-Produced in nine Mexican states, mezcal has gained popularity among north-of-the-border cocktailians who have come to appreciate the complexity and tradition of this smoky, flavorful spirit. Mezcal can be made from any of fifty varieties of agave that are often harvested in the wild, and always roasted prior to fermentation, then ground with stones and animal power, and distilled in clay or copper pots. It is truly the most artisanal of spirits. The varieties of agave and the variations in manufacturing processes yield complexities not found in mezcal's more common cousin, tequila (which by law is made only from blue agave). For these reasons, enthusiasts make cogent arguments that mezcal is more akin to wine, with considerations such as varietals and terroir coming into play. Not to mention that the majority of this that's spirit available in the US is still produced using small-batch methods handed down for centuries. Mezcal brings you a smartly written and beautifully produced primer on mezcal history and production, as a well as a guide to twenty-plus of the most common agave varietals used in production, and a tasting guide, complete with room for your own notes. It doesn't stop there, though: the expertly curated recipe section offers up a selection of over forty craft cocktails that take advantage of mezcal's unique qualities. Throughout, author Emma Janzen, the digital editor at Imbibe magazine and a mezcal devotee, busts mezcal myths, unravels its mysteries, interviews producers, before disclosing tasting tips readers won't find elsewhere---
"A rich, inclusive portrait of one of the world's great drinks." —Kirkus Reviews Mezcal. In recent years, the oldest spirit in the Americas has been reinvented as a pricy positional good popular among booze connoisseurs and the mixologists who use it as a cocktail ingredient. Unlike most high-end distillates, most small-batch mezcal is typically produced by and for subsistence farming communities, often under challenging conditions. As Granville Greene spends time with maestros mezcaleros, who distill their drinks using local agaves and production techniques honed through generations, mezcal becomes a spirit of contradictions—both a liquid language celebrating village identity and craftsmanship, and a luxury export undergoing a gold-rush-style surge. The Mezcal Rush explores the complications that can arise when an artisanal product makes its way across borders.
Author: Sarah Bowen
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-10-01
Divided Spirits tells the stories of tequila and mezcal, two of Mexico’s most iconic products. In doing so, the book illustrates how neoliberalism influences the production, branding, and regulation of local foods and drinks. It also challenges the strategy of relying on “alternative” markets to protect food cultures and rural livelihoods. In recent years, as consumers increasingly demand to connect with the people and places that produce their food, the concept of terroir—the taste of place—has become more and more prominent. Tequila and mezcal are both protected by denominations of origin (DOs), legal designations that aim to guarantee a product’s authenticity based on its link to terroir. Advocates argue that the DOs expand market opportunities, protect cultural heritage, and ensure the reputation of Mexico’s national spirits. Yet this book shows how the institutions that are supposed to guard “the legacy of all Mexicans” often fail those who are most in need of protection: the small producers, agave farmers, and other workers who have been making tequila and mezcal for generations. The consequences—for the quality and taste of tequila and mezcal, and for communities throughout Mexico—are stark. Divided Spirits suggests that we must move beyond market-based models if we want to safeguard local products and the people who make them. Instead, we need systems of production, consumption, and oversight that are more democratic, more inclusive, and more participatory. Lasting change is unlikely without the involvement of the state and a sustained commitment to addressing inequality and supporting rural development.
Author: Ron Cooper
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Release Date: 2018-06-12
In this groundbreaking and deeply personal book, Ron Cooper--a leading voice in the artisanal mezcal movement, and the person largely responsible for popularizing the spirit in the United States--shares everything he knows about this storied, culturally rich, and now hugely in-demand spirit, along with 40 recipes. In 1990, artist Ron Cooper was collaborating with craftspeople in Oaxaca, Mexico, when he found mezcal--or, as he likes to say, mezcal found him. This traditional spirit was virtually unknown in the United States at the time, and Cooper founded Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal in order to import it. Finding Mezcal recounts Cooper's love affair with the spirit and the people who make it; its meteoric rise in popularity; and the delicate balance between sharing mezcal with the world and facilitating its preservation. Each chapter introduces a new mezcal, its producer, and its place of origin, while also covering mezcal production methods and the botany of the maguey (aka agave) plant, from which mezcal is distilled. Featuring 40 recipes developed for Del Maguey by chefs and bartenders from around the world, the book is copiously illustrated with photographs, as well as Cooper's artwork and that of his friend Ken Price, who illustrated Del Maguey's now-iconic labels.
