As part of an ongoing series of collaborations today we’re publishing Alvin Starkman‘s run down of mezcalerias in Oaxaca published on his blog earlier this week. Alvin lives in Oaxaca, writes frequently on the city and mezcal, and operates a local B&B and culinary tour.
Originally published on 10/20/2014 at Oaxaca Mezcal and Pulque.
The number of mezcalerías in Oaxaca, as well as bars in the city specializing in artisanal mezcals, has been increasing virtually every couple of months throughout 2014. The meteoric rise in the popularity of the iconic Mexican agave based spirit has spelled more mezcal tourism to the city, both in terms of visitors to Oaxaca arriving from foreign countries, as well as from cities throughout Mexico – to learn, to sample, to buy and to export.I’m frequently asked “where in the city should I go to drink a range of mezcals.” This, then, is a compendium of mezcalerías in the city of Oaxaca, which includes a couple of local haunts which also serve beer but are nevertheless primarily known for their sale of the agave intoxicant.
It’s important to note the date of this publication, October, 2014, since retail outlets in Oaxaca come and go, especially restaurants, art galleries and craft shops. But in the case of mezcalarías and bars, notwithstanding the vagaries of tourism in Mexico, it is suggested that their numbers will keep growing, and nary a one will close; locales for leasing can be very small with corresponding low monthly rent, people will travel outside of the downtown core into the farthest fringes of the céntro histórico and indeed beyond in search of a “really cool bar,” and mezcal’s star will continue to rise. So today’s list will by definition, and based on the foregoing, be different from tomorrow’s.
The days and hours of operation noted must be taken with a grain of salt. They seem to change at the whim of management, based on level of tourism in the city, and if employees and owners are otherwise elsewhere engaged. But in most cases you can find them open evenings Tuesday or Wednesday through Saturday. Some make a diligent effort to be operational during their published times, even those with morning hours.
In Situ: Morelos #511 [(951)514-1811]. In Situ is one of the most respected mezcalerías in the city. One of the co-owners is author / journalist Ulises Torrentera. The bar boasts over 180 different mezcals, and often hosts evenings featuring a representative of a particular brand, with healthy samples of the product served, and featuring a botana made by Ulises’ partner Sandra Ortiz Brena. Ownership appears to be somewhat tempering its earlier views on cocktails made with mezcal and acceptable percentage alcohol content. Don’t let the main floor bar deceive, since there is an upstairs with tables and chairs for more relaxed drinking.
Co-owner Ulises Torrentera with Seattle Bar Manager Casey Robison
La Mezcaloteca: Reforma #506 [4:30 – 10:00 pm.; (951)514-0082;email@example.com; reservations preferred] Mezcaloteca fashions itself a tasting room, and in fact provides an excellent basic education through encouraging patrons to sample groupings of three different mezcals produced in different regions, using a variety of distillation and fermentation methods and made with different agaves. Owners and employees are very dogmatic in their views about (read “against”) aged mezcals (Mezcaloteca’s party line, similar to that of In Situ). The teaching is admirable, but is still no substitute for getting out of the city and visiting real artisanal palenques not constructed for the tourist trade: putting the theory (tasting and explanation) into practice through in-the-field experience, witnessing first-hand what you’ve been told in the downtown Oaxaca “class.”
Cuish: Díaz Ordaz #712 [(951)516-8791]. Together with the foregoing two mezcalerías, Cuish represents one of the earlier mezcal bars to come onto the scene from the outset of the modern mezcal boom. It’s located in the south end of the centro histórico, in a somewhat seedy yet safe part of downtown. It has a more speakeasy feel to it, with comfy couches on the second floor and a remarkable air of informality.
Chef Pilar Cabrera and Friends, Upstairs at Cuish
La Casa del Mezcal: Flores Magón #209. La Casa del Mezcal is one of the oldest running cantinas in Oaxaca, dating to 1935. It’s known for its location right across from the Benito Juárez market, and its old west atmosphere with swinging oak doors and long exquisite bar, loud jukebox music, smoke, beer and of course mezcal. It does have a selection of house mezcals, but is more for drinking and soaking up the ambiance than for learning about the spirit’s subtle nuances. La Casa del Mezcal is definitely worth a visit if you want to experience a typical Mexican cantina.
