Because we are gluttons for punishment, the day after Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle Chicago Max and I went to the Tenzing Wine and Spirits portfolio tasting. When we put together the calendar we had no idea our tasting was just before the Indie Spirits Expo and that there would be so many people in town. Call it kismet. Fortified by a hearty early lunch at Little Goat, we walked over to the Morgan Manufacturing building, a beautiful and huge event space with lots of brick. Being San Franciscans we tend to notice brick as we don't see a lot of it here what with earthquakes and all. Tenzing has a huge portfolio that focuses on smaller production houses and companies that incorporate biodynamic and organic farming practices. They have a solid mezcal and tequila portfolio. We were particularly interested in trying
[caption id="attachment_4839" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Quiote's Dan Salls prepares his variation on Al Pastor Tacos for Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle Chicago 2016[/caption] Chicago is, to paraphrase Sammy Cahn's lyric, really our kind of town. And we can't wait to do it again next year! This town loves its mezcal, evidenced not only by the number of agave centric places that have opened (or will open) in 2016 alone, but also by the enthusiasm of everyone we met. The events leading up to the big tasting day - a special tasting at Las Flores, a Vago event at Estereo, a Dark Matter coffee cupping that included a special mezcal
Occasionally someone asks "Why is your next Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle tasting in Chicago and not my home town?" I can answer in a variety of ways but the easiest and best, because it's true is that Chicago has become a real mezcal town in the past few years. We've been amazed as mezcal popped up in bar menus and then bars flipped from being agnostic to becoming temples of the agave spirit. It really is amazing. Just take a look at this map to see
For all the accolades and press that mezcal has received, it is still an outlier when it comes to the mainstream bar world. That's why when the San Francisco Symphony asked us for help in procuring mezcal for their big Opening Night Gala event we jumped at the opportunity. A major part of our mission is promoting mezcal so what better way to put mezcal front and center than at one of the most prominent cultural event in San Francisco?
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 fluttering illumination of a bank of these candles adds to the ambience
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."