Tequila Aficionado’s Open Bar with Mestizo Mezcal

Join Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch of Tequila Aficionado as they discuss Mestizo Mezcal with the creators of this award winning gateway mezcal.

Save Mezcal! Click Here to Sign the Petition Against Nom 199

nom 199

From the Mestizo Mezcal Website:

Our Brand

The name of our brand, MESTIZO, is a perfect one-word description of how mezcal was created. Mestizo originates from the Latinmixticĭus, meaning mixed, and was used by the Spanish to refer to the mixing of the European and indigenous Mexican people.   Mezcal is a fusion between the ancient beverage mexcalli, produced by the indigenous tribes of Mexico, and the alambique distillation process introduced to the Spanish by the Moors and subsequently brought by the Spanish to the indigenous civilization of the American colonies.  Mezcal is thus the first MESTIZO spirit of America.

What is Mestizo Mezcal?

Mestizo Mezcal is an ancient spirit that is unique because of its distinctive, complex and aromatic flavors.  Mezcal was produced centuries ago by the Zapotec tribe in Mexico, and was considered to be a gift from the goddess Mayahuel.  In the 16th century, the Spanish introduced a specialized European distillation process to the Zapotec tribe that was used to improve the ancient beverage.  Today, the founders of Mestizo Mezcal works with its producers from the Mexican state of Oaxaca to further define and enrich the taste of our product and create a perfect convergence of cultures within each bottle.

Find Mestizo Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Buy Mestizo Online

Hi-Time Wine Cellars | Wally’s Wine & Spirits

NOM 199 Will Bring the Tequila & Mezcal Apocalypse

[This editorial (with my comments) is inspired by the following video on the dastardly NOM 199 currently in review in Mexico.  Please, take a few moments to view this easy-to-follow video, then, feel free to share it among your friends, family, colleagues and cohorts.

Afterwards, go here to sign the petition and unifying statement against NOM 199.]

¿Qué es la NOM199? / What is NOM199 from pedro jimenez gurria on Vimeo.

First, a Little History

In 2012, a Mexican legislation called NOM 186 was launched that would regulate any agave spirit.  It would have deprived many rights to small traditional and artisanal mezcal producers outside the Denomination of Origin of Tequila and Mezcal.

All other agave spirits would have been erroneously called “AGUA ARDIENTE de AGAVECEA.”

It would have also trademarked the word “AGAVE” to the Tequila Industry.

This would be like trying to trademark the word “grape.”

Imagine small winemakers not being able to say that their wine was made from grapes because they didn’t own the trademark, “grape?”

Dumb, huh?

Both these measures were driven by the Tequila Industry and the Mexican Ministry of Economy, among other institutions.

Through the efforts of those in the academic fields, hospitality (bars and restaurants), interested WORLD citizens with large social media followings, and those concerned about the fair regulation of what we eat and drink, this NOM was soundly defeated.

NOM 199: The Zombie of NOM 186!

Now, there’s a new initiative that’s designed to revive those previously rejected proposals.

It has been signed and endorsed by the Tequila Industry, the Regulatory Board of Mezcal, and other transnational corporations—and you know who they are!

This time, they aim to misinform you the consumer, about what you are drinking by renaming agave spirits outside of the Denomination of Origins of Tequila and Mezcal as “KOMIL.”

Ever hear of the term komil?

Me, neither.

Nobody has.

There are no cultural records or documents anywhere in Mexico that refer to an agave distillate by the term komil—

None.

It is based on a Nahuatl word (KOMILI) meaning, “intoxicant [inebriating] drink.”

If one of NOM 199’s very own passages is correct:

“The information printed on the labels of the bottles must be truthful and not induce confusion in the consumer as to the nature and characteristics of the product,” then…

They’re doing it all wrong.

If these distillates are forced to be labeled KOMIL and forbidden to use the word AGAVE, it will be more ambiguous and confusing to the consumer and he/she won’t be as informed as to what the drink is made from.

