Mezcal or Tequila Sipping Cups - Jicaras
 

A festive traditional way to serve mezcal or tequila. These mezcal sipping cups are hand-carved in Oaxaca, Mexico. Each comes with a braided fiber base. The outsides have been decorated with hand-carved animals; the insides are unfinished and slightly porous. They absorb some of the liquid and take on the smoky essence of the mezcal. (for this reason, using scented soaps to wash them is not recommended. A good rinse in hot water is fine).

 

When wandering through Mexican street fairs or markets, you often see beverages (like Atole or hot chocolate) being served in brightly lacquered,  decorative gourds. The little mezcal jicaras in this set are made from small versions of the same thing; they are the shell of a calabash fruit that grows on trees. The fruit is cut in half, scooped out and the shells are boiled and dried, and then decorated.