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Mezcal Gets Mindful

Mezcal Meditation Classes Debut at Tahona in Old Town


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San Diego Magazine has officially hopped on the meditation bandwagon. In our spotlight on “The Mindful San Diegan” this month, we’ve shared a lot of tips on finding your zen, from mindful retreats to mindful eating. But what about mindful drinking?

We’ll admit it—mindfulness isn’t usually a top concern when drinking. We try to be thoughtful enough to avoid embarrassment (though sometimes not so successfully), but that’s typically where it ends. Old Town’s brand new mezcal bar, Tahona, intends to change that. Tahona challenges guests to sip, sniff, and savor their way through their signature spirit’s history while remaining tuned into their sensations and surroundings.

This “more complex version of tequila,” as explained by mezcal expert Steven Sadri, has been carefully crafted the same way for 500 years. During hosted hour-long mezcal meditation ceremonies at the modern Oaxacan eatery, a master mezcalier leads guests on an appreciative organoleptic journey through the harvesting of the 35-year-old tepextate variety of agave, the painful scratches on the arms of the jimadors, who endure rugged conditions under a pressing sun to carry on traditions passed on for generations, and the many other steps involved in getting a bottle on the shelf.  

Understanding, appreciating, and accepting the process to create the smoky-sweet spirit allows a guest to be grateful for the opportunity to taste it, fully present in the moment.

With such thought put into Tahona’s vision, it’s no surprise they are at the forefront of the mezcal movement sweeping the nation. As the first tasting room of its kind in the US, Tahona only serves artisanal mezcals that have a connection with the community. That same level of detail carries over into the design. Owner Amar Harrag sourced the handmade interior fabrics from Oaxaca and the antiques that adorn the entryway from Baja. Connecting like-minded locals with the source of their cocktail is also important to Harrag. Through Mezcal Baja tours, he showcases the best of Old Town and bridges the gap between Mexico and San Diego. They’re even partnering with organizations that support orphaned children in Baja.

Both mindfulness and mezcal can get us more in tune with our mission to make everyday life a little more serene and a little less stressful. Let’s focus on what we’re grateful for, how we can be more present, and how we can incorporate respect and authenticity to our daily activities.

And as far as mezcal as a means to find our center? To that we say, “Salud”.

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