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The Casa de Cortes model

The Tres Mezquites Palenque

Over my years of visiting Oaxaca, Asis Cortes and I have never managed to be here at the same time. This trip is no different, but luckily, I was finally able to get out and visit a few of the palenques they work with. Special thanks to Puro Burro and Zack Safron who used to be a San Francisco based bartender. He has since made the leap to Oaxaca which is quite a trend with bartenders. Zach occupies a fascinating spot in the mezcal world: He works closely with Puro Burro which leads trips to Oaxaca geared toward the hospitality industry, and is a bartender at Mezcalogia, Asis’ Oaxaca mezcaleria. Zach acts as a kind of connector for the Casa de Cortes “empire” with Mezcalogia and the world outside of Oaxaca. His love and enthusiasm for mezcal, and Oaxaca, cannot be overstated. Read more

D(r)iving deep into Ejutla

Espadin against the dramatic sky

A few years ago I was introduced to Francisco Perez who was traveling through the US promoting an Ejutla, Oaxaca based mezcal cooperative, Integradora Comercial de Ejutla SA de CV ICESA, and its mezcal brand, Forever Oaxaca. Our continued correspondence kept me abreast of the expanding cooperative, their changing branding (now Siempre Oaxaca with a focus on small production mezcals), and the addition of new lines including Banhez and El Ejuteco. Max and I were lucky enough to celebrate Christmas in San Miguel Ejutla last year, which we tried to capture here. Read more

Oaxaca – a constantly changing landscape

The colors of La Guelaguetza in full bloom.

We arrived just as the morning sky was breaking open and the rain had stopped. There had been a torrential storm when we landed in Mexico City the night before, and despite having put in a four hour buffer to get through customs, get to the bus station, and grab something to eat before catching our midnight bus to Oaxaca, we barely made it. Rain has inundated Mexico City and created traffic havoc on an already traffic laden city. Read more

Mexico in a Bottle Denver, in pictures

Holy cow was that crazy and insane, and yes even a little fun – two days of agave (oh and Mexican rum!) and 1200 people, it was a not for the faint of heart.Denver, you are one beautiful town with hands down the nicest Lyft drivers anywhere, and a taco scene that gives LA a run for the money. Read more

Denver, a test case for mezcal (and events within an event)

The first thing you notice about Denver, beyond the the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains on one side and the great eastern plain on the other is how much the town is booming. The amount of construction projects is not to be believed, which makes sense given the population there has grown 15.5% since 2010. Read more

Del Maguey acquired by Pernod Ricard

The much anticipated news that Pernod Ricard had acquired a mezcal company finally hit, with perhaps the biggest surprise of all being who it acquired– Del Maguey. Pernod will take a majority stake in the US’ number one mezcal company. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to the press release and what we have heard from the company, the current management team and staff remain in place and all operations in Mexico remain intact as well. Read more

Mezcalistas and Flaviar: A very mezcal collaboration

We’re happy to announce the first in what we hope will be a number of collaborations with Flaviar, the Mezcalistas Mezcal Box. Flaviar is a company that we know very well over years of content sharing. They focus on providing samples of spirits in special selections like this mezcal box so that their membership base can try and then buy their favorite spirits. Read more

The mezcal conundrum

Like a lot of people in the world of mezcal, this is an issue I think about a lot – how to find the delicate balance of promoting an amazing spirit with supply and production limitations. The New York Times piece that hit over the weekend, Here, Try Some Mezcal, but Not Too Much, came just as I was mulling over how to write about the current demand for heirloom corn from Mexico and potential problems that could arise. Read more

Del Maguey launches sustainability training seminar

Misty Kalkofen, Del Maguey‘s Madrina (godmother) is a big ball of energy when it comes to her passion project – mezcal and sustainability. If you haven’t already checked out the sustainability blog at the Del Maguey website, you should. It is highly significant that the brand that pretty much launched the mezcal category as we know it today has a dedicated space on their website discussing issues impacting the mezcal industry– this is a real issue that the category as a whole must address. Read more

Mexico in a Botte: D.C. – In pictures

D.C was quite a scene, incredible location, great people, wonderful food, oh and mezcal. Take a look and savor these photos because we are already planning next year! Read more