Tree. SUSU brought the fire in front of a giant Ilegal video display, Bar Ilegal tees were screenprinted on the spot, and tattoo artists Travis Smithhart and James Haynes provided the free flash.

See for yourself in our recap video and the gallery below (photos by Sarah Craig)

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Hot Chocolate

3 cups water

1 cup milk or alternative milk

1 bar chocolate (Ibarra)

/ Add ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Let boil until chocolate dissolves and let cool.

1.5 oz Ilegal Joven or Reposado

0.5 oz Ancho chili liqueur

2 oz hot chocolate mix

0.5 oz agave nectar

1 dash Angostura bitters

/ To coffee mug: add Ilegal Mezcal, agave, chili liqueur and bitters, fill with chocolate mix and garnish with cinnamon stick.

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Hot Cider

1.5 cups Ilegal Reposado

1 gal apple cider

1 large orange, cut into 0.25″ slices

3 cinnamon sticks

4 star anise

1 tbsp whole cloves

1 tbsp whole allspice

1 in ginger root, sliced

/ Add all the ingredients (except mezcal) to a pot. Turn heat on low until warmed through, about 30 minutes. Add Ilegal Mezcal and serve. Makes 12.

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Jello Shots

Light, bright, crushable mezcal cocktails you can try at home. Jello Shots ↓

1.25 cups orange juice

1 packet unflavored gelatin

0.75 cups Ilegal Joven

1 sprinkle Tajín

– Add orange juice to a pot and bring to boil
– Add packet of unflavored gelatin and stir until dissolved
– Add Ilegal Mezcal Joven
– Let cool
– Pour into shot glasses and add tajín
– Refrigerate

More mezcal cocktails and recipes
Buy Mezcal & Cocktail Kits

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Ilegal Mezcal x Paste Magazine

After years of bonding over our shared love of live music, we traveled with the Paste team to Antigua, Guatemala in December 2021, to produce the live-streamed concert series Paste Studio on the Road, at Café No Sé, Ilegal Mezcal’s original home. We then hosted a show at the stunning La Casa de la Ruina, featuring Gaby Moreno, David Aguilar, Silvana Estrada, Lau Noah, Kath Palma and SUSU.

Our Greenpoint HQ is now the New York home for the Paste Studio on the Road, and in 2022 our stage has been graced by iconic artists like Gogol Bordello and John Oates (of Hall & Oates), and rising acts like Thick, Dead Tooth, and Lovechild. And at SXSW, we presented Paste Magazine’s 20th anniversary showcase, featuring 44 bands including Delta Spirit and Sunflower Bean, over four days at the Pershing in Austin, TX – pictures by Gabriel Walker in the gallery below!

Check back for announcements of more to come with Paste Magazine, and discover more about our connection to music, including our Musician’s Breakfast series, here.

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Ilegal Mezcal’s Commitment to Quality

Why elevate your agave and tequila collection with Ilegal Mezcal? Ilegal is made ‘Sin Prisa’ without rush or hurry using artesanal methods. Produced in small lots – each bottle is hand corked, labeled, and numbered.

Our practices reflect our dedication to sustainability and biodiversity in the Oaxaca region. 100% natural, Ilegal Mezcal uses no artificial colors, yeasts, flavors, or additives. Just agave, sun, and time. Mezcal versus tequila, is handcrafted artisanally, and agave roasted in underground earthen ovens. Commitment to quality is apparent in every step of our process, from harvest to first sip.

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Hunter, NY | Washington Irving Inn

Opened by Ilegal founder John Rexer in the early 2000s, Café No Sé has become the beating heart of an international music scene in Antigua, Guatemala. This is the original home of Ilegal Mezcal + the first mezcal bar opened outside of Mexico.

Bar Ilegal is an experiential outpost of Café No Sé. We kicked off Bar Ilegal 2022 by posting up for 4 weekends at Washington Irving Inn (reopening as Hotel Lilien in Summer 2022). Ilegal Mezcal cocktails & food menus were provided by:

Ponyboy [Feb 11-12]
For All Things Good [Feb 18-19]
Aldama [Feb 25-26]
Mister Paradise [Mar 4-5]

Bar Ilegal heads out on tour, starting in Jacksonville, FL on 3/15. Pics below by Sarah Craig, from our final weekend at the Washington Irving, which featured two raucous performances by the legendary SUSU!