Exquisite Oak Throughout La Casa del Mezcal
Mezcalillera: Murguía 403-A [(951)514-1757]. From old to new, the sleek and modern Mezcalillera is one of the more recent entries onto the mezcal scene in downtown Oaxaca. It dubs itself “La Miscelánea del Mezcal,” promoting high end products for sampling and sale as well as some agave / mezcal related paraphernalia you can pick up to take home. It claims to carry 63 brands comprising 190 varieties, though the shop doesn’t appear to have that much spirit on hand. Mezcalillera seems more geared to sampling and buying, than sitting and sipping for an extended period of time.
Sleek and Modern Look of Mezcalillera
Mis Mezcales: Reforma #528-B [Seven days, 10 am – 9pm; (951)514-2523]. Mis Mezcales has the broadest range of mezcal-related gift ítems including T-shirts, glassware, pottery, and books and tasting wheels as does In Situ and Mezcalillera. Its selection of mezcals is perhaps not as large as Mezcalillera and certainly not as grandiose as In Situ, but it does have a nice modern sipping ambiance. Like Mezcalillera, Mis Mezcales appears to be more of an establishment for a brief visit to sample and pick something up to take home.
Mezcal Accessories and Gifts at Mis Mezcales
Los Amantes: Allende #107 [Tues-Sun, 4:00 – 10 pm;firstname.lastname@example.org] Los Amantes provides a wonderful yet tiny drinking environment decorated with vintage bottles and related mezcal items. The only downside is that it carries only products made in its distillery. However, it has indeed become a hangout for locals, perhaps in part because it does offer some of its premium small batch production when available, and has a strong welcoming air to it.
Behind the Bar at Los Amantes
El Cortijo: 5 de Mayo 305-A [Mon-Sat, 6:00 – 10:30 pm; (951)514-3939]. As with Los Amantes, El Cortijo sells only its own spirits. But again there are times when it is producing specialty mezcals, new batches, and so on. Like the others, it can provide a tasting education, but certainly not to the extent of the mezcalerías which carry 100+ types of mezcal from different palenqueros, produced in a diversity of regions and states using different agaves and production methods (i.e. clay v. copper). El Cortijo lacks the panache of Los Amantes but is worth a visit and a couple of shots.
Oaxacan Craft Beer and El Cortijo Pairing Evening
Piedra Lumbre: Tinoco y Palacios #602 [by appointment or by chance, evenings (knock); cels 0449511351230 & 0449511560321]. Piedra Lumbre opened towards the end of September, 2014, so is still working on hours, days, painting the exterior from its current simple grey front with no indication of what’s inside. It’s already on its way to creating a pleasing drinking environment, with its adjoining gallery, tables and chairs and welcoming ambiance and management. It’s geared for private functions, predominantly mezcal and food pairing events. The selection is still relatively modest, but runs a decent gamut.
Piedra Lumbre Opened Its Doors in September, 2014
Mezcalogia: Garcia Vigil #511 [by appointment or by chance, with stated hours Wed-Sat 4:00 – 10:00 pm; (951)514-0115; 5513921872 (Mexico City number of Alejandro, manager)]. Mezcalogia opened its doors four months ago. It’s working towards a pleasing Los Amantes ambiance. It currently offers 26 mezcals (but with a good, diverse selection including one out-of-state), no commercial labels.
Mezcalogia on Calle García Vigil
La Mezcalerita: Macedonio Alcalá #706-C [1:00 – 10:00 pm; cel 0449511064432]. La Mezcalerita has a selection of craft beer in addition to its mezcals. The variety of the latter is not all that great, however. Ambiance is somewhat sparse, although it advertises having a rooftop. It does provide an option for those travelers staying near the north end of downtown, such as at Casa Ollin B & B, Casa Conzatti, Holiday Inn Express, or any of the lodgings on the upper part of Macedonio Alcalá.
Mezcalerita is Rather Sparse, But For Those Staying in the North of Downtown …
Tobalá: Murguía 405, at the entrance to Hotel Casa Murguía [evenings]. Tobalá opened its doors (initially at a different location) springtime, 2014. It’s operated on a very informal basis, and has a pleasing ambiance with tables and a simple bar, attracting locals and tourists “in the know.” It’s selection is small (a lá Los Amantes, El Cortijo), but manages to do the trick, representing palenques in four different areas in or near Oaxaca’s central valleys.
