Posted on

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 commitment 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.

Posted on

Brooklyn: Celebrating YOU

Participating locations are serving the Celebrating YOU cocktail with Ilegal Mezcal, with part of sales going to wayOUT: a non-profit organization that partners with local gender expansive LGBTQ+ programs across the US.

On August 26, 2021, the Ilegal HQ in Brooklyn hosted our first Celebrating YOU event, raising funds towards wayOUT, and featuring flash tattoos, art, music, portraits, a bake sale, and a raffle. Check out photos by Kadar R. Small from the event in our gallery below!

COMING SOON TO:
Dallas (Postponed)
Los Angeles

Posted on

Artist Feature: Lindsay Wynn

“When you allow somebody to take agency over a photoshoot, they feel empowered. The aesthetic result is always more enriching than if I was to be solely directing” Wynn says. “People often feel pigeonholed. Preconceived notions put onto all of us as a result of internal bias and sociological conditioning limit our drive to be creative. We deserve more than that. These photoshoots are meant to act as a physical and emotional olive branch to the parts of ourselves unseen by the world, each other and even in our own reflection. I want to give them the opportunity to see outside these identities and to put themselves in a different light.`

Wynn worked for over a decade in the commercial beauty world as a photographer before deciding to embark on a personal project to better connect with her photography and her subjects. “It became the jump-off for the aesthetic you see in my work now,” she says. It all started with a Craigslist advertisement, asking if anyone wanted to be photographed nude, covered in paint, maybe some other props, but more so in the particular visual style that she envisioned. It was all about light, reflection, shadow, the way these elements visually played against and harmoniously with one another. It was only until later that she realized this was a conceptual cornerstone of her work as well. Her post received several responses, mainly from older men. “People would come off of Craigslist, they’d get naked, and I’d paint their body. It was a really bizarre evolution at the beginning of this work, but it was very fun. It was really cool to empower people to come and bare it all. Express themselves with light and movement.”

At the time, Wynn was doing a lot of work with body paint, but she has always had a unique relationship with light. She was born and raised in San Diego, California. At age 17, feeling dissatisfied with the lack of empathy and support for artistic types in her learning environment, she dropped out of high school and registered at a community college. She then transferred to Pratt Institute, where she completed her B.F.A. in Painting.  “Back in my painting days, I focused on California light and color mixing. Light and reflection are all very much a part of the ambiance in California,” she explains. “That is also represented in my photographs. These are body landscapes to some degree, and we’re watching light fall across them in different ways.” Her work often features harsh elements that are diffused by something else within the composition. “Because it’s such a collaboration with the person, I spend time explaining the light sources (what it’s doing) so they can make pose and movement choices that correspond to their mood, music, whatever it may be in that moment” she explains. “These photos are about creating unique dynamism within all these, sometimes unorthodox methods. The studio light is dynamic, sometimes paired with window light or reflectors to help compliment and contrast light and shadow over the body like it would on a landscape. So, you’re looking at the skin and the folds in a way that still feels really delicate and discoverable, in a similar way you would interact with or view elements of nature.”

Wynn’s work is ultimately a celebration of people and self-expression. We are proud to display her work at Ilegal Headquarters in Brooklyn in the month where we Celebrate YOU. A selection of her work appears in the gallery below.

To learn more about Lindsay Wynn’s work visit – ILEGAL GALLERY PRESENTS – or come see it in person at 38 Greenpoint Avenue. Lindsay’s work will be displayed through September 30th, on Saturdays from 10AM-2PM.

Posted on

wayOUT / Celebrating YOU

wayOUT is a non-profit organization focused on empowering gender expansive youth by investing in centers in their local communities. Their mission is to advance programs that support LGBTQ+ youth in places where society tells them it’s not okay to be who they really are.

Across 4 chapters (NYC, LA, Bay Area, and Seattle), wayOUT works to identify local groups working in LGBTQ+ spaces to receive seasonal grants while connecting like-minded partners to inspire even greater impact. The most recent recipients of wayOUT’s grant program are Choosing our Roots (Alaska), We Are Family (Charleston, South Carolina), Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition (Mississippi), and Coastal Bend Pride Center (Texas Coastal Bend).

Letter from wayOUT:

When we launched wayOUT in 2016, our goal was simple: to help LGBTQ+ youth however we could. We recognized that we didn’t have the expertise to work directly with youth, so we began to reflect on other resources that we could offer. Ultimately, we kept coming back to this idea of community. We realized that we were incredibly fortunate to live and work in communities that were full of affirming spaces, affirming people, and room to live as our most authentic selves. 

With this idea in mind, the path forward for wayOUT was clear: we would leverage our communities and networks to invest in affirming spaces in places where local restrictions and mindsets limited access to resources. We would gather our communities to send a clear message of love and support to queer youth in the United States.

