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If the bubbly doesn't come from the Champagne region of France it can't, by law, be called champagne. And if the distilled beverage made from the agave cactus doesn't come from Jalisco, a state in western Mexico, it can't be called tequila.

But the agave cactus grows all over Oaxaca and they make their own "tequila" - it's called mezcal. And I can say from the wee sips of it I've tasted, the stuff can be pretty damned good.

These are piñas - the heart of the cactus with the leaves removed. They will be cooked for a few days over a wood fire and then crushed, mixed with water and allowed to ferment for a few weeks.

A friend of ours once told us: If you get a bottle of mezcal with a label on it - it's not the good stuff. And in fact some of the smoothest and tastiest mezcal I've had has been from unmarked bottles made by 'friends of friends'. You can find mezcal distilleries all around the Oaxaca valleys.