San Antonio Mezcal Lovers Mourn the Loss of Mezcalero Aquilino García López

Don Aquilino devoted his entire life to bringing the flavors of the Agave plant into mezcal. - Instagram / mezcalvago
Instagram / mezcalvago
Don Aquilino devoted his entire life to bringing the flavors of the Agave plant into mezcal.
Mezcal Vago, an award-winning family-owned mezcal brand, announced Sunday that revered mezcalero and patriarch Aquilino García López died unexpectedly Saturday night.

Mezcal is a Mexican distilled spirit made from the agave plant that's often mistakenly interchanged with tequila. The biggest difference between the two is that tequila is made from a single type of agave plant – the agave tequilana (blue agave) – and mezcal can be produced from up to 28 varieties of the plant.

“To those in the mezcal community, he was an absolute legend,” a Mezcal Vago Instagram post read Saturday. “To a lucky few, he was a friend. To us, he was Don Aquilino, el maestro, and a treasure of a human being. ... For many of us, Aquilino and his mezcal were the ones warmly pulling back the curtain and inviting us in.”

Aquilino García López was the father-in-law of Mezcal Vago owner Judah Kuper, and was a fifth-generation mezcalero. Aquilino’s mezcals had a bright, clean and bold style without too much smoke.

“When you sip your next copita with friends, please take a moment to look around and enjoy the company you are in, and give a thought to Don Aquilino. He will be missed,” the social media tribute continued.

The Esquire Tavern on the Riverwalk carries one of the largest and most extensive mezcal selections in the region, but has closed its doors to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic. Until it reopens, mezcal enthusiasts can find Don Aquilino’s Mezcal Vago Elote at select local Total Wine and Spec’s stores.

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