April 27, 2022

Why Mezcal Deserves Your Time and Respect

“The idea with Bar Ilegal is to bring a lifestyle to mezcal fans in the U.S.,” says Gilbert Marquez, Ilegal’s Global Brand Ambassador and a first-generation Mexican-American (and former bartender, punk rock musician and current part-time hatmaker). “We pop up at local venues in 13 U.S. cities and bring a taste of Ilegal through inventive cocktails, live music, on-site tattoo artists and more — it’s a way to experience the birthplace of Ilegal and create a memorable time for consumers with varying levels of mezcal knowledge.”

Which might be the smartest way to introduce a mezcal to the masses — associate it with good times. There’s a reason Ilegal touts itself as the “no. 1 most recognized mezcal,” as it’s probably one of only a handful of brands that casual drinkers could name.

Less visibly, Marquez and Ilegal also host several trade events for bartenders and other drinks professionals — having respected mixologists tout mezcal and use it creatively is certainly a tried and true way to bring recognition to a category.

Still, even with solid growth, the Ilegal team doesn’t have grand visions of mezcal becoming a dominating force in the drinks world — their production methods won’t allow it.