What do you call it?
Editor’s Note: This contribution comes to us from Lou Bank, a mezcal aficionado and force of nature in the mezcal world who organizes tastings, fund raises for causes in Oaxaca, and generally spreads the good word about mezcal. He’s based in Chicago and travels frequently to mezcal country.
We’ve had a variation of the conversation below with Lou ever since we met him. While in so many other areas of the world appellations have worked to the advantage of most people involved in creating traditional agricultural products, the world of agave spirits in Mexico has left people and traditions behind. Read more
A post from our Chicago partner Lou Bank, who we first met in Oaxaca over mezcal, of course.
Lisa Nelson is a fourth-generation farm owner in rural Wisconsin. When she took over the family farm, she knew she wanted to do something that leveraged the heritage of her farm, but did so in a unique way. “Farming is a hard enough business,” Lisa said. “It’s harder still if you don’t have a way to differentiate yourself.” Her point of differentiation is one that piques both interest and appetite: she uses the bounty of her farm to make artisanal chocolates.
The terroir of Lisa’s farm is displayed in the over 40 fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey she infuses into the treats she releases as Roots Chocolates. But she doesn’t stop there: She has also established partnerships — what she calls “cho-lab-ah-ray-shons” — with other farm-related businesses. And that’s where this suddenly becomes a topic of special interest to readers of Mezcalistas. Read more
A post from our Chicago partner Lou Bank, who we first met in Oaxaca over mezcal, of course. Together we are bringing Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle to Chicago for the first time this September 18th, 2016. Get your tickets today!
Chicagoans have seen a relative boom in mezcal recently, with agave-centric bars joining standard-bearers like Frontera, Masa Azul, and Dove’s. But the seeds for all of them were planted four decades ago, in the 1970s, when Mike Moreno had a vision for a store that brought Mexican and Latin American beers, wines, and spirits to the people of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. “I wanted to bring our culture to our community,” he explains.
“La Preferida had $127,000 in Mexican beers that they could not sell,” said the soft-spoken entrepreneur. “When I told them I wanted some of it for a store that would cater to the people living in Little Village, they did not think it would work. But it wasn’t long before I had purchased all of that beer from them.” Read more