Viñaza

This is the liquid waste that remains after distillation. Literally the word means “cheap wine” which is both a call back to all the wine and mezcal associations like Viño del Mezcal and probably a terrifyingly accurate description of what viñaza is in the...

Mixing your mezcals

You may have noticed the term ensemble on some mezcals, it’s just like the dictionary definition, the second one after “a group of musicians, actors, or dancers who perform together.” The one that reads “a group of items viewed as a whole rather than individually.” As...

Vaso veladora

The venerable vaso veladora is a true Mexican classic. Originally these glass cups were used in Catholic churches to contain prayer candles. You drop a few coins in the church’s donation box and then light a candle so that you can say a prayer for someone. The...

Bagasso

Bagasso is the cooked and pulped agave fibers that remain after making mezcal. The term has a round about origin, it probably started in Spanish as bagazo which migrated to the French  bagasse and then came back into Spanish as bagasso relatively recently. At least...

Penca

Penca literally means leaf or “fleshy leaf of an agave or cactus.” In the Mexican world the meaning is obvious and literal. The leaves of the agave that have to be sheared off before you get to the piña. Like all things in the Mexican universe a penca is...

Garafone

Ah the humble garafone. They are the all purpose plastic containers for water, mezcal, fuel, and any other liquid that plays nice with plastic. Their multipurpose uses speak volumes about the subterranean factors that actually make Mexico function. The fact that...