Tobalá Has a Small Selection, But Lovely Comfy Ambiance
The foregoing enumeration is relatively comprehensive, noting the main mezcalerías in Oaxaca, but it is not suggested that there are no others. Keeping track of the latest mezcalería inauguration is a difficult task despite social media. It is hoped that those who come across other bars and cantinas specializing in a broad diversity of mezcals, will email details so that I’ll be able to augment the list on a yearly basis.There are also numerous restaurants throughout the city which carry a wide range of mezcals, both commercial labels and house mezcals, the latter usually noted by type of agave and town of distillation either on the drink menu or a chalk board. The only downside of drinking mezcal in a restaurant as opposed to a mezcalería is that wait staff employed in the former generally do not have the knowledge to be able to appropriately guide patrons to particular products, whereas at least in theory the latter has trained staff on hand with a reasonable level of knowledge. Regardless of where you imbibe in Oaxaca, it is important to drink a diversity of mezcals and form your own opinion with a view to honing the palate. Many of the mezcals you’ll appreciate in Oaxacan bars, mezcalerías and even restaurants, are not exported from Mexico, and most, especially the ensambles, you cannot even find outside of Oaxaca; so enjoy now.
Alvin Starkman operates Mezcal Educational Excursions of Oaxaca. He is the author of “Mezcal in the Global Spirits Market: Unrivalled Complexity, Innumerable Nuances.” Alvin has been an aficionado of Mexican spirits for over 20 years, and has a personal collection of more than 150 different mezcals.
Posts from the ‘Tastings’ Category
No, not really, what was tasted is already gone but we’ve received a bunch of questions about our tasting over the past week so a few quick responses are in order about which mezcals are on the market, where to get items, and our future plans. First up we have to thank Ken Taylor for writing such a great wrap up of the event for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, he really captured the scene. We learned quite a bit from his piece because we were all so busy coordinating things so definitely give it a read. We’re already planning next year’s event so if you have feedback or ideas, we’re all ears!
We are proud that we were able to present so many new mezcals but working out the kinks in distribution and certification mean that you won’t see most of them in your local liquor store for a bit. We will definitely tell you when any of the following mezcals come to market so stay tuned. Here’s what we know right this second.
- Wahaka’s Espadín Botaniko and Espadín Manzanita should be available later this fall.
- Raicilla Venanosa should be available later this year.
- Real Minero, Rey Campero, Mezcal Sanzekan, and Mezcaloteca don’t have a release date yet.
- Mezcal Uasïsï doesn’t have a release date yet.
- Mezcalero #10 doesn’t have a release date yet.
- Mezcal Valvodinos doesn’t have a release date yet.
- Yes! You can buy Mezcalistas shirts here.
- Yes! You can buy John McEvoy’s book here.
- While Iván Saldaña’s book isn’t commercially available in the US you can read most of its content on the Anatomy of a Mezcal web site.
- The Artes de Mexico book on mezcal is available through Amazon.
- Yes! We will be doing more tastings. Some smaller, some larger. Subscribe to our email list to make sure that you don’t miss any announcements. While you’re at it follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook in order to get other notes about the wild world of mezcal.
- Adrian Vazquez, our friend and collaborator on Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle has his own agave distillates tasting coming up October 3rd at the Clift. Check out the Indian Summer Tequila and Mezcal Tasting.
Well, that was quite an event. We had a fantastic time presenting more than 15 mezcal brands featuring an incredible collection of mezcals and seven local restaurants who created unique cocktails specifically for the event. And that doesn’t even cover the events that elude easy categorization like Cocktail Academy’s course on how to use mezcal in cocktails, Don Bugito‘s focus on edible insects, our curated tastings, and panel conversations on the big issues in the mezcal world. Suffice to say it was quite a scene and we are incredibly happy that we were able to bring together so many strands from the mezcal universe in a single place to sample and expand our understanding of mezcal and Mexican culture.
We will definitely be making this an annual event and are already planning other events in the nearer term so stay tuned for future announcements. If you haven’t already, sign up for our email list, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook so that you can get all the latest information about events and news in the mezcal world. Then lean back and take in photos from our event!
