An open dialogue – a Del Maguey intern talks about his experience

An open dialogue – a Del Maguey intern talks about his experience

There’s a cool conversation getting underway on the Del Maguey website blog. Griffin Manos, a university student spent his summer between his junior and senior year doing an internship at the Vida palenque in San Luis del Rio in Oaxaca.  First, who knew you could do such a thing, and second, that is one dedicated student because making mezcal, as the post outlines, is no walk in the park. The post is from a long email Manos wrote to Ron Cooper about his experience and what makes this so interesting is that Ron will be responding to questions and ideas raised by the internship experience.

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The curious case of Sin Maguey, No Hay Mezcal

Max Garrone | Mezcalistas

The original Sin Maguey, No Hay Mezcal poster.

Come on, admit it, you’ve seen the iconic image. Did you ever stop to wonder where it comes from?

This is a story about one of the most iconic images in the mezcal world. It involves quirks from across our contemporary culture ranging from intellectual property rights to the question of who owns traditional culture. It touches on so many  narratives of our era that it’s a great snapshot of our time and the mezcal world. read more…

Agave on screen goes big time

The story of mezcal is one that deserves its own category of films. It has everything – gorgeous vistas full of saturated color, rich history full of myth and romance and opera-like drama with the incredible stories of the families that have been making mezcal for generations. The plot lines are limitless. read more…

You buried my mezcal in shit?

In goat shit, to be precise. Take a look at the video below where Craft Distillers‘ Ansley Coale introduces Mezcalero Special #4 with the full story on how you pull great aging characteristics from mezcal. It’s a blend of espadín and wild bicuixe but it’s also aged for six months in a pile of goat shit which, he claims, contributes to the balance in the mezcal. That’s a tradition that I’ve seen in Michoacan and always thought was just an easy way of keeping the mezcal out of people’s hands and out of the light so that it could rest but Ansley mentions another potential factor, heat generated from the manure. read more…

Better mezcal through chemistry

Max Garrone | Mezcalistas

What’s the chemistry in these agaves?

The mellifluously titled “Volatile Compound Profiles in Mezcal Spirits as Influenced by Agave Species and Production Processes” by Araceli M. Vera-Guzmán, Rosa I. Guzmán-Gerónimo, Mercedes G. López, and José L. Chávez-Servia has some tantalizing research into the chemistry of mezcal’s flavor. They were looking at the question of whether chemical variations between different agaves harvested in different areas could account for flavors which, as any of your mezcal aficionados know, is pretty critical to our enjoyment even if most of us, most of the time, don’t dig into the details of chemical analysis.  read more…

What’s missing from Fancy Food?

Max Garrone | Mezcalistas

There was plenty of mole at the Mexican pavilion including this stand from Seasons of My Heart, chef Susana Trilling’s line of salsa’s, chocolates, salts, poleo tea in addition to her mole.

Another year, another Fancy Food. Endless square feet of all the food that you can imagine, so much of it of the highly processed and packaged variety vying to be the snack or high energy food of the future. But this year was notable more for what wasn’t on the convention floor more than for what was.

A dry county

The strangest thing about this year was how dry the place was. The Mexican area didn’t have a single spirit and only a single Mexican wine stand. Elsewhere you’d be hard pressed to find spirits, wines or beers. The notable exception was the jumping Japanese microbrew booth which was never without a line. read more…

Agave price update

Max Garrone | Mezcalistas

Fields of blue agave in the valles region outside of Tequila.

It’s the heart of your mezcal and the culture around it but how much is the actual agave worth and who’s getting paid? And why is it so god damned expensive? There are no easy answers but lots of trends.

For much of this year we’ve been hearing that the price of agave in tequila country has been as high as recent memory. In 2016 it was already expensive at 10 pesos per kilo, then it spiked to 18, 19, and 21 pesos per kilo in the summer of 2017. On my recent trip to Guadalajara I heard some people say the price had softened a bit to the 17-18 peso per kilo range. Meanwhile in Oaxaca the price of agave has been rising as well, but closer to the 10 peso per kilo range.
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CBD and mezcal, pushing the boundaries

Max Garrone | Mezcalistas

The line up of cocktails for the Tacolicious Crab Bender dinner.

Tacolicious‘ annual crab dinners are right around the corner which is always a great opportunity to open up the wallet for a San Francisco tradition but this year they’re doing things a bit differently at the Marina location because the companion cocktails for the meal are all made with mezcal and now that marijuana is legal in California, CBD as well. They’re using El Silencio for all the cocktails and sourcing their CBD from Sonoma Hills Farm.The cooking and mixing with marijuana trend has been bubbling away for some time but, given the legal necessity, always underground. Now that things are out in the open people are starting to experiment and we’re glad to see that mezcal is in the mix. read more…

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