Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mezcal Production Drawing Mexicans Back Home

It’s after midnight at Bar Añejo in Manhattan. Añejo means ‘aged’. On this night--in this place--it means “the nectar of a Mexican plant that’s been lovingly grown, and you’re about to sip it.” “We’re having a midnight mezcal de Oaxaca….” Mezcal is tequila’s cousin. Both are products of both the agave plant and astonishing skill. But unlike tequila, mezcal isn’t mass produced -- each batch is unique -- and most of the people here have never tasted it. “It’s wonderfully smooth, it has a very powerful, smoky taste.” Mezcal bars are increasingly popular in the U.S. in cities like New York, Austin, Denver and Los Angeles. The Mexican agency that certifies mezcal says exports have gone from 100,000 gallons to 170,000 in the last 2.5 years. But this isn’t a story about where mezcal ends up, or why it’s in fashion. This is about where mezcal’s made, how it’s made, and how an unexpected thirst for mezcal in the United States is bringing some people home to Mexico...more

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