Distillery: Tacos and Tequila in Mosto – An Evening of Tasting

The sign outside Mosto proclaims it “Little Cactus Spirits Bar” with “Big Mezcal Energy!” It also announces “Al Al-Qass” straight from the Trumbo.

Now, Mosto doesn’t have tequila and mezcal like Hard Water has whiskey or Smuggler’s Cove has rum (or even How Monk’s Kettle has beer). Mosto’s menu is very simple: one page, double-sided, with the first page devoted to cocktails, beer, wine, and food (it only lists six cocktails, seven beers, and two wines) and the other side entirely dedicated to tequila and mezcal. That’s impressive, but it’s not the book of selections you’ll get in other specialty bars.

But sometimes a simple menu is better. Sometimes you can learn more with an organized list. More specifically: When it comes to tequila, I Certainly can. I can tell you about tequila, sure – a bit about the history, about how it’s made, facts about the contemporary industry, but in terms of actually getting to know the spirit, I don’t know nearly enough to get meaningful opinions. Whiskey, beer, wine and to a lesser extent gin and rum, I have strong opinions about them and can fight for them to the death. But with tequila, I’m honestly still at the point where I shyly point at the bottles and ask “Is that good? It’s supposed to be good…”

So I came to Valencia between 18 and 19 to learn. I also came to sit inside at the bar and have a little chat like I used to, but as soon as I got inside, I kind of hated the inside. The interior of Mosto is small and crammed with all the comfort of a cave and all the atmosphere of a deli counter where the lights don’t work. On top of that, the music was too loud to have a real conversation anyway. Sitting at that counter was like having a drink in the waiting room of the dilapidated warehouse office of an illegal surgeon in Gotham City. This will not happen.

“Can I sit outside?” I asked the waiter.

Seated at a table in the street, I brought a menu and a small bowl of fried chickpeas and seeds, and was told to go back inside when I was ready to order.

“Do you do tequila trips?” I asked. Because even if I didn’t risk my health by sitting in a bar and having a conversation with strangers, I could still learn something about tequila.

The waiter looked awkward when he said “No”.

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