Expendio Tradicion — Oaxaca, Mexico
Once overlooked as tequila’s poor relative, the indigenous Oaxacan spirit mezcal has seen a surge in popularity due to a renewed interest in artisanal, small-batch liquors. Mexico City-based architects Ezequiel Farca and Ian Castillo have taken things to the next level, with Oaxaca’s Chagoya family – who have 140 years of experience producing mezcal – to transform an old house into a bar and restaurant dedicated to enjoying the smoky, complex liquor. The designers merged the interior into a single open space, harmonising disparate components with local materials such as traditional black clay tiles and recycled mezcal barrels supplied by the local community. Local artist Francisco Toledo provided original metalwork, imbuing a regional touch and adding a lick of his shamanistic style to the proceedings. In the kitchen, meanwhile, executive chef Rodolfo Castellanos picks the cream of the region’s famously abundant produce to create inventive dishes with a fiercely local flavour, such as honey and agave-roasted ribs and mini corn tortillas with slow-braised pork.