I love tequila and have quickly become a fan of Mezcal, so I’ve been particularly happy that the past two years the San Antonio Cocktail Conference has offered classes on these agave-based spirits.
In 2014, I took a master class about tequila where I was first introduced to the Tequila Interchange Project (TIP), a group designed to preserve the traditional methods of making agave distilled spirits. It was in the master class I learned—and tasted—how the modernization and industrialization of the tequila industry has dramatically changed the flavor of tequila. I also discovered some brands that are taking care in how they produce the spirit and have been a fan of Fortaleza and Tapatio ever since.
This past January I was fortunate to attend the Cocktail Conference’s Mezcal event. Three mezcaleros—the person who distills the spirit—were on hand to talk about their craft and their family. The class purposefully did not talk about the flavor profile or characteristics of Mezcal, but rather the story of the men who produce it.
John Garrett, a director of spirits and fortified for Victory Wine Group, said that this may have been the first time that three of these craftsmen were in the same place at once. I was intrigued by the story of Aquilino Garcia Lopez, mezcalero for Mezcal Vago, and was able to do a very impromptu interview with him.
I recently wrote about the Tequila Interchange Project benefit at The Monterey for the Rivard Report (if you love tequila or Mezcal, you should be sure to go this Monday, June 15, 2015). After interviewing folks passionate about Mezcal—Chad Carey of The Monterey, Deigo Galicia of Mezcaleria Mixtli, Houston Eaves of The Esquire and John Garrett of Victory Wine—I couldn’t contain my excitement for the spirit and TIP movement and decided to dust off the footage and edit it into a short video.
I hope that you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed putting it together—the best advice is to watch it over a pour of Aquilino’s Mezcal Vago that you can pick up at Spec’s. ¡Salud!