Guarape

A strange word which seems like it’s only used in Oaxaca guarape comes from “guarapo” which means sugar cane juice and, in some cases, fermented sugar cane juice. The non alcoholic version is wide spread in central and south America, a staple of...

Churique

Churique is the local name for Agave shrevei in Chihuahua. Ricardo Pico, who created Clande Sotol and works closely in the area, told me that “the mezcal made from Churique is called Lechugilla” which translates to “a small head of lettuce.”...
Capón

Capón

Capón means castrated in Spanish and that’s basically what it means when applied to agave. The agave life cycl is simple, they sprout, mature over years – potentially decades depending on the variety – flower so that they can reproduce, and die. As...
Milpa

Milpa

La milpa is a traditional Mexican agricultural practice. Traditionally the major crops were beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and squash but can include many other local permaculture or perennial crops like agave, avocado, sugar cane, or potatoes. Each crop would either...
Cordon

Cordon

In the mezcal world “cordon” means the ring of bubbles that forms around the edges of a jicara when filled with mezcal. Obviously the mezclas has to be in that 45-50% ABV range for the perlas to form. Mezcaleros and aficionados frequently look for the...
Shishe

Shishe

A word for the first distillation of a mezcal, especially in Oaxaca. This being Mexico and the mezcal world, it’s far from the only word for the first distillation. Last week’s Encyclopedia of Mezcal entry on “ordinario” tells you that much....