You already know that we’ll be tasting an incredible variety of mezcals later today at our Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle event and that you’ll be able to taste bites from some of the best Mexican restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. But did you know that we’ll also be hosting a series of talks and tastings to dive as deep as possible into the world of mezcal?
We will be hosting a series of panel discussions on topics of importance and interest including:
- Culture and History of Mezcal: We’ll delve into the questions of mezcal’s origin and how it is intertwined with Mexican culture. We’ll also take a look at how globalization is changing that culture. Raza Zaidi of Wahaka mezcal and Esteban Morales of Raicilla Venenosa and many restaurant projects in Guadalajara will converse on these and related topics.
- Is Mezcal Sustainable: Our panelists Arik Torren from Fidencio, Clayton Szczech from Experience Mezcal and Tequila, and Erick Rodriguez of Alma Mezcalera delve into the big questions about environmental, legal, and cultural sustainability in the mezcal industry.
- Women and Mezcal: Susan Coss of Mezcalistas.com talks to Graciela Parreño of Real Minero about the changing role of women in the industry. Initially consigned to the background they are now emerging as business leaders and even mezcaleros.
Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle also gives you a unique contrast of tasting opportunities. Mezcal brands will be pouring their bottles throughout the event so that you can taste an incredible variety of mezcals while talking to their creators. We will also offer a series of specialized tastings that will delve into the following areas:
- Anatomy of Mezcal: Ivan Saldana, the man behind Montelobos Mezcal, leads the tasting group through his nuanced perspective on what you’re tasting in a mezcal and then compares his notes with other mezcal creators and the audience.
- Specialities from Oaxaca and Beyond: We pour tastes from some high contrast mezcals in order to highlight the variety of small producers in Mexico. Led by Mezcal PhD blogger John McEvoy who recently published a great book on mezcal.
- Michoacan Rising: We highlight a few of the coming wave of mezcals from Michoacan which highlight different agaves, traditions and flavors. Michoacan was officially certified as a mezcal producing state in 2012, it’s just now that the state’s mezcals are gaining full certification and will be appearing on the American market.
So, don’t delay head on over to Public Works and buy your tickets at the door. You don’t want to miss this line up!
We promised some exclusive items for our Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle tasting this Sunday, September 14th. Now we can tell you about a few of them.
We’re proud to announce that Raicilla Venenosa will premiere at our event. It’s the first legal raicilla in the United States brought to you by Esteban Morales known for his Guadalajara restaurants and obsession with agave distillates. I’m going to write more at length about this project later because, while Esteban is a crack restaurateur, he will probably be remembered for projects like Venenosa. It’s really that special.
Earlier this summer we were pleased to republish a Mexico Cooks article about Uasïsï Mezcal because we always love the Mexican treasures that Cristina finds. Now we’re happy to announce that we’ll be pouring this totally artisanal mezcal made from 100% wild cupreata in a special tasting highlighting mezcals from Michoacan which is quite an exciting development.
Alberto “Beto” Morales is no slouch. He runs Wahaka’s palenque and an equal parter in the business so he’s quite busy. But that didn’t prevent him from producing something new that will be previewed at Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle this Sunday. Wahaka’s Raza Zaidi will be pouring two limited edition mezcales, the Espadín Manzanita and Espadín Botaniko, which should be released later this year. Take it from us, you don’t want to miss them, here’s a quick snap shot of the new labels.
Oh, and there will be more so definitely get your tickets today!
Learn how to make Beretta’s bartender Dominic Alling makes Puncher’s Chance cocktail in the first of our video collaborations with Tastemade to highlight the restaurants and bartenders attending our Mezcal:Mexico in a Bottle event. It’s this coming Sunday, September 14th when you can sample mezcal along side the universe of food, drinks, culture, and ideas that it inspires.
Some may ask why a non-Mexican restaurant is appearing at a mezcal tasting but this was an obvious invitation because Beretta was one of the first restaurants to create a mezcal cocktail program and really emphasize it.
Watch the video, and then buy your tickets! See you Sunday.
One day this July I heard about a mezcal tasting at Nopalito and scrambled to see if I could make it because it’s not every day that a new mezcal just drops from the sky. Unfortunately I couldn’t but I did manage to set up a meeting with Rachel Glueck who was presenting El Amor del Diablo mezcal. We met at the back of Blue Bottle on 18th St. surreptitiously slipping mezcals from Rachel’s bag for a full tasting.