Komil could literally be eggnog like rompope, a tequila or mixto tequila, or any drink that intoxicates.

Currently, any mezcal outside of the Denomination of Origin cannot be termed Mezcal.  Instead it is referred to as “destilado de agave” (agave distillate) or “aguardiente de agave” (agave firewater).

That is already a huge commercial disadvantage.

If this legislation passes and becomes law, these spirits would be forced to label themselves as KOMILES [plural of KOMIL].

This would not only increase unfair competition and confuse the consumer, but would also deprive the basic human rights of those who preserve the tradition of making these distillates by calling them by their actual true name.

This proposed legislation is a cultural and labor dispossession, and an arbitrarily imposed term.

It is designed to wipe out or erase the cultural, historical and familial stories inherent in each beautiful and distinctive agave spirit.

 Consider it a form of genocide.

fb 199Imagine not ever being able to tell the story behind your grandmother’s favorite recipe for cookies or apple pie even though it’s been in your family for generations?

We agree that all alcoholic beverages need some sort of regulation because there are those unscrupulous producers whose beverages deceive and defraud consumers and threaten their health.

This is precisely why we demand consistent, detailed, inclusive, normas (laws) with not only an economic basis in mind, but with academic and bio-cultural, as well.

The spirit that each of these small producers make are derived by distilling AGAVE.

There’s no reason to lie and call it KOMIL.

Let’s call it what it is.

Stay informed and protect what’s yours—The National Heritage. #sellamamezcal  #NoKomil

Open Bar #9 | One with Life Tequila

Open Bar with One with Life (OWL) Tequila, Monday April 18

 

 

*Please Note*

This is not a telephone call-in show. We will not answer our phones during the show.
If you would like to participate in this show, please click here.

One with Life Tequila on Tequila Aficionado www.tequilaaficionado.comOne With Life

One with Life Tequila (OWL) is part of a philosophy aligned with living a mindful and balanced life.  Grown and produced in an organic farm and distillery system in Jalisco, Mexico, it has a smooth, crisp and earthy taste that emulates the pure agave plant.

Enjoying One with Life Tequila, in moderation, reminds us to celebrate life with family and friends and appreciate the here and now.

So relax.  Be happy.  Be present.  Listen deeply.  Speak lovingly.  Smile, breathe, go slowly. 

Find One with Life Tequila Online | Facebook | Instagram

 

From the Website

OWL embraces the philosophy of consuming products that are grown and produced by organic farming, which excludes synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, genetically modified organisms and other artificial enhancements.

OWL has a smooth, crisp and earthy taste that emulates the pure agave plant from which it was created and it’s sweet scent alludes to a touch of citrus. It is this purity that makes OWL easy to sip or blend with your favorite beverages. Whether you are new to the tequila world, an aficionado, or a connoisseur, you will thoroughly enjoy our unique tasting spirit.

 

Women In The Tequila Industry: Marie Sarita Gaytán

Sarita_book Ever wonder how Tequila got to be “The Spirit of Mexico?”

Dr. Marie Sarita Gaytán explains how in her landmark book, Tequila!  Distilling the Spirit of Mexico. 

While we’ve interviewed other Tequila Boss Ladies who have a hand in producing their own brands, this tequila and mezcal researcher, who is also an Associate Professor at the University of Utah, can explain how it came to be known as Mexico’s National Drink.

Besides, when it comes to Women In the Tequila Industry, she’s the one best suited to explain how Tequila actually became an industry.

Here, she gives us her responses to our customary handful of questions.  Afterwards, do yourself a favor and add her book to your tequila library.

***

TA:  How would you describe your experiences as a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?  What are the challenges you face when dealing with the male dominated Tequila/Mezcal Industries?

MSG:  I think that it’s important to note that, although a woman, I am not actually involved in these industries.  Instead, I’m a tequila and mezcal