12 August 2018

From the bartender’s corner – Mezcal Sacrificio (Reposado)

Region: This Mezcal is made in the Oaxaca state (where most of Mezcals in Mexico is made). The specific area where the agave comes from is Tiacolula. Disteleria Sacrificio was started only about 7 years back.

Agave: This is the 100% espadin variety of agave – which is incidentally the most common agave used to make mezcals in Mexico. Usually the agaves are picked once they reach maturity around 8-10 years.

Roasting: The “pinas” of the espadin agave are slashed and then roasted in underground pits. Mesquite wood is lit up and burnt for two days for the pinas to get roasted.

Smashing: The slushy pinas are then smashed using a big rock wheel and a mule that keeps going around in circle.

Distilling: The resulting liquid and some amount of the fiber is then distilled. It is first distilled in steel and then distilled again a second time in copper stills. By law, all mezcals have to be distilled twice. I guess use of steel in distillation explains why they say “Artisanal” in the label.

Ageing: The output at this point of time is what traditional mezcal looks like. This bottle is “reposado” – which means the mezcal was further aged in barrels (about three months) before the mezcalero decides that it is done.

This particular bottle is diluted to 40% (to cater to the US tastes – normally is much higher).

This is my first full bottle of mezcal. So, I am still growing my taste in it. I can certainly say, the earthy nose and finish is unmistakable. There is the smoky accent throughout due to the ageing as well as the burning underground. Not very stiff. Rather smooth finish.

27 July 2018

From the bartender’s corner – The Hot Mezz

As the weekend started rolling in, I figured it might be a good idea to go ahead and try a mezcal drink. Upon some research, came across a bar in Chicago called Barrio (actually it is a bar in the restaurant called Barrio) where mixologist Calderon has concocted The Hot Mezz. It is watermelon, jalapeno with some sage syrup, lime juice and of course, mezcal.

My taste in mezcal is still growing. The part I like most is that earthy tones. Which lingers for quite some time in the finish as you exhale. Like most cocktails with these many ingredients and ice, there is no strong nose – although the earthiness and the citrus still comes thru. To the palate, it is a little biting spicy. Towards the end the water melon comes in a small wave.