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Mexican mezcal in the global spirits market: Unrivalled complexity, innumerable nuances Reviewed by William B. Kaliher

Mexican mezcal in the global spirits market: Unrivalled complexity, innumerable nuances,
A Mexico book by Alvin Gary Starkman, M.A., J.D.
© Alvin Gary Starkman, M.A., J.D., 2014

Derived from the agave plant, mescal — or mezcal — has been enjoyed since before the Spanish conquest.

Most is produced in the Mexican state of Oaxaca and, as with so many distilled spirits, reveals distinct nuances in smoothness, smokiness and flavor.

How each producer distills is also unique to his facility and likely his family history of making mezcal. ondenser is kept cool through circulating it or by continuously using new cool water, and so on. No two traditional clay distillers or copper pot distillers use exactly the same recipe unless they are close family members.

A friend said, Alvin Starkman has written the best book on mezcal in the English language.... read more

Mexican motorcyclists and popsicles in Catemaco William B. Kaliher

I stepped to the front of the restaurant, near the screen, and turned around. From the darkened room, the worst motorcycle gang in southern Mexico stared back. Then I noticed these rough looking, leath... read more

Better than a Cuban cigar: Mexico's Santa Clara Puros William B. Kaliher

Puros Santa Clara number among the world's finest cigars. In fact, these fine Mexico cigars rival — and surpass — Cuban cigars in flavor and quality. Señor Jorge Ortiz Alvarez Many articles ... read more

Sotol: another drink from the New World's oldest wine producing region in Mexico William B. Kaliher

Indian on the high desert: "When poor Mexicans have no money for beer or liquor they say, 'There is always sotol.'" Driving to the Hacienda de Perote ... read more

A German cigar produced in Mexico: Puros Sihuapan William B. Kaliher

Still cool, in the early tropical morning, I pulled to the curve to savor a coffee at the Fractal to enjoy the early morning activities on the malecón along Laguna Catemaco. The Fractal had been an ac... read more

Catemaco, Mexico: home to an eclectic group of international expats William B. Kaliher

The producer of Medicine Man, starring Sean Connery, found Los Tuxtlas, as did Mel Gibson when he filmed Apocalypto. Being the home of the mysterious Olmec civilization, which predated the Mayans, make... read more

Retirement in Paradise: a '50s burger drive-in on Mexico's Emerald Coast William B. Kaliher

Retiring in Mexico means different things for different people. But an American couple in tiny Tecolutla on Mexico's Emerald Coast have forged a unique and fulfilling lifestyle by taking the road less ... read more

Alberto Turrent and Te-Amo: Six generations of Mexican cigars William B. Kaliher

Mexico's famous Te-Amo cigar comes from Sihuapan, near Catemaco, Veracruz. The producer — Turrent, Nueva Matacapan Tabacos, S.A. de C.V. — takes its name from the owner, Alberto Turrent, the fifth ... read more

Tabacalera Alberto: What's smoking with Mexico's leading cigar maker? William B. Kaliher

Driving to Yucatan, I made a wrong turn and wound up in the town of Catemaco. A shady beach drive along a huge lake provided a tranquil setting reminiscent of Hollywood's 1930s America. I pulled to the... read more

Wild Bill discovers Mexico's Costa Esmeralda — the Emerald Coast of Veracruz William B. Kaliher

Wild Bill is a seventy-six year-old expatriate enjoying his motor home and life in relative seclusion at Quinta Alicia Trailer Park on the palm covered coast of Costa Esmeralda, Mexico. Retired from bo... read more

A perfect Mexico camping spot on the Costa Esmeralda of Veracruz William B. Kaliher

The term Costa Esmeralda covers a stretch of highway about fifteen miles long from Hotel Riachuelos to Casitas. Five tiny beach towns, occasionally broken by cattle farms and small rivers running down to the sea, enliven the stretch. These Mexican Gulf beaches are veritable tropical gardens. The location is 259 kilometers south of Tampico and 205 kilometers north of Veracruz on Highway 180. read more
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