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Posts from the ‘Bars and Restaurants’ Category

When Madison crossed with mezcal

The last thing on my mind when I planned my mini reunion with college friends in Madison, WI was mezcal. Yes, mezcal is always on my mind in some form or another, but this was vacation. Joke on me because Madison actually has quite a little mezcal scene happening. The center of beer and a shot of brandy has fully embraced the cocktail explosion and has made mezcal a centerpiece. Read more

Chicago here we come…

It’s that time of year again where we take the show on the road and bath the streets of Chicago with mezcal. We’re so excited to be returning to Chop Shop on October 15th for year two of Mexico in a Bottle Chicago!

This year is particularly poignant given the event is happening in the wake of two devastating earthquakes in Mexico. For that reason, we are very pleased to be partnering with SACRED, a non-profit based in Chicago that works with mezcal producing communities to support community libraries, agave replanting projects, and water preservation.

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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

The Spirited Conversation that was

Last night’s inaugural Spirited Conversation at Midtown’s Cantina Alley was fun and super interactive. Rion Toal of the Maestros del Mezcal cooperative tasted us through six mezcals from five different producers and led the talk that covered a broad range of topics from distinctive production styles, agaves used, background on the makers, cooperative programs, hot topics of sustainability, economic impact, and the need to know more about where your mezcal comes from. Read more

Eating around Oaxaca

After years of wanting to go, I finally made the trek to Juchitan de Zaragoza and hid it in the old – we’ll take the non-mountainous way to Puerto Escondido which just happens to go by Juchitan – trick to get the family on board with this semi out of the way excursion. En route on the Pan American Highway, we got waylaid by a bloqueo (road block) and waited it out at a Pemex station for three hours. This meant driving in the dark and trying to navigate the streets of Juchitan, in the dark with google maps as our guide, until we finally arrived at the beautiful home where we stayed for two nights. Read more

Eating in Oaxaca

Isaiah,  my 12 year old growing boy,  requires a constant supply of sustenance. For a budding teenager, he has a pretty developed sense of taste, aside from a couple of major failings, number one being he does not like Oaxacan chocolate followed closely by his disdain of that oh so Oaxacan dish, mole negro. He will however chow down on a bag of chapulines and even has his favorite vendors at the 20 de Noviembre market. Read more

Cala SF launches mezcal dinner series

Call this perks of the job… I recently was invited to the kickoff for a new dinner series at Cala, Gabriela Camara’s Mexican restaurant outpost in SF, centered on mezcal. We’ve written before about the restaurant and its focus on not only sustainable food, but also sustainable mezcal. This was the dinner that really brought it together in a fantastic way.

The brainchild of Cala bar manager Marsilio Gabuardi, the idea is to pair a mezcal with each course. It’s not new, the difference here is that there is only a mezcal pairing – no cocktails, no wine, no beer, just mezcal. This first dinner highlighted Mezcal Amaras, which is pretty much the house mezcal at Cala. The surprise of the night was being able to taste new Amaras expressions, including a tepeztate and cenizo, along with three different espadins and their cupreata. We were joined by Amaras U.S. brand rep Sofía Acosta Rascón and, to the delight of all of us, Gabriela Camara herself. Read more

As mezcal goes, so go mezcalerias

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You know that with mezcal’s surging popularity Oaxaca is seeing lots of tourists who want to taste and learn about mezcal so you’d expect the town to boast some of the world’s best mezcalerias. That’s true in resplendent variety. There’s Mezcaloteca’s very structured tasting environment. In Situ’s rough and ready bar. Txalaparta’s mezcaleria within a hookah bar. Amantes’ old time store front replete with resident guitarist. And then there are all the restaurants that feature great mezcal selections. We could go on, just check our Where to Drink Mezcal in Oaxaca for a great guide. Here’s our latest updated map. Read more

Pouring their hearts into a glass

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Monday, November 7th, saw eight bartenders throwing down for the grand prize title of our 2nd Annual Mexico in a Glass Cocktail Contest. For this contest we ask a lot of the bartenders —

  1. Create a unique mezcal cocktail recipe you think embodies Mexico.
  2. Batch your product to serve 70 people
  3. Submit to the judgement of the audience the audience
  4. Be creative with your set up.

And man oh man did they deliver. Read more

We’re fighters and lovers

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It’s been more than a week since the awesome Lucha de la Cocina and now that we’re finally back on top of the world, or recovered, we’ll share some photos and a quick recap. We had close to 2,000 people which was an amazing turn out. And, it was for the greatest of causes, a fundraiser for La Cocina! Read more