Author: Charles Bowden
Release Date: 1988
The author of "Blue Desert" meditates upon the emotional, spiritual, and political shambles of the late 1960s and early 1970s and upon the strength of the land, particularly the desert Southwest, and its ability to prevail despite modern efforts to exploi
Author: Tom Bullock
Publisher: Jacqui Small LLP
Release Date: 2017-11-30
‘Before mezcal I knew tequila. We danced together and had a good time. Then I found mezcal and we not only danced but we talked and talked. As a lover of whisky, mezcal was an easy step for me. And Tom is the person to tell you all about it.’ Thomasina Miers, author and chef-owner of Wahaca restaurant chain ‘Thomas, aside from having one of the early great beards of NYC, played some of the finest music ever to crawl into my drunken ears. He retains the same intimidating and generous approach to mezcal: know everything worth knowing about a subject, avoid the garbage, love it, and share.’ James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem The definitive guide to Mexico's best kept secret; Mezcal. Unlike its infamous offspring tequila, until recently you would have had to take a trip to Mexico to try this intriguing spirit. But with ‘Mezcalerias’ popping up everywhere from New York City to London, Tokyo and beyond, and mezcal increasingly seen on the menus of the most discerning and hippest bars, the agave plant-based alcohol is the cool new drink taking the world by storm. Embark on a regional tour of Mexico and discover local mezcal gems in this illustrated guide to the best 'mezcalerias' (mezcal bars) in the world, then work your way through more than 30 cocktail recipes from the world’s best mezcal bartenders. From backyard heroes to big names, this is a comprehensive guide fwith over 100 varieties of mezcal, complete with a tasting wheel to help explain the subtleties of this intriguing drink and make you a connoisseur in no time.
Author: Ana Guadalupe Valenzuela Zapata
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Release Date: 2003
This comprehensive guide to tequila's varieties, production and history shares marks of distinction for connoisseurs and highlights the link between artisanal agave cultivation and final flavor, arguing for a return to cultivation of heritage crops.
* Discover the history, versatility and the taste profiles of tequila * Tequila & Mezcal is a complete reference book and an essential guide tequilaCould Tequila become the new Gin? Tequila - a Mexican drink of superior quality - and it's making a strong comeback. Tequila & Mezcal is a complete reference book and an essential guide to the subject, uncovering the history, versatility and taste profiles of tequila, and supplying a practical categorization of the various types of tequila. The best tequila bars and original recipes for tasting Mexico in your glass and on your plate can be found here. This guide pays homage to tequila and addresses pressing questions: is 'straight' the best way to drink tequila? Or is it better in a cocktail? How is this spirit produced? What are the differences between the various types of tequila? The guide takes you back to the roots of the drink, charting the distilleries along the way, and telling some amazing stories.Also available:Gin & Tonic ISBN 9789401425605
A compilation of testimonies from longtime organisers, teachers, students, housewives, religious leaders, union members, schoolchildren, indigenous community activists, artists and journalists and many others who participated in what became the Popular Assembly for the Peoples of Oaxaca. A chance for readers to discover what became one of the most important social uprisings of the 21st century.
Once little more than party fuel, for years tequila in the U.S. market was dominated by a crude hybrid, aptly called "mixto," but of late, it has graduated to the status of fine sipping spirit. Now growth in sales of real tequila, made from 100 percent agave, is outpacing that of the cheap stuff by some threefold. But there's more to the story of tequila than its popularity, and How the Gringos Stole Tequila traces the spirit's evolution in America from frat-house firewater to luxury good. Author Chantal Martineau immersed herself in the world of tequila over the last five years—traveling to visit distillers in Mexico, attending tastings and seminars around the United States, and meeting with tequila experts and even academics who have studied the spirit—and the result is a book that offers readers a glimpse into the social history and ongoing impact of this one-of-a-kind spirit. In addition to discussing the history and politics of Mexico's popular export, this book also takes readers on a colorful tour of the country's tequila trail as well as bringing in expert opinions and cocktail suggestions from some of New York's top mixologists.
This valuable reference will be useful for both scholars and general readers. It is both botanical and cultural, describing the role of plant in social life, regional customs, the arts, natural and covers all aspects of plant cultivation and migration and covers all aspects of plant cultivation and migration. The text includes an explanation of plant names and a list of general references on the history of useful plants.
In By the Smoke & the Smell, spirits expert Thad Vogler takes readers around the world, celebrating the vivid characters who produce hand-made spirits like rum, scotch, cognac, and mezcal. From the mountains of Mexico and the forbidden distilleries of Havana, to the wilds of Scotland and the pastoral corners of France and beyond, this adventure will change how you think about your drink. Thad Vogler, owner of San Francisco’s acclaimed Bar Agricole and Trou Normand, is one of the most important people in the beverage industry today. He’s a man on a mission to bring “grower spirits”—spirits with provenance, made in the traditional way by individuals rather than by mass conglomerates—to the public eye, before they disappear completely. We care so much about the food we eat: how it is made, by whom, and where. Yet we are far less careful about the spirits we drink, often allowing the biggest brands with the most marketing dollars to control the narrative. In By the Smoke and the Smell, Vogler is here to set the record straight. This remarkable memoir is the first book to ask the tough questions about the booze industry: where our spirits come from, who makes them, and at what cost. By the Smoke and the Smell is also a celebration of the people and places behind the most singular, life-changing spirits on earth. Vogler takes us to Normandy, where we drink calvados with lovable Vikings; to Cuba, a country where Vogler lived for a time, and that has so much more to offer than cigars, classic cars, and mojitos; to the jagged cliffs and crystal-clear lochs of Scotland; to Northern Ireland, Oaxaca, Armagnac, Cognac, Kentucky, and California. Alternately hilarious and heartfelt, Vogler’s memoir will open your eyes to the rich world of traditional, small-scale distilling—and in the process, it will completely change the way you think about and buy spirits.