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Cheers: La Vida en un Sorbo by Ron Mader © 2006

Imagining Mexico without tequila is like picturing Switzerland without Chocolate or Italy without tomatos. But before the Spanish arrived, Mexico's first alcoholic beverages were created using corn and fermented fruits. The most famous was Pulque and used for religious and medicinal purposes. This month's review of Mexico websites pays homage to the distillation process.

We top it off by featuring Mexico's other premier beverage -- coffee.

Cheers!

Tequila: In Search of the Blue Agave
http://www.ianchadwick.com/tequila /5 Stars

Created by tequila fan extraordinaire Ian Chadwick, this website not only seeks Blue Agave but it successfully documents the plant. While the site has not been updated in more than a year, it offers great design, timeless information and a comprehensive look at this beverage. Most books are not this detailed! The site is divided in 14 sections about production, history and culture. Ian also reviews tequila's sister drink, mezcal, as well as its ancestor, pulque, with some asides on other regional Mexican drinks like bacanora and sotol. You'll find copious references and links to recipes, drink mixes, margaritas and industry sites.

Tequila Aficionado
http://www.tequilaaficionado.com /5 Stars

Tequila fans unite! This industry website managed by Alexander Perez provides the most comprehensive source of information about tequila and mezcal. While the design is basic, the website is updated on a regular basis. You can also register for a free account and sound off on your favorite tequila.

Sociedad de Productores Agave del Sur
http://www.agavedelsur.com /5 Stars

Too much animation, and not enough content, this site could use improving ASAP. The site features the work of an association of mezcal producers representing 63 distilleries in the Amatlanes region of Oaxaca. The site provides a list of a few of its brands ( Marcas) and a dull history of the distillation process itself. The website is basic, but could be much more useful to the consumer or visitor who would like to visit the factories for a first-hand visit.

Coordinadora Nacional de Organizaciones Cafetaleras
http://www.laneta.apc.org/cnoc/ /5 Stars

In 1988, several regional organizations of small coffee growers formed the Coordinadora Nacional de Organizaciones Cafetaleras (CNOC), an autonomous national network of 126 regional peasant organizations that unites 75,000 small coffee producers. While CNOC is known for its public outreach -- including the development of the exposition "Life in a Sip" ( La Vida en un Sorbo) for the National Musueum of Popular Culture -- the website is a big disappointment. It provides dated information and is visually unappealing.

Corona
http://www.corona.com/ /5 Stars

Another disappointing website is from the King of light beers. The website is only available in English, assumes visitors come from the United States and provides a glorified TV commercial as bait. If you have time to spare, don't mind Flash software and want to play games by dunking a cellphone , it's a site to visit. Otherwise, choose another cerveza.

Sidebox: History of the Mexico Margarita
http://www.cocktailtimes.com/history/margarita.html

- Cocktailtimes.com investigates the Tijuana versus Acapulco claims to be birthplace of the famed tequila and lime juice concoction. The site also features margarita recipes. Bookmark and stir.

Other Websites

International Coffee Organization
http://www.ico.org/

- This site provided regular updates from the London-based intergovernmental body is comprised of members from coffee exporting and importing countries

Hencorp Coffee Group Commentary
http://www.hencorp.com/web/html/futures/coffeereport.asp

- Coffee news served up fresh daily

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Ron Mader © 2008
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