I’m just back from Tales of the Cocktail 2017 and there’s no rest for the weary, or is it guilty?, so I’m going to jump into this quick recap of the trip and then get back to our regularly scheduled business.
The best thing about Tales is that it draws in everyone from the agave world, the floating culture of agave spirits assembles there, so it was fantastic to see all the familiar faces and many new, all united by a single passion. The mezcal world is very collegial: Sure, we’re all working and explicitly this is an educational opportunity, but it’s also incredibly social. I was thrilled to meet lots of people who made the trip to Tales who don’t even work in the industry, they just came because they are obsessed with agave spirits and wanted to know more. We really are part of a community. Read more
Sadly, the title isn’t click bait, it’s true, I did go to the annual Feria del Mezcal in Oaxaca and drank some delicious beer. Mezcal was well represented by some strong brands but the scene was decidedly mixed. There were the usual bottles of cremas and murky yellow bottles labeled as mezcal, and at night, it definitely turned into the biggest party in town. Read more
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 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
The Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C.
In the spirit of transparency, here’s some background on how the whole idea of how Mexico in a Bottle – Washington, D.C. came about: DC is my hometown, but now, my immediate family lives with me on the West Coast. I miss DC, I miss my friends, and I really needed to come up with a reason to visit. Then there was a random meeting and conversation I had with Pati Jinich, the terrific Mexican chef, culinary anthropologist, and resident chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in DC. She told me that the Mexican culinary scene in Washington was growing. A seed was planted and I told Max that DC needed to be on our shortlist of event cities for 2017. Read more
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
We’re really looking forward to our upcoming tasting and talk in Sacramento with Rion Toal of Maestros del Mezcal. Mestros is a cooperative of small producers from several regions in Mexico. This is the kick off of our Spirited Conversations series where we focus on a specific topic while tasting mezcal. The event will be held April 3 at Sacramento’s newest agave spirits and Mexican craft beer focused restaurant and bar Cantina Alley. For tickets, check here. Read more
It was a fabulous three weeks in Oaxaca that now feels simultaneously like I was there for forever and that it was all a dream. I’ll just sum it up in five words– so much damn good mezcal.
Max did a great little write up about how the mezcaleria scene is changing, with differentiation coming in style and design and of course breadth of offerings. To my great dismay, I was not able to get to Cuish to see live and in person their newly revamped space. By all accounts, it is beautiful and is at the top of my list when I return. I have such high regard for what Felix Hernandez Monterrosa and Hilda Martinez Popoca have done for mezcal in Oaxaca. When they opened their doors in 2011, Read more
The Mexico pavilion at the Fancy Food Show 2017
Monday Susan and I spent much of the day wandering the cavern known as Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco attending the annual Winter Fancy Food Show. There are hundreds of vendors hawking every food item imaginable, after a few hours you can’t help but be overwhelmed by all the pitches. It’s easy to drift into thoughts about late capitalism and commodity culture because so many of the foods are so similar and just one of them will probably break through, if any. Read more
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 —
- Create a unique mezcal cocktail recipe you think embodies Mexico.
- Batch your product to serve 70 people
- Submit to the judgement of the audience the audience
- Be creative with your set up.
And man oh man did they deliver. Read more