If you have driven to the colonial town of Valladolid on the toll road you may have noticed fields of blue agave, the plant that gave the world tequila, growing beside the highway as you turn off for the town center. The fields belong to the Mayapan Distillery, which uses artisanal techniques to produce a spirit that is similar to its famous cousin.
In May, the distillery received the gold medal of excellence for its Mayapan Blanco from DARDO (Destilados Artesanales de Origen), a Mexican association showcasing mescal, sotol, bacanora and other spirits distilled from the sap of the agave that do not have the official denomination as tequila.
This was the second year running that Mayapan has picked up an award; it was a bronze medalist in 2014.