Rachel has a fascinating story, she worked here in San Francisco for a while as a server at Nopa but had long been a global traveler and sometime travel writer. Our conversation made it clear that she is quite the footloose type: Her swing through SF was a stopover on her way home to Todos Santos, Mexico after having crewed on a yacht in the Caribbean.
As we talked it was clear that we had much in common besides an obsession with mezcal, especially good food and a keen appreciation for Mexican culture. Rachel told me that she really likes living outside the tourist zones in Baja because there’s such a nice combination of native Mexican culture and emerging epicurean cultures in the form of local goat herders who make their own goat cheese and organic farms. More than anything we spent time discussing the idea of culture as disruptor, the simple and long held idea that culture is the glue of our social lives while also the veritable sand in the vaseline of homogenous globalization. This idea is close to the mezcalista manifesto and why we named our upcoming monster of a mezcal tasting in San Francisco Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle.
But I digress, back to Rachel’s mezcal project. It started with a 2012 trip to Mexico for a work exchange when she met a man named Noel in her first two weeks in the country. They fell in love and were quickly engaged. As she has recounted in this blog post, Noel is a Mexican who uses mezcal as a ritualistic component of his native dancing. All the strands wound around mezcal which led to the idea of starting their own mezcal label and one day exporting it to the United States.
On a trip in 2013 through Oaxaca, the couple met up with an old friend of Rachel’s who had been working and studying with a family of mezcaleros for years in Chichicapam. The family was looking for a market to sell their mezcal and Noel really hit it off with the family. Since then Noel and Rachel have been collaborating with that family and neighboring mezcaleros to test the market.
In July, Rachel was swinging through San Francisco to get an answer to that question. I’m happy to report that she and Noel have quite a nice line up of seven mezcals. Here’s what they’re presenting:
- Espadin 48%
- Cuixe 48%
- Pata de Cuixe 48%
- Madre de Cuixe 50%
- Tepezate 48%
- Tobala 48%
- Papalotl 50%
As you’d expect they have wildly divergent flavors and scents. Here are my initial tasting notes which I look forward to repeating soon.
- Espadin: Grassy with a round mid-palate feel and a citrus tail.
- Cuixe: Minty nose, very rich mid-palate which slips into herbal notes notes at the tail.
- Pata de Cuixe: Very distinct flavor notes of citrus and grass made this one stand out of the tasting.
- Madre de Cuixe: A very thin and racy bottle, very distinct from any of the Madrecuxe’s that I’ve tasted on the American market.
- Tepezate: A very fruity nose is echoed by a round mouth feel and warm fruity flavor.
- Tobala: A very big and nuanced with very little viscosity. This is the one I had the most difficult time describing so I’m really looking forward to tasting it again.
This line up is a continuation of two trends we’ve been seeing lately, a full line of mezcals based on diverse agaves all sourced from a single palenque like Vago or El Jolgorio. Perhaps you could label this moment mezcal 3.0 following Ron Cooper’s introduction of single village mezcal to the United States with Del Maguey, the next wave of brands like Wahaka, Fidencio, and Illegal who pursued wildly divergent approaches, and now this trend.
It’s really interesting that neither Rachel nor Noel are creating these mezcals themselves. Noel just knew and liked this family’s mezcal from Chichicapam and they’ve tried to launch their brand so that the family can see the fruits of their labor and the world of mezcal aficionados can appreciate these fine creations. We continue to hear quite a few stories like these which is testament to the vibrancy of mezcal production in Mexico and the importance of sustaining that culture.
The one big difference in Rachel and Noel’s approach is that they’re trying to crowd fund the brand through Rocket Hub. They are on the keep-what-you-raise plan because they’re working away on the project no matter what happens. Their first step is all the research and due diligence they’ll need to launch the brand so they are jumping into a swing through central Mexico starting September 5th and will finish by spending most of October and early November in Oaxaca. Their campaign is definitely worth a look, but act fast because their deadline is September 4th at 1AM Eastern. And, should you be in Oaxaca this October/November reach out to Rachel and Noel via email or Twitter to see if you can set up a tasting!
