Curious about mezcal? Meet the Mezcalistas and drink your curiosity away. Next Tuesday, local mezcal bloggers and evangelists Susan Coss and Max Garrone will be taking over the Benito Juarez bar at Loló and offering guided mezcal tastings.
Gone are the days when the mention of mezcal elicited blank stares or questions about swallowing worms and hallucinating. The mezcal revolution is in full swing, and just as Coss predicted in Oaxaca after having her first sip in 2003, the spirit has found its rightful place on most artisan cocktail menus.
But mezcal is an old soul of a beverage with a long story to tell: people have been making it for centuries with over 200 varietals of agave. Although we primarily see the stuff from Oaxaca, mezcal is made in several different regions in Mexico each with their own distilling traditions. Point is, even most mezcal aficionados have more to learn-- and taste, of course.
"Mezcal opens up a whole world about agriculture, food and economic development," says Coss. "We talk about why it's not tequila and why you should care. It's just so much more than an alcoholic beverage."
On Tuesday the Mezcalistas will run through a flight of half-ounce pours, all from the same family of wild agave, the Karwinsky family. The flight includes four rare mezcals from unique producers, each showcasing the variation in flavor among the Karwinsky varietals. Last month the tasting featured five bottles all made with the espadin agave.
Coss says the tastings will be laid-back, with the duo talking through the variations and history of each bottle and offering some practical tasting instructions. The bar only fits about eight to ten people, so make your reservations soon by emailing email@example.com. There'll be another tasting the second Tuesday of August and possibly more in the months to come. Hint: You'd be wise to also make a reservation at Loló if you're thinking about dining afterwards.
Meet the Karwinskis costs $25 per person and runs 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.