The Great Mezcal Coverup (Drive Day 30 minus 14 years)

Posted on Updated on

0730mescal maker copy copy
Santiago Matitlan, Mexico: photo by Gary Geboy

Say hello to Martin Garcia. He’s the reason Gary is not spending tonight in jail. He’s a world-class meszcalero with zero marketing budget so he flags down customers driving out of the Oaxaca valley. We stop and taste the best mezcal from a donkey-powered roadside still I’m ever likely to. We buy a jug, or rather we empty a pickle jar and he fills it: he doesn’t have much in the way of merch either.

Fast forward a few hours driving through semi-desert heat, a couple of nasty topes and a road block. Scary looking Federales are searching for weapons and I have a gun hidden under the camper’s carpet. Luckily that carpet is now soaked in old-dog urine and the contents of a pickle jar of mezcal that must have fallen out of the cupboard when we hit a tope. For the rest of this story, you’re going to have to read the book.

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom my website landing page or here or here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.