Lately the mezcal world has been swooning for Michoacan. First it became street legal in 2012 joining the states that can legally label their agave distillate mezcal. Lots of people already knew that the local mezcal was fantastic, it just wasn’t reaching far beyond the state’s borders. Then stories started circulating about the cupreata, the wooden stills, and many other novel elements used frequently in the state.
And then we finally got a bottle here in the US through the Fundacion Agaves Silvestres Vinos de Mezcal line and it blew our minds. The production method alone causes fits of the imagination, cupreata isn’t seen anywhere else, then it’s hand mashed in a wooden tub appropriately called a canoe, fermented in stone vats; oh and the still is made out of wood and copper.
I figured that Michoacan had to be part of my next Mexican itinerary and that we’d find out more then but others have been faster to the punch. Per our repost of Cristina Potter’s Mexico Cooks! blog she made the trip recently and found a fantastic palenque. A few weeks ago an attendee at our Meet the Karwinskis Mezcal Martes event at Lolo strongly suggested that our next tasting should feature solely Michoacan mezcals. Then out of the blue Ron Kunze, one of our long time fans, correspondents, and fellow travelers popped up with news that he’d just returned from Michoacan with a suitcase full of mezcal that we needed to sample RIGHT… THIS … MINUTE!
Not one to look gift mezcal in the mouth I jumped right in for a miniature survey of the world of Michoacan distilling. We started with the Bruxo Pechuga. Strangely it looks like Bruxo is available in England but not in the United States which means that we’re beholden to shoppers like Ron who are willing to bring a bottle back. This one has a very distinct yellow tint but it’s not as unctuous as some pechugas and quite flavorful without being fruity.
While tasting the Bruxo we perused a mezcal menu Ron brought back from a restaurant in Morelia that he swore by. It gives a a great sense for the variety and complexity of mezcal production there. 1.5 ounce pours, lots of cupreatas but many more agaves, and a clear sense of centrality to the dining experience.
Next up the most distinctive bottle of the day, La Perla del Tsitzio Cupreata Enterrado 9 meses which has the most beguilingly fruity, even bubble gum like nose, incredibly full mouth feel, and an incredibly fruity palate. It reminded me of a fruity zinfandel. Per the product description it was buried underground in a glass container for nine months which sounds fantastic, they do that to some wines in the Mediterranean and distillates in the Balkans, but I still haven’t been able to find a convincing explanation of how this method alters the bottle’s contents. The La Perla site has a description of this method which, while mouth watering, still leaves me a asking questions:
En el mes de octubre se lleva a cabo el desentierro del mezcal reposado en vidrio bajo tierra durante nueve meses, el primer lote de producción que es el de enero se entierra dejando una muestra fuera cabe señalar que es una producción limitada de 350 litros promedio ya que se somete al reposo únicamente el primer lote de producción a los nueve meses se desentierra y se lleva a cabo una sesión sensorial comparando olores y sabores del mezcal reposado y el blanco del mismo lote enseguida se brinda una comida con platillos mezcaleros preparados por las cocineras tradicionales disfrutando de un buen ambiente.
After that we jumped into the land of the unlabeled bottle. Lots of mezcal never makes it into branded bottles and Michoacan is no different. Take this fine, apparently hand blown, blue bottle. Ron told me that the mezcalero said the bottle was almost more expensive than the mezcal inside which, once you get past the beauty of the bottle, is a pretty sad testament to the undervaluation of mezcal in Mexico.
This next example looks medicinal partially because it came out of a pharmacy so I bet they just bottle it in the most readily available plastic bottles, the same ones that we use for rubbing alcohol. The mezcal within was of the rougher and more alcoholic variety. For once, the bottle did not belie its contents. To the right you can see an example of a much more normative technique of mezcal bottling. We all have concerns about how rapidly the plastic breaks down but for consumption not too far from the creation date and expedience this definitely does the trick.
Last of all we sampled this nicely packaged gift set which contained an amazing little universe of silvestres that are generally hard to find if not impossible in the US, especially the Sierra Negra. None of these were revelatory, all were simply good, reminders of the remarkably high level of production across Mexico. I’m also an admirer of the small bottles wrapped in a single package because it’s a great entry point for anyone like the 95% of mezcal drinkers who only take the occasional sip. And it makes a tremendous gift so take note distributors and brands!
