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Smoke Screening

Move over, tequila! The liquid gold stealing our S.D. hearts is mezcal.

Jen Queen’s mezcal cocktails put her world-class knowledge of the smoky spirit to good use.

Behind the elevated hickory-topped bar at brand new hotspot Juniper & Ivy, Jen Queen flips through photos on her phone, proudly showing off her pups. Agave pups, that is, and the newly named master mezcalier—only 13 others in the world have passed the test and hold the title—can name each virtually identical variety by site. It’s the hard-won byproduct of countless hours in the Mexican desert, studying mezcal, the country’s smoky native spirit, from soil to still. Expect Queen’s new libations to be suitably en fuego!