¿Qué es Mezcal?
Mezcal is any spirit made from Agave plants in Mexico. The most common Mezcal people are familiar with is Tequila, a Mezcal made from Blue Agave (Agave Tequiliana) historically in the Tequila Valley of Jalisco. The Mezcals we know and love are made from a variety of Agave species found all over Mexico. Many of these species are broken down into sub-varieties, each unique and delicious.
How is mezcal Made?
Mezcal starts in nature. The Agave plant must reach maturity before harvesting, and this depends on the climate and variety; Espadin may take 8 years, while wild Tepeztate may take 30 years or more. Once mature, the outer leaves, or penca, are cut away leaving the core of the plant, the piña.
Next, the piña must be cooked. In Tequila production, this takes place in a big oven. However, much of the artisanal mezcal we enjoy is made in rural areas, far from big ovens. Here, wood-fired pit ovens, dug into the ground, are used to cook the piña. Once hot, the piña is buried in these pits and left to cook for 2 to 4 days. Here, smoke from the wood used to heat the fire combined with the caramelization of the natural sugars from the roasting piñas, leaves behind the distintive smokey character that mezcal is famous for.
Once the piña is fully roasted, it is rested, then crushed, often with hand mallets or a stone tahona. It is then mixed with water and left to ferment for roughly a week.
This agave beer, or tepache, is then distilled in a copper or clay pot still. After a second distillation, the mezcal is ready to enjoy. Most producers will release their mezcals unaged, Joven or Blanco. Tasting the spirit unaged helps show off the unique character of the agave. Afterall, the agave may have spent 30 years in the ground; it has seen enough aging.
How should i drink Mezcal?
Mezcal is a unique spirit with many different varieties, because of this, we recommend tasting mezcal as a flight. The flight we serve is made up of 3 x 1 oz pours. We can select three different Mezcals for you to try based on your preferences. We recommend this format as there is a great variety of flavour, in Mezcal and tasting a few will help us find a Mezcal you love.
Do we take reservations?
Yes we do, from 2 people or more at Gastown and 4 or more at Commercial.
Reservations can be made through our form. Muchas Gracias!