Through a one-to-one model, wayOUT has opened four local chapters in New York City, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Seattle that partner with LGBTQ+ youth centers and programs across the country each year. Through our partnerships we listen, learn, connect, and fundraise for these life-saving organizations and the youth that they serve. 

As we fundraise each year, we are reminded of the power of three key heroes. The first of these is our communities—the incredible people, companies, and organizations who support us whether they be our friends, family, colleagues, employers, or strangers. LGBTQ+ or allied. wayOUT would not exist without their generous contributions. The second heroes that we interact with are our partner organizations. These programs empower LGBTQ+ youth to be their authentic selves through counseling, housing, employment programs, medical services, food banks, and so much more. The folks at these organizations work with youth every day and help build stronger, safer, more loving environments in their communities. And finally, the biggest heroes we see are the youth. The brave young people who fight to stand in their truth as their most authentic selves. These kids are the reason wayOUT exists. We watch these folks proclaim to themselves and their communities, “We are here. We are Queer.” And from us at wayOUT, we respond by acknowledging that we see you, we hear you, we love you, and we believe in you.

To our communities, our partners, and to LGBTQ+ youth that inspire us everyday, thank you. Working with the over 5,000 individual donors, 14 LGBTQ+ youth programs, and over 4,000 young people has been wayOUT’s honor for the last five years. As we look ahead to the next five years, we invite you to join us to continue to spread our mission. We are committed to growing the impact of this organization and continuing to bring communities together to empower LGBTQ+ youth to feel safe being who they really are. 

Here. Queer.

wayOUT’s incredible network consists of over five thousand individual donors, raising over $750,000 since 2016. By 2022, they aim to invest $1m in 10 life-saving projects across 10 cities and host a national conference for LGBTQ+ leaders.

Through August and September, Ilegal is raising funds for wayOUT and the amazing work that they do. As a call to raise awareness as well as honor & showcase resilience, joy, and spirit in the queer community, we created a special cocktail, ‘Celebrating YOU’ with Ilegal Mezcal. The bright, refreshing drink—made with berries and citrus—is on menus at participating bars and restaurants across the country. Part of the cocktail sales from each of these locations will be donated to wayOUT. Our fundraising goal this year is $20,000!

Find a location near you

Ilegal is also throwing Celebrating YOU fundraising events in New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Learn more

Posted on

Portland: White Owl Social Club

Bar Ilegal is an experiential outpost of Café No Sé. 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.

On August 10, 2021, Bar Ilegal stopped at White Owl Social Club in Portland, OR, featuring music from Forty Feet Tall. Check out photographer Cortney White’s shots from the event in our gallery below!

COMING SOON TO:
Seattle
Hudson, NY
Washington, DC
California
Oklahoma City

Posted on

Denver: The Meadowlark

Bar Ilegal is an experiential outpost of Café No Sé. 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.

On August 3, 2021, Bar Ilegal stopped at the Meadowlark in Denver, featuring music from SUSU. Check out photos from the event in our gallery below!

COMING SOON TO:
Portland (8/10)
Seattle (8/12)
Hudson, NY
Washington, DC
California
Oklahoma City

Posted on

Artist Shahryar Shahamat at Ilegal HQ

A visual director and painter, Shahryar’s work is deeply connected to his own personal experience and human expression, with imagery taken from popular culture and contemporary media. Scroll down to see a selection of his work, along with a gallery of images from the opening event.

The gallery at Ilegal Headquarters is open Saturdays 10AM – 2PM through the August 14th. Stop by to view!

Location – Ilegal Mezcal Headquarters, 38 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn NY
Artist – Shahryar Shahamat
Showing – Saturdays from 10AM – 2PM until Aug 14th
Photography Credit – Beata Kanter

Posted on

Miami: Heartland

Bar Ilegal is an experiential outpost of Café No Sé. 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.

On June 10, 2021, Bar Ilegal stopped at Heartland in Miami, featuring music from SUSU. Check out photos from the event in our gallery below!

COMING SOON TO:
Denver (8/3)
Portland (8/10)
Seattle (8/12)
Hudson, NY
Washington, DC
California
Oklahoma City

Posted on

Frozen Jamaica

*Jamaica Syrup*

– Add a handful of dried hibiscus flowers to 1 quart of water
– Bring to boil
– Strain
– Add equal parts sugar 
– Stir until sugar is dissolved)

*Frozen Agua Fresca*

– 2 oz Jamaica syrup
– 1 oz lime juice 
– 2 oz Ilegal Mezcal Joven 
– 1.5 cups of ice
– Blend 
– Garnish with lime