Word out of Tales of the Cocktail is that is was a stunning success under the new owners, which is good news for the industry. In addition to all of the awards news (congratulations Don Rogelio of Del Maguey!) there was also the usual chisme to sort through. Part of that included talk swirling around Mezcal Vago and some changes underway. After speaking with owner Judah Kuper today, I am happy to report that while the radio channel may have changed, the song remains the same (groan!)
[caption id="attachment_6532" align="aligncenter" width="768"] The Paranubes Rum[/caption]
What is itParanubes is a rum distilled from sugar cane juice in Oaxaca’s Sierra Mazateca region which is almost due north of the city of Oaxaca far off in the mountains. It is distilled by Jose Luis Carrera and imported by Vago. It hit the US market in June and is currently available in California, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, and Texas. Internationally you can find it in Italy.
[caption id="attachment_5385" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Left to right, Susan Coss, Raza Zaidi, Judah Kuper, and Ivan Saldaña.[/caption] The evening before this year’s Mezcal: Mexico in a Bottle San Francisco we hosted a panel titled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Sustainability” to dig into the raft of questions about sustainability in the mezcal industry. Aside from our debt to Raymond Carver the panel was inspired by the consistent questions from drinkers and bartenders throughout the world about how mezcal can be made in a way that ensures environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability. The topic comes up in almost every conversation and since we had a team of brand heavyweights in town the moment was ideal for the discussion. Susan Coss moderated the discussion between Judah Kuper from Vago, Raza Zaidi from Wahaka, and Ivan Saldaña from Montelobos. We were also privileged to host many other brand representatives in the audience including Fidencio’s Arik Torren, Erick Rodriguez, William Scanlan, and more.
[caption id="attachment_4265" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Judah Kuper displays the Vago line at St. Frank.[/caption] Damn, it's been almost a month since a really nice Vago tasting at St. Frank in San Francisco. I blame the delay on the twinned Komil and mezcal in media outbursts which consumed almost all of our attention recently. Oh and all those tastings we're organizing in SF, NY, and Chicago... But enough with delays. A group of us was fortunate to taste through Vago's line with brand co-founder Judah Kuper Thursday, March 24th. Special thanks to Joel from Worthy Bar for organizing the event. Special thanks as well to Kevin & Lauren Bohlin for hosting at St. Frank. For those who haven't been, St. Frank is an absolutely beautiful cafe in San Francisco. It's all blond wood and white tile but steps beyond most espresso bars in that it puts a huge emphasis on reducing the obstacles between barista and customer interaction. The espresso machines are under the counter, and everything else is kept out of the way so that it's easy to see and interact without a big hunk of metal between you. They are also just about to expand with new cafes named Saint Claire in partnership with Not for Sale.
Had the chance to meet up with Judah Kupor yesterday and taste though the whole Vago line at his tasting room/office/bottling facility in San Felipe del Agua. Pretty amazing stuff, especially when you are able to do it side by
Bien picado is a term you don't come across that often in the mezcal world but it's rich in associations. Literally it means "well eaten" or "nibbled." It refers to agave plants which, after their quiote is cut off, are
I noticed this little item about noted San Antonio bartender and mezcal aficionado Houston Eaves moving on from the bar scene to work with Vago outside of Oaxaca so I had to reach out to Vago's Judah Kuper and get the
I recently had the pleasure of tasting Mezcal Vago’s mezcals which are slowly rolling out across the United States. Vago has a very emotional back story detailed on the site, the precis being that the brand's main marketer and product
While tasting Mezcal Vago with Judah Kuper recently he mentioned that he's importing Gran Mitla, a specialty sal de gusano from Mitla, southeast of Oaxaca. Mitla is most well known as an amazing Zapotec archeological site but it's also smack dab