Ilegal Mezcal was founded by USA-born John Rexer in 2004. John had not been able to find any good Mezcal suppliers in Guatemala when he opened his bar, the iconic Café No Se in Antigua, Guatemala, so he went to Oaxaca and started smuggling it across the border in a variety of creative ways!
The Ilegal range is skillfully produced by fourth-generation mezcaleros Armando and Alvaro Hernandez at their palenque (distillery), Mal de Amor, in Oaxaca’s Central Valley. The brothers craft Ilegal using traditional methods: Espadín agave is cooked for five to seven days in earthen pits, then crushed with a horse-drawn tahona and naturally fermented.
The brand is dedicated to fostering biodiversity and sourcing its materials responsibly and its bottles are now made from 100% recycled glass. It’s equally as passionate about human rights: from fundraising for social issues to raising awareness for immigration reform, Ilegal is dedicated to supporting those who are often overlooked.