Obviously Michoacan has arrived as a mezcal producer and is gearing up to move into the United States in a big way. Just in recent weeks a few producers told me that they’re ready to go, just waiting on COMERCAM certification or the final details of their export arrangements before they start shopping their products around. We’ve heard rumors that Bruxo will arrive soon so our fingers are crossed. In the interim we are proud to announce that you’ll have a chance to taste some Michoacan mezcal at our September 14th Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle event so definitely buy your tickets today!
We just announced our initial brand list for the Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle tasting, culture, and art extravaganza this coming September 14th. Get your tickets today and check out the line up below.
Participating brands include:
- La Niña del Mezcal
- Mezcal’s Club (El Tinieblo, Sangremal, Jaral de Berrio)
- Mezcales Gourmet (Forever Oax and Banhez)
- Mezcal Tosba
- Mezcal Vago
- Mezcal Valvodinos
- Wahaka Mezcal
We’ll also be featuring some new mezcal arrivals from the Mexican state of Michoacan along with a couple of other special mezcal surprises.
Restaurants doing the special pairings of mezcal cocktails and bites include:
- El Techo/Lolinda
- La Urbana
- Loló Cevicheria
Don Bugito will also be on hand with their delicious insect based treats that are the perfect accompaniment to mezcal.
Mezcal panels and chats will be led by mezcal luminaries including Erick Rodriguez of Almamezcalera (dubbed the “Indiana Jones of mezcal”), Raza Zaidi of Wahaka Mezcal, Ivan Saldaña of Montelobos, Marco Ochoa of Mezcaloteca, Graciela Angeles Carreño of Real Minero, Cecilia Murrieta of La Niña del Mezcal, John McEvoy the Mezcal PhD, Susan Coss and Max Garrone of Mezcalistas, Jaime Qui of Agave Tips and more.
And finally, guests will be surrounded by a mezcal influenced soundtrack by DJ EKG, mixed media, art and photos by Jhovany Rodriguez Iniesta, Lorena Zertuche, Txutxo Perez, Omar Alonso, Mariana Garcia, Fernando Lopez, Mezcal Cuish, and more.
Mexico in a Bottle is joint Mezcalistas and Agave Tips production.
We warned you to save the date. Finally we’re ready to announce all the details.
Mexico in a Bottle
Mezcal is the embodiment of Mexico. More than just a beverage, it represents more than 500 years of history and culture. Mezcal’s story isn’t just about alcohol; each bottle is a living link to Mexican history, tradition, art, and music. It’s life and death all in a bottle.
Join some of the biggest figures in the mezcal world as we celebrate Mexico’s greatest spirit through tastings, art, music, and a series of exclusive discussions of the hottest topics in the mezcal world. And to keep that whistle wet, the hottest Mexican restaurants from the Bay Area will pair exclusive bites with magical mezcal cocktails.
Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle brings together figures as varied as:
- Erick Rodriguez of Almamezcalera, the “Indiana Jones of Mezcal”
- Raza Zaidi of Wahaka mezcal
- Ivan Saldaña from Montelobos mezcal
- Cecilia Murrieta of La Nina del Mezcal
- Clayton Szczech of Experience Mezcal
- John McEvoy the Mezcal PhD
- Max Garrone and Susan Coss of Mezcalistas
- And many more.
We’ll taste mezcals from a wide variety of brands from some of the biggest in the business to tiny production mezcals not currently available in the US as part of our special tasting series and panel discussions led by Jaime Qiu & Adrian Vazquez of Agave Tips. And, you’ll get a chance to work through horizontal tastings to get a real sense for just how distinct each bottle really is.
Fine cuisine and cocktails from some of the best Mexican restaurants in the Bay Area including:
- El Techo
- La Urbana
- And more!
Mixed video by Fernando Lopez, art installations from Mezcal CUISH, Proyecto Palenqueros, Lorena Zertuche, Jhovany Rodriguez, Txutxo Perez and music by DJ EKG.
The Tiny Print
- The event is 21 and over so bring your ID as we will card anyone who appears younger than 30.
- We will be tasting high percentage alcohols that mostly range from 45-50% so we recommend that you don’t drive. BART and MUNI both have stops very close to Public Works and taxi rides will get you where you need to go without incident.