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Del Maguey's Minero.

Del Maguey’s Minero.

RealMineroMineroWe’re kicking off our mezcal encyclopedia with the name “Minero” because we get asked about it all the time and it’s the perfect emblem for linguistic confusion in the world of mezcal. The definition is deceptively simple, it refers to an espadin mezcal from Santa Catarina Minas, but to old timers it just means a joven mezcal, presumably because Santa Catarina Minas used to make them all.

Update: One of our friends noted that the last line in our definition here “but to old timers it just means a joven mezcal, presumably because Santa Catarina Minas used to make them all.” wasn’t as clear as it could have been. We meant that for old timers Minero means any mezcal from Santa Catarina Mina regardless of the agave it was made from. Hopefully that clarifies things for everyone.

Another issue of note is that minero literally means miner in Spanish, we’re unsure of where the association comes from so if anyone can offer a clarification we and the readers of this blog would be greatly in your debt.

A further update: A reader found this quote about the origin of the term Minero.

Read more of our entries in the Mezcalistas Encyclopedia of Mezcal and email us questions or ideas for future entries.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sergio Inurrigarro #

    in the XVI century When Spain conquered Mexico, the first and main industry they started was the mining industry,
    In order to exploit a mine, you need gun powder and labour, hard labour.

    The indians were used for this purpose and to secure them, they will attract them by offering mezcal to drink.
    Mezcal, previus to the conquistadores was only reserved for the emperors

    They atracted great numbers of indian Labor force this way.

    For the conquistadores beeing able to distill in situ and in greater quantity, due to the use of the “Alahambique” made possible to supply the demand of the mines.

    This is how MEZCAL MINERO came to be. it was the mezcal silver that was drunk in the mines

    If you notice all tequila and mezcal regions are in the states that have or had mining industry.

    The Santa catarina de Minas vertion was issued by Ron Cooper at the bigining of the XXI century to pop up his product from that region.

    The Marquis of Jaral de Berrio, Count of San Mateo y Valparaiso & Marquis de Villafon was one of the greates fortune of all time in New Spain, now Mexico, and it came from the sell of gun powder and mezcal.

    I hope you enjoy this.


    February 28, 2014
    • Hi Sergio,

      Thanks for the comment! Do you have any good sourcing for this argument? I ask because there are bunch of lively discussions in the world of mezcal and Mexican history about whether mezcal is of pre-hispanic origin and, if not, whether the distilling technology arrived directly from Spain or from the Pacific trade routes. We’re always on the look out for good research, just point us in the right direction. Patricia Colunga has a very interesting documentary on the subject We’ll be showing the film and interviewing her later in March so stay tuned for more information on that event!

      March 1, 2014

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