The snobby snob’s guide to Mezcal
Mezcal, tequila’s artisan cousin, is now the world’s fastest-growing spirit. Smoky, complex and made in tiny batches, it’s a favourite with booze snobs, hipsters and liquoristas. Some are good, some are the sensory approximation of an acid trip and some have sold out to the likes of Bacardi. So if you don’t really know your Espadin from your Tepeztate, here’s three rare mezcals that will impress snobby drinkers…
Pensador is what Mezcal snobs call an ‘ensamble’. In other words, a blend. In this case, it’s fruity Espadin agave and earthy Madre-cuishe agave. Made by Don Atenogenes in his fields near Miahuatlan, the agave is harvested with machetes, processed on a mill pulled by mules, and roasted for five days over an open fire to caramelise the sugars. Laborious, but the result is strong enough to knock out a luchador. Rare mezcal indeed. £40 Buy
Alipus San Juan
Alipus is the hipster mezcal. It’s owned by two brothers (it’s always ‘two brothers’, usually with beards) who purchased a tiny artisan distillery and introduced state-of-the-art chemistry to ensure a regular supply of world class mezcal. If you want to be a real snob, sip it between snacking on slices of orange sprinkled with agave worm salt, a smoky seasoning made from the pests that live in the agave plant. A rare mezcal for the connoisseur. £54 Buy
El Jolgorio Tepeztate
Why does this beauty cost £85 a bottle? Allow us to explain. Espadin is the easiest type of agave to grow and takes eight years to ripen. Tobala only grows at high altitude and takes fifteen years to ripen. Tepeztate, however, takes 30 years to ripen and only grows on the side of cliffs, making it a nightmare to harvest. By drinking this peppery beauty, you’re basically driving the plant to extinction. Still, it’s bloody delicious. As rare a mezcal is it gets. £85 Buy
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