Xicaru, the Zapotec word for beautiful, reflects Fernando Santibañez’s desire to share a traditionally produced mezcal that is approachable and distinct. Using his grandmother’s recipe, we make small batches of Xicaru Mezcal with time-honored methods at a palenque in Matatlán, Oaxaca. Xicaru Silver showcases the 100% Maguey espadin from which it’s made. Its natural smoky flavor is derived by cooking the maguey in a conical stone oven on mesquite and ocote, woods native to Oaxaca. The cooked maguey is then tahona-mashed, fermented naturally in open-air pine vats, and double-distilled over a wood fire. The pure appearance and substantial body result from age old methods used in the production process. The finished aroma is natural and robust; a combination of maguey, mesquite and ocote. Earthy characteristics on the front palate give way to citrus and rich vegetal maguey notes that finish distinctively clean. A tinge of smoke complements these qualities without overwhelming the delicate balance found in Xicaru.