Mezcal Madre, Sommelier and Beverage Specialist, Dee Quiñones on the Magic of Mezcal
Dee Quiñones is a certified Sommelier and Beverage Specialist with a career in the hospitality industry spanning 15 years. She has a deep love for all things mezcal and loves educating people about the history and process of mezcal making. She wants to make sure that everyone has a positive experience upon their first taste and much of that comes with imparting her knowledge about the process and the Mexican culture that produces it. She admits that the first time she saw the process herself in Mexico, she was smitten not only for the ancient rituals and farm processes that are still being followed and passed down through families thousands of years later, but she also felt a sense of pride to her Mexican roots.
Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from agave, or magueys. These plants are native to the Americas and about 70% of mezcal is produced in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It’s made from the heart of the agave plant called the piña which is cooked or roasted, giving it a distinct smoky flavor.
Mezcal, or it’s mythical name of “elixir of the gods” has an origin story that says a lighting bolt struck an agave plant, which cooked it and opened it up releasing it’s juices.
Mezcal consumption has been on the rise in the last couple of years, you’ve probably seen new mezcal based cocktails pop up on cocktail menus at your favorite restaurants. Dee calls it the “gold rush” where everyone is now trying to capitalize on its newness and create innovative craft cocktail recipes.
Join me on a fun mezcal tasting journey with the Mezcal Madre as we taste the brand she is an ambassador for, Bruxo which is Mexican owned and operated. We’ll learn a lot and touch on quite a few topics such as….
• Oaxaca as the birthplace of mezcal and it’s biodiversity of agave varietals
• Other states in Mexico that are now producing mezcal
• Debunking some of the myths of mezcal
• The rural farm process of mezcal production
• Some of the agave varietals, their flavor profiles, the period of time from planting to cultivation for mezcal
• The difference between tequila and mezcal
• What gives mezcal its smoky taste
• What is pechuga mezcal and how is it made
• The 3 types of Mezcal making – industrial, artesenal, and ancestral
• How to taste mezcal and what some good pairings are
In Part 1 of our tasting journey, Bruxo’s “X” marks the spot for the introduction of mezcal tasting.
You can see more about the process of mezcal making by watching Dee’s recommendation of documentary, In the Belly of the Moon. Grab yourself a copita of mezcal for Mezcal & a Movie!