Impediments to Making Mexican Mezcal With Your Own Agave

Both aficionados of mezcal, and novices to imbibing the traditionally high alcohol agave distillate, at times consider making the spirit at home with their own crop of the succulent. While the idea is both novel and admirable, it has its difficulties and downsides. Just because it’s done in California and perhaps other states in the

Permaculture and Mezcal in Oaxaca, Mexico

A few years ago I was leading a group of travelers to the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca on a mezcal educational excursion. Mezcal is the agave based spirit produced in Mexico dating back to anywhere between the 1500s to over 2,000 years ago, depending upon to which theory of the history of distillation one

Woodcarver in Oaxaca Transitions to Mezcal and Agave

San Martin Tilcajete is one of three villages in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca known for carving and painting fanciful figures popularly known as alebrijes; mythical dragons and other animals, pieces with cultural or religious imagery, and more. Typically the men carve the figures out of a soft wood, copal, and the women paint.

Mezcal, Methanol, Moonshine and Myth

It’s hard to separate fact from fiction from fear-mongering, when trying to understand the relationship between the Mexican agave-based spirit mezcal, and methanol poisoning resulting in blindness or death as the worst case scenarios. The purely physical science treatises are in large part beyond my level of comprehension. At the other end of the spectrum

Education and Artisanal Mezcal Production in Oaxaca, Mexico

A characteristic of growth in the global wine industry for some decades is slowly creeping into artisanal mezcal production in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. That is, small producers are using their new-found disposable income to educate their children, with a view to increasing manufacture in a sustainable fashion while at the same time

Mexico’s Mezcal Receives Exhaustive Treatment in Holy Smoke: A Book Review

In less than a decade, mezcal, Mexico’s iconic spirit with a history dating back at least over 400 years, has emerged from the doldrums, finally garnering a reputation as a quality sipping spirit. Until now its history, nuances, regulation and innumerable incarnations has been essentially ignored in English language popular non-fiction literature, in favor of