Victorioso Mezcal – Elixir of the Gods

Of all the gods of the ancient Aztecs, the legend of Mayáhuel, the goddess of agave, is the most intoxicating, a swirling tale of love, life, and lightning that would someday birth the elixir of the gods, Victorioso Mezcal.

After escaping a celestial prison to spend eternity with her lover, Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god, their forbidden love ended with her being dismembered by a jealous relative and her remains being scattered across the land.

In the baron desert of Oaxaca, Mexico soon sprouted her new form, an agave plant, which, in anger, Quetzalcoatl would strike by lightning, bringing forth a heated, intoxicating nectar from within the heart of the plant.

In 1927, Eugenio Sernas Sr. began cultivating agave in Matatlan, Oaxaca, laying the foundation for a legacy that would span generations.

Risking dehydration and injury, seeking out wild agaves which found him away from home. Eugenio shaved each thorny succulent down to its core with his machete.

Harvesting only a small batch at a time before carefully placing his hearts in a roasting pit for several days, he covered them with mesquite wood and volcanic rocks that gave his mezcal its own unique flavor.

Once days had passed, Eugenio would cool the hearts and chop the malleable pieces down further later, giving them to his trusted horse to mill. Tied to a huge grinding stone, Eugenio’s horse spent days grinding the hearts down until the juices ran free.

Victorioso mezcal

Using the weather to dictate the fermentation process, Eugenio’s final task would be to taste each batch. Needless to say, Eugenio must have loved his job.

By 1955, his son Juan Sernas had taken the reins, establishing one of the first five registered palenques and mezcal brands in the region.

Twenty years later, when manufacturers threatened to compromise the integrity of mezcal by rushing its production and introducing additives, Juan, was the pioneer who stood defiantly as Mayáhuel to ensure the process of mezcal remained focused on the love of the craft rather than just making profits.

He financed and organized a two-month strike that angered the manufacturers, blocking trucks along Iturbide Road. His passionate fight led to stricter regulations and a union to safeguard the true essence of mezcal, which might have even cost Juan Sernas his life and earning him a place in the Museum of Mezcal in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Today, his grandson, Eugenio Sernas Jr., and wife, Yelena, carry the torch forward. As a third-generation Maestro Mezcalero, working with his father, Eugenio, learned every step of the process and embraced the love for agave, mezcal and Oaxacan culture. With every bottle of Victorioso Mezcal, their mission is to preserve the quality of mezcal and to create the spirit that would make his ancestors proud.

Nurtured by sweat water from the mountains and valleys of Oaxaca, Victorioso Mezcal produces four varieties of mezcal, using only mature agave, each with its own whispers of smoke, sweetness, and complexity of flavors. Three of these mezcals are made from wild agaves that cannot be cultivated and are very hard to obtain. 

Sip and savor.

Victorioso eschews any shortcuts. Each small batch is cooked individually, allowing the unique character of the agave to shine through. This isn’t a spirit to be rushed; it’s a drink to be savored, with no added sugar (hence it is the purest spirit with no hangover and better for people who trying to preserve their bodies but still want to enjoy drinking).

A luxury spirit, Victorioso Mezcal, makes for the perfect gift. Each bottle is priced appropriately for an artisan tequila true to its craft. Each limited-batch, numbered bottle is forged to echo the lightning of Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec calendar, and the pyramids of Oaxaca.

Awarded the platinum medal at the LA Spirit Awards for Best Mezcal of 2022 in blind tasting among 30 brands, Victorioso Mezcal mixes well with traditional cocktail ingredients, can be found online in boutique hotels and bespoke liquor stores, and is quickly becoming a fixture at more and more upscale restaurants in downtown Los Angeles.

This holiday season, celebrate every life’s moment with Victorioso Mezcal and raise a glass for love of the Gods and in honor of tradition.

Author: Keri Freeman

Military mom and proud parent, artist, writer, musician and film maker. Cocktail connoisseur. Publisher of DTLA Weekly.