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Mezcal


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#61 tanstaafl2

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 11:52 AM


Sotol is a completely different species from the agave plant although it is in the same family (the same family includes asparagus of all things). Sotol is generally distilled and produced in a similar fashion as mezcal but to me it has a much lighter taste. But enjoyable all the same. I have the Hacienda de Chihuahua añejo and have tried the reposado (the only brand I find in my area routinely) and find them pleasant to sip on their own merits.

In a mixed drink they typically do not come through as strongly as tequila or mezcal does to me.



Technically Sotol & Tequila are both genres of Mezcal.... drinks currently labeled as Mezcal are made from dozens of distinct species... which is why the Oaxacan producers have been working hard to get a NOM established (I don't recall the status on it.... but there has been a push to get NOMs for Espadin, Tobala & some of the other prized agaves.


If the disperse groups of distillers, growers & wild plant collectors could get organized in an ideal world they would establish at least a dozen distinct NOMs maybe more for each sufficiently differing genre of agave distill.

Even in Jalisco which is so overran by the shadow of Tequila there are dozens of micro-regional distills that are called Mezcal made from agave that is neither Blue Webber nor Espadin, and are not Smoked as in Oaxaca.


Any bottles from these micro-distillers that manage to make their way into the States? I am always willing to try something different! Other than the Sotol and the Del Maguey Tobala I believe everything I have is either Blue Webber or Espadin based spirits.

My understanding was that mezcal did have a NOM now although it included several species of agave in addition to Espadin under the same NOM. Several of my newer mezcals have a NOM on them although I have an older bottle of Los Danzantes (imported by Del Maguey and now labeled Los Nahuales apparently) that does not have a NOM or the green and white COMERCAM seal described here.

The Del Maguey Tobala I purchased recently doesn't have a NOM or COMERCAM seal on it either interestingly although I suspect it has been around for a few years. The dates on the label are older than those on the bottle of Chichicapa.

Had never paid that much attention to them before but noted that the Sombra has the same NOM (041X) as the Del Maguey Chichicapa. Del Maguey seems to have their finger on a number of mezcals.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

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#62 EatNopales

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 02:23 PM



Sotol is a completely different species from the agave plant although it is in the same family (the same family includes asparagus of all things). Sotol is generally distilled and produced in a similar fashion as mezcal but to me it has a much lighter taste. But enjoyable all the same. I have the Hacienda de Chihuahua añejo and have tried the reposado (the only brand I find in my area routinely) and find them pleasant to sip on their own merits.

In a mixed drink they typically do not come through as strongly as tequila or mezcal does to me.



Technically Sotol & Tequila are both genres of Mezcal.... drinks currently labeled as Mezcal are made from dozens of distinct species... which is why the Oaxacan producers have been working hard to get a NOM established (I don't recall the status on it.... but there has been a push to get NOMs for Espadin, Tobala & some of the other prized agaves.


If the disperse groups of distillers, growers & wild plant collectors could get organized in an ideal world they would establish at least a dozen distinct NOMs maybe more for each sufficiently differing genre of agave distill.

Even in Jalisco which is so overran by the shadow of Tequila there are dozens of micro-regional distills that are called Mezcal made from agave that is neither Blue Webber nor Espadin, and are not Smoked as in Oaxaca.


Any bottles from these micro-distillers that manage to make their way into the States? I am always willing to try something different! Other than the Sotol and the Del Maguey Tobala I believe everything I have is either Blue Webber or Espadin based spirits.

My understanding was that mezcal did have a NOM now although it included several species of agave in addition to Espadin under the same NOM. Several of my newer mezcals have a NOM on them although I have an older bottle of Los Danzantes (imported by Del Maguey and now labeled Los Nahuales apparently) that does not have a NOM or the green and white COMERCAM seal described here.

The Del Maguey Tobala I purchased recently doesn't have a NOM or COMERCAM seal on it either interestingly although I suspect it has been around for a few years. The dates on the label are older than those on the bottle of Chichicapa.

Had never paid that much attention to them before but noted that the Sombra has the same NOM (041X) as the Del Maguey Chichicapa. Del Maguey seems to have their finger on a number of mezcals.



Yup, I knew about the broad NOM for Oaxacan mezcal of specific regions... but now there is a big push from mezcal producers in Guerrero, Michoacan & Morelos who want to be able to export their stuff... but the Oaxacans want to keep a seperate NOM that distinguishes them... and even within Oaxaca there are apparently some rifts because mezcal being distilled in the Mixteca & Tehuantepec regions is being restricted from the current NOM etc,

Tobala is a great example as it its production is concentrated around the town of Tobala in the municipality Santiago de las Minas which is not part of the Mezcal NOM... yet the trendy mezcal bars in Mexico City are falling over themselves to serve it, Del Maguey is shipping it, the local producers are currently being paid a pittance for it and they want a bigger slice of the pie... similar story with the Pechuga mezcals


As far as mezcals from Jalisco or Zacatecas or any other state... no one is really importing them in an organized way if you go into small grocery stores in Mexican communities where the immigrants tend to be from the same towns you will see a few bottles for sale (in Chicago I've spotted mezcal from Guerrero, here in Sonoma County you see bottles from Michocan & the Oaxacan Lower Mixteca region show up)... or friends & relatives just bring them back when they travel.

#63 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:28 PM

Philip Ward's (phlip) Division Bell which I apparently forgot to post earlier. A challenging drink. Mezcal as the base spirit is a little overwhelming for my taste buds. I usually prefer just a rinse or a mix with Tequila.

 

8590393837_055aae1760_z.jpg
 

 



#64 Rafa

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:37 PM

As far as I know that one's never been taken off Mayahuel's menu, at least it's on there every time I've been.... Still haven't had it, but seems like a nice complex sour for those who've acquired the taste for Mezcal. (It's probably my favorite spirit.) I might try making it with tequila and a Mezcal rinse/float for my more mezcal-averse girlfriend after reading your impressions. Thanks!


Edited by Rafa, 01 April 2013 - 04:38 PM.

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#65 Tri2Cook

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:25 PM

Philip Ward's (phlip) Division Bell which I apparently forgot to post earlier. A challenging drink. Mezcal as the base spirit is a little overwhelming for my taste buds. I usually prefer just a rinse or a mix with Tequila.


I like that one... with the disclaimer that the only mezcal I can get where I live is rather soft and light on the smoke. I'd like to try it with a good mezcal.


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#66 Czequershuus

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 09:26 PM

A brand question my local liquor store just started stocking a mezcal (other than Monte Alban). Up until now I had been resolved to wait until I could afford to order a good mezcal online to start exploring the wonderful world of it's smoky cocktails. Has anyone tried or heard of the brad Cusano Rojo? I am inclined to believe it will not be worth purchasing, but if someone has had a positive experience I would love to hear.



#67 tanstaafl2

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:05 AM

Never had it but have only seen bad reviews of it. Unless you need something to help light the charcoal grill probably best to stay away from it!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#68 KD1191

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:50 AM

A brand question my local liquor store just started stocking a mezcal (other than Monte Alban). Up until now I had been resolved to wait until I could afford to order a good mezcal online to start exploring the wonderful world of it's smoky cocktails. Has anyone tried or heard of the brad Cusano Rojo? I am inclined to believe it will not be worth purchasing, but if someone has had a positive experience I would love to hear.

 

 

I assume you mean Gusano Rojo? I had some experience with it back in high school, when they were still leaving the worm in the bottle. I gather it's a slightly more classy operation these days (sans gusano), but my advice would be the same as tanstaafl2's.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

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#69 Czequershuus

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:26 AM

That's what I thought from the bottle as well as the price, but I thought I would ask. Sometimes price is deceptive. I guess it stay on the only from the internet list.



#70 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:41 AM

Regarding Cusano Rojo - I am pretty sure that this is the first bottle of mezcal I ever bought. My criteria at the time were 1) the worm (of course) and 2) the price. I think my parents still have it somewhere in their liquor cabinet (almost 20 years later). It is pretty bad.



#71 Snark

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:01 AM

Has anyone done any side-by-side comparisons of cocktails made with Maguey's Vida, next to the same cocktails made with more expensive mezcal (e.g., Maguey's Chichicapa)?

 

I ask because some recipes (e.g.rogue beta cocktail's Black Cat) specifically call for a pricier mezcal, and I'm interested in whether folks that have feel the difference in price is worth the difference in taste.


Edited by Snark, 20 April 2013 - 09:03 AM.


#72 Snark

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:18 PM

Has anyone done any side-by-side comparisons of cocktails made with Maguey's Vida, next to the same cocktails made with more expensive mezcal (e.g., Maguey's Chichicapa)?

 

I ask because some recipes (e.g.rogue beta cocktail's Black Cat) specifically call for a pricier mezcal, and I'm interested in whether folks that have feel the difference in price is worth the difference in taste.

 

So is everyone just using cheap(er) mezcal, then?



#73 Czequershuus

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:37 PM

Reviving this thread as I have just acquired my first proper bottle of mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)

 

Wow is this a glorious product. I was worried iI would not find the smokiness agreeable in cocktail. . I have a bottle of Laphroaig that I enjoy on its own, but I find overwhelming in most cocktail applications, and I was hoping the mezcal would not be the same. Well, it was not. I found Vida wonderfully balanced, smokey yet fruity, that kind of jammy fruitiness I find so attractive in tequila. A truly fantastic spirit. So to try it out tonight I gave it a whirl in the Oaxacan Old-Fashioned using this recipe.

 

1.5 Oz Reposado Tequila(I recently bought Peidra Azul at an enormous bargain)

0.5 Oz Mezal (Del Maguey Vida)

1 tsp Agave Syrup(I used Simple, having read about the scam that Agave nectar represents)

1 ds Bittermans Xocoatl Mole bitter

Stir, lowball, rocks, flammed orange twist(Which I sadly skipped, good oranges are just not availible in my area now)

 

Lovely. Really capture the spirit of an old fashioned, with plenty of flavor to contemplate. 

 

I also tried this, which I found of Cocktail Virgin Slut (One of  my three favorite recipe resources, combined with here and Kindred Cocktails)

 

Last Caress

2 Oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)

0.75 OZ Benedictine

0.25 Oz Mezcal

0.25 Oz Maraschino

2 ds Angostura Bitters

 

Wow, very nice cocktail. Maraschino and Mezcal seem to play very nicely, something about the smoke fights the Marachino funk so neither take over. The Benedictine hides in the background, providing a lovely honey backdrop . I do love Rye and Maraschino as a combo, and this just works.


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#74 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:36 AM

I also tried this, which I found of Cocktail Virgin Slut (One of  my three favorite recipe resources, combined with here and Kindred Cocktails)

 

Last Caress

2 Oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)

0.75 OZ Benedictine

0.25 Oz Mezcal

0.25 Oz Maraschino

2 ds Angostura Bitters

 

Wow, very nice cocktail. Maraschino and Mezcal seem to play very nicely, something about the smoke fights the Marachino funk so neither take over. The Benedictine hides in the background, providing a lovely honey backdrop . I do love Rye and Maraschino as a combo, and this just works.

 

Czerquershuus,

 

Thank you for recommending Dan Carlson's Last Caress. It immediately caught my eye because I thought that the rye + maraschino liqueur combo looked promising. It is at the basis of one of my favorite cocktail, the Brooklyn, and many of its variations including another favorite, the Red Hook.

 

The aroma was citrus-forward. On the first sip I tasted the rye with a lot of spice, then a hint of lemon, herbs from the Benedictine, long finish. Overall it felt very smooth and had just a hint of smoke from the mezcal in the background.

The rye + Benedictine combination reminded me of the Monte Carlo that I tried a few nights ago.  Really good.

 

10078551316_f71befda88_z.jpg
 


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 04 October 2013 - 09:44 AM.

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#75 KD1191

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 08:22 PM

 

I also tried this, which I found of Cocktail Virgin Slut (One of  my three favorite recipe resources, combined with here and Kindred Cocktails)

 

Last Caress

2 Oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)

0.75 OZ Benedictine

0.25 Oz Mezcal

0.25 Oz Maraschino

2 ds Angostura Bitters

 

Wow, very nice cocktail. Maraschino and Mezcal seem to play very nicely, something about the smoke fights the Marachino funk so neither take over. The Benedictine hides in the background, providing a lovely honey backdrop . I do love Rye and Maraschino as a combo, and this just works.

 

Czerquershuus,

 

Thank you for recommending Dan Carlson's Last Caress. It immediately caught my eye because I thought that the rye + maraschino liqueur combo looked promising. It is at the basis of one of my favorite cocktail, the Brooklyn, and many of its variations including another favorite, the Red Hook.

 

The aroma was citrus-forward. On the first sip I tasted the rye with a lot of spice, then a hint of lemon, herbs from the Benedictine, long finish. Overall it felt very smooth and had just a hint of smoke from the mezcal in the background.

The rye + Benedictine combination reminded me of the Monte Carlo that I tried a few nights ago.  Really good.

 

Agreed, thanks to both of you for bringing this one to my attention.

 

Reading the recipe, I thought about using the Mezcal as a rinse instead of integrating it. I expected the final product might need something more olfactorily to stand up to such complexity on the palate, but I mixed it up as written. On tasting from the mixing glass, I was impressed by the harmony of flavors, but did find the aroma lagging behind. So, I pulled down a bottle of Chartreuse that has some fantastic vegetal notes (it's a mid-70s bottling, a dark, musty green) and rinsed a chilled rocks glass with it, then in went the otherwise textbook Last Caress (I used Rittenhouse for the Rye, Vida for the Mezcal, and Leopold Bros. for the Maraschino). The result was thoroughly enjoyable, and remarkably food friendly. I will be making a batch of these the next time I make barbecue.


Edited by KD1191, 05 October 2013 - 09:16 PM.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#76 Czequershuus

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 06:52 PM

Another Mezcal cocktail that worked out fantastically was the Velvet Goldmine, which I found on Cocktail Virgin Slut

 

Velvet Goldmine

2 Oz Mezcal (Vida)

0.5 Oz Velvet Falernum

0.5 Oz Fernet Branca

0.5 Oz Pineapple Juice

0.75 Oz Lime Juice

0.25 Oz Agave Nectar(I used simple syrup, because of what I have seen about Agave Nectar, and it is what I had)

1 ds Peychauds

Shake with ice and strain into rocks glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig(Omitted, my mint has already received frost) and a straw

 

Wow, super complex and tasty. I think I like Mezcal a bit more than my budget allows, because this is a sensational cocktail. Deep flavors, creating impressions of thing that weren't there(I kept getting a faint hint of coffee).


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#77 EvergreenDan

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 03:57 PM

I liked the Last Caress, but it is rather sweet. Next time I'd split the Benedictine 50/50 with dry vermouth, I think.


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#78 Czequershuus

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:14 PM

Continuing experiments with my glorious bottle of Vida!

 

Oaxacan Ice Water

1.5 Oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)

1 Oz Lemon Juice

0.5 Oz Agave Nectar(Rich Turbinado Syruo)

2 Ds Grapefruit Bitters(Fee's)

1 OZ Soda Water

 

Shake first four ingredients with ice. Strain into a Old-Fashioned glass with fresh ice(I used a water goblet, as inspired by the name:)

 

Again, a total success. This drink really lets the Mezcal shine in a way that is not overpowering. And a great use of my recently acquired Grapefruit bitters.



#79 Tri2Cook

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:25 AM

Continuing experiments with my glorious bottle of Vida!

 

Oaxacan Ice Water

1.5 Oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)

1 Oz Lemon Juice

0.5 Oz Agave Nectar(Rich Turbinado Syruo)

2 Ds Grapefruit Bitters(Fee's)

1 OZ Soda Water

 

Shake first four ingredients with ice. Strain into a Old-Fashioned glass with fresh ice(I used a water goblet, as inspired by the name:)

 

Again, a total success. This drink really lets the Mezcal shine in a way that is not overpowering. And a great use of my recently acquired Grapefruit bitters.

I tried that one a couple years ago, with the less than stellar mezcal that I can get where I live, and really enjoyed it. Good name for it too, it's refreshing and goes down easy on a hot day.
 


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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#80 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:10 PM

Gastown from Happiness Forgets in London (Geoff Robinson). It's mezcal with a touch of Cynar, Fernet, Angostura and Jerry Thomas' Own Decanter bitters, plus a little bit of maple syrup to sweeten up the deal.

 

11429311425_cbee372dc3_z.jpg
 

Quite rogue/beta cocktail-like and quite good actually. Smoke, orange, bitter, and savory.


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#81 tanstaafl2

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:04 PM

Gastown from Happiness Forgets in London (Geoff Robinson). It's mezcal with a touch of Cynar, Fernet, Angostura and Jerry Thomas' Own Decanter bitters, plus a little bit of maple syrup to sweeten up the deal.

 

11429311425_cbee372dc3_z.jpg
 

Quite rogue/beta cocktail-like and quite good actually. Smoke, orange, bitter, and savory.

Interesting sounding drink and may suit the crowd that liked the In Bloom last weekend. But what an odd measurement for the mezcal! KC lists the Vida at 1 3/8 ounces. Reallly? Is another 1/8 oz (roughly 3.7 ml) going to make that much difference?


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#82 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:21 PM

 

Interesting sounding drink and may suit the crowd that liked the In Bloom last weekend. But what an odd measurement for the mezcal! KC lists the Vida at 1 3/8 ounces. Reallly? Is another 1/8 oz (roughly 3.7 ml) going to make that much difference?

 

That's because the recipe was converted from metric (1 3/8 oz ~ 40 mL).



#83 EvergreenDan

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 09:23 AM

 

That's because the recipe was converted from metric (1 3/8 oz ~ 40 mL).

 

Right you are. A bit of trickery goes into making the conversions sufficiently, but not overly, precise. 40 ml = 1.35256 oz.

 

If you can set you ml / oz preference in your account profile.


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#84 tanstaafl2

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:01 PM

 

 

That's because the recipe was converted from metric (1 3/8 oz ~ 40 mL).

 

Right you are. A bit of trickery goes into making the conversions sufficiently, but not overly, precise. 40 ml = 1.35256 oz.

 

If you can set you ml / oz preference in your account profile.

 

 

Ah! Fair enough. Guess I need to use the preference tool when I see an odd measurement!


Edited by tanstaafl2, 20 December 2013 - 03:02 PM.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#85 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:13 PM

It's amazing the number of views you get when you post something called Naked and Famous on flickr. I guess I should not be surprised. Anyway, this creation by Joaquín Simó is a delicious drink. Equal parts mezcal, aperol, yellow chartreuse, and lime juice. Sour/aromatic/bitter/smoky. Everything meshes together. Great combo and a very attractive color.

 

12111773033_331ea245a0_z.jpg
 

 


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