Old Enough to Know Better,
Young Enough to Do It Again.
A beautifully balanced mezcal with a notorious history that includes smuggling and weeklong parties in a clandestine bar and music hub in Antigua, Guatemala.
Ilegal Activity 2019
Who We Are
Around 2004, Ilegal’s founder John Rexer began bringing mezcal down from Oaxaca to Antigua to supply his bar, Café No Sé. The mezcal became popular very quickly. At the time, he was bringing down unbranded mezcal from a variety of villages in Oaxaca that included: Tlacolula, San Lorenzo, Sola De Vega, Santa Catarina Minas, Hierve el Agua, Santiago Matatlan and a few others.
In 2006, John created the brand Ilegal, originally just to supply his bar in Guatemala. On the back of each bottle of Ilegal you will find it says “Originally produced for: Café No Sé, Mezcal Bar.”
Certified as Artisinal by the CRM, made in Oaxaca, agave forward, with a hint of smoke. Approachable and versatile. Rough-luxe. Can be served neat or in cocktails. We only use espadin agave becasue it is cultivated and sustainable.
• Simple Portfolio: Joven, Reposado & Añejo
• One of the few brands that has aged mezcals
• We pride ourselves on our aged mezcals as well as our Joven
THE GIST OF IT
Ilegal is the leading artisanal mezcal in the U.S. It is from Oaxaca, Mexico and made with sustainable espadin agave. It is smooth and approachable, and perfect for drinking neat or in cocktails. It’s an ultra-premium spirit. The flavor profile is a mouthful of sweet agave with a hint of smoke. It comes in Joven, Reposado, and Añejo. It’s called Ilegal because the owner used to smuggle it out of Mexico to Guatemala when he first started the brand. There are some pretty crazy stories.
“The flavor profile is a mouthful of sweet agave with a hint of smoke.”
The explosive growth of the tequila category made headlines in 2020, but the spirit isn’t the year’s only agave-fueled success story. Mezcal, tequila’s smoky sibling, has become a favorite of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts, and the spirit is rapidly growing in popularity as new consumers discover it.
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Ilegal Music Series
In 2013, when we launched the Ilegal music series in New York, we wanted to create the same community & environment that Café No Sé, the birthplace of Ilegal, had provided to so many musicians. The series has since expanded to several iconic locations across the USA including the surf lodge (Montauk) and Harvard & Stone (LA). as a result Ilegal mezcal and it’s team have become fixtures in the live music scene and been a part of launching several bands careers.
Love Your Neighbor
In 2018 we launched Ilegal’s Love Your Neighbor platform. We believe that at the door of your business your values should be exemplified and defended. We are too keenly aware of the issues of climate change, immigration, the refugee crisis, gender discrimination, racism and xenophobia. These issues impact us, our friends, and our relatives.
Since the company began we have supported and contributed to a number of groups working to affect social change for the better and in 2019 we have raised over $60,000 for several groups with your help.
Bar Ilegal is a mobile temporary mezcal den. Popping up and transforming bars around the globe into outposts of Ilegal Mezcal’s Guatemalan home, Café No Sé. Featuring Ilegal Mezcal, mezcal infusions, guest bartenders, tattoo artists and live music, Bar Ilegal has traveled to New York, L.A., Miami, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, Washington D.C. and Paris.