“The rep came the other day and bought five shots of the El Silencio black,” says my boss, suggestively. “However, she never poured them. Would you like to try it?”
How could I turn down a shot of mescal?
I reach under the bar for two of the three heavy shot glasses that are made of actual glass, which I use when sampling the special rye and Scotch whiskeys the Guvna brings in to educate me.
We clink and down ’em.
A rush of warmth, a burst of energy, an instant high that mescal delivers time after time. The shot gives me a kick in the pants. All of a sudden, I’m wiping down my speed rack bottles with gusto, executing my closing duties with speed and vigor, closing out my checks, scrubbing off the sticky bar top and the filthy drink well, eager to get out of there and drink an IPA at home.
Tequila, I’ve noticed from experience, can have an invigorating, as well as highly intoxicating, effect on me. Mescal moves me in a similar way but the buzz is more subdued, more mellow, like sinking into a giant, super-comfortable leather chair in an old, secret library with mahogany shelves and leather-bound volumes, smoking a cigar and sipping a single malt Scotch in a snifter.
The taste stays on my palate long after the last sip. I can’t tell whether it’s actually still rousing my hyper-sensitive taste buds at this pre-dawn hour or whether the mere memory of its robust earthiness triggers the sensation of a warm buzz from head to toe. As the sun rises and the morning birds chirp, I drift off and El Silencio comes with me.