We were lucky enough to have Lanie Bayless, the spirits director for the Frontera restaurant group in Chicago, grace our Mexico in a Bottle Instagram channel last week with a cocktail demo. While Bar Sotano participates in Mexico in a
I was really sad to hear that Chicago’s Quiote and downstairs mezcaleria Todos Santos have closed. We’ve worked with both closely at Mexico in a Bottle in Chicago and have always enjoyed their hospitality. Quiote, helmed by chef Dan Salls
[caption id="attachment_7137" align="aligncenter" width="768"] The vasos all ready for Mexico in a Bottle Chicago 2017 participants. Photo: Max Garrone.[/caption] Last year when we launched Mexico in a Bottle Chicago, it followed on the heels of a series of openings of mezcal places like Dove's Luncheonette, Las Flores, Leña Brava, Estereo, and Quiote. Since then only more mezcal places have opened like La Josie - meanwhile it seems like any drinking establishment worth its salt now has to stock a selection of premium mezcals. Clearly something is going on here.
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
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
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."