Our guest Sergio “Cache” Mendoza takes us to Mexico with his poetic words and his passion. In a conversation respectful to the brothers Tequila and Mezcal we also learned that there used to be five levels to describe the maturity of agave plants. Recorded at Bar Convent Berlin (please excuse the background noise).
We went to BCB to meet with some very respected people in the Agave industry. This intro-episode is just a quick warm-up before we go deep. We were able to have conversations with Sergio “Cache” Mendoza (Don Fulano, Derrumbes), Don Guillermo Ericsson Sauza (Fortaleza) and from Rome’s famous “La Punta” Mezcaleria: Roberto Artusio and Cristian Bugiada (they are involved in many other things too).
In this episode we are welcoming Axel Huhn who is one of the true Agave pioneers in Germany. Many years ago life brought him to Oaxaca and in return his continuously bringing back some excellent spirits which you can order at mezcaleria.de. While our intention was to talk mainly about the state of Oaxaca our conversation drifted into more general subjects like sustainability and the impact that the Mezcal boom has on the regions. Enjoy this episode responsibly.
Teotitlán (and the rugs)
More info on Francisco Toledo who unfortunately passed away shortly after we recorded this episode.
Our guest today is Christian Schrader Goette from Agavera, an online shop around Mexican culture.
He comes from Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco and we are using this opportunity to talk about spirits from this region – which is so much more than “just” Tequila.
Christian is also the organizer of Agave Hub, which will take place in Berlin on October 8th.
Correction: During our conversation we made a mistake while talking about the aging of Tequila and Mezcal (they have the same regulation): Blanco: unaged Reposado: at least 2 months and until one year in contact with wood Añejo: more than 1 year in contact with wood
And in the case of Tequila there is an extra category called “extra añejo” which requires more than 3 years in contact with wood.
The spirits we tasted
Ismael Rodriguez: Nosotros los pobres & Ustedes los ricos
AGUA DE LAS VERDES MATAS, Jose Luis Vera Cortes
Ancestral distilled from Wixarika Culture, traditionally made for ceremonies, rituals and festivals. For the Wixarikas, the Tutsi is not just a drink, it is an entity that is given life.
For this episode we met Esteban from Mexcio in Diego’s office. Some of the photos on this blog were made by him. Esteban is well connected in the Mezcal scene, he knows many small Agave spirit producers in Mexico and is involved in different small but high-quality brands. He also started his own farm and he is a business partner of Diego who imports crafted spirits to Europe.
We discussed about the importance of the small families for the culture of Agave spirits and also the problems that come with categorizing our beloved “Elixirs of the Gods” into denominations of origin. We also talked about why it is a good thing that agaves and their distillation are spreading across the globe.
Our friends at Bear Radio invited us to The Venue Berlin so that we could introduce Elixir of the Gods to a live audience. We went through the basics and also invited Maria and Cassandra on the stage to have a tasting with us
We only had time to taste one bottle, Diego brought a bottle of Fidencio Clasico.
A special thanks to Jill from Bear Radio and of course Maria and Cassandra for being on stage with us!
About this chapter
For this special chapter we were invited to a basement inside a barber shop, where the pop-up “Puntas, Gracias” is located.
Christian Schrader and Tom Bullock want to make Agave spirits accessible to anybody and share their knowledge and experiences. Based on your individual preferences you can taste four different spirits in a session and they will guide you through the experience. You also can purchase bottles there.
We recorded this chapter to give you a feeling for the experience.
- Caballito Cerrero
- La Higuera Sotol
- Nezcaloteca Arroqueño
- La Venenosa Raicilla Puntas
The cousin of Mezcal. Traditionally a Mezcal, but now a days we know it is not an Agave, but a Dasylirion.
The plants are very similar and in this chapter we will try to explain the differences between them.
We will be trying the same brand, but different varieties of Dasylirions, which is not something that was common in the past years.
La Higuera Leiophyllum
La Higuera Wheeleri
La Higuera Cedrosanum
We will be trying Bacanoras the pride of the north.
Typically a Mezcal, but with its own local Appellation.
The Plant in this case is an Angustifolia, but the subspecies is Pacifica.
Not a very common drink, but give it a try, you might like it.
Bacanora Cielo Rojo
Bacanora Rancho Tepúa
In this chapter we are going to go for the methods. We have seen the process but now we go a bit deeper.
The methods are the different techniques used for each stage of the process.
The method begins with the Jima, the different tools used for cutting. The cooking, the different ovens. The mashing, how do they mash the plant once its cooked. The fermentation, times, tools, yeasts, etc. The distillation, most common techniques per region.