Mexico’s Scorpion Mezcal empowers Oaxaca women

Erica is sitting in the office of her boss of eight years, Douglas French, owner of Scorpion Mezcal in San Agustín de las Juntas, Oaxaca. French has just informed her that she qualifies to become a purchaser in Infonavit, Mexico’s government-sponsored home ownership program, which provides low interest mortgages in designated housing developments. French then […]

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Family tradition: five generations of mezcaleros in Matatlan, Oaxaca

Don Isaac recounts awaking at 4 a.m. then walking from his village of Matatlán, with his mule, to Oaxac. He arrived some 14 or 15 hours later… just to buy a large cántaro, the traditional clay vessel then used for making and transporting mezcal. Often he would stop en route, at Santa María el Tule, for a […]

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Sotol is aged up to two years in wooden barrels © William Kaliher, 2011

Sotol: another drink from the New World’s oldest wine producing region in Mexico

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 Reaching the oldest existing winery and vineyards in the New World, dating from 1597, and Antigua Hacienda de Perote, among other fine hotels, is fairly simple for any […]

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Mexican mezcal in the global spirits market: Unrivalled complexity, innumerable nuances

Mexican Mezcal in the Global Spirits Market: Unrivalled Complexity, Innumerable Nuances – By Alvin Gary Starkman, M.A., J.D. (Carteles Editores – P.G.O., Oaxaca, March 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 […]

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Ingredients for the classic margarita include tequila, Cointreau, the juice of fresh limes (limones) and bar syrup, a sugar-water mixture. Salt adorns the rim of the glass. © Daniel Wheeler, 2010

Classic and refreshing: Mexico’s margarita tequila cocktail

GastroNomad in Mexico When you think of Mexico and its hot summer days, think of a cool, and flavorful cocktail with the national drink, tequila — like the classic margarita. Many legends surround the margarita, but all of them affirm that this drink was created for a special lady who — in most of the stories — […]

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Miel de maguey: an ancient Mexican sweetener brings hope

Miel de maguey: an ancient Mexican sweetener brings hope to modern villagers

Reading the recent MexConnect article Tears of the maguey: Is pulque really a dying tradition? brought me to the realization that here in Cholula, many of the pulquerías (pulque bars) have slowly and quietly vanished, and only two or three remain. While nobody was sorry about the closing of the one near the elementary school, where the kids […]

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Don Jose shows the hollow gourd, or acocote, that he uses to extract the aguamiel from the maguey plant. He is an expert at creating pulque. © Julia Taylor, 2011

Tears of the maguey: Is pulque really a dying tradition?

To Part One: Pulque and the people of Mexico If pulque can create such positive results in all of our daily lives, why is it in danger of extinction? What happened to pulque? It appears to be the victim of “classism,” which can be defined as “the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and […]

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The valleys of El Tecuane and Santa Rosa in Jalisco are filled with fields of blue agaves (Tequilana weber azul), which appear as lakes from a distance. This portion of the Mexican countryside was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. © John Pint, 2010

Did tequila originate in the Mexican town of Amatitan, Jalisco?

All the world has been told that tequila, the drink was born in Tequila — the town located 45 kilometers northwest of Guadalajara — but is this really a fact? Curiously, the famed Tequila Express train has, for years, been carrying tourists straight to a small town called Amatitán, and not to Tequila at all. […]

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