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Mezcals are spirits distilled from the agave plant. Tequila is a mezcal, but tequila producers remove the agave solids before they distill. Tequila distillers put just the fermented juice into their stills, but artisan mezcal distillers include the fermented agave solids, meaning that well-made artisan mezcals from Oaxaca are richer and more complex than tequila.
Alipus is distilled from local plantings of the agave espadín, the genetic ancestor of the blue agave Weber of tequila. Distillation takes place at small family distilleries in remote pueblos in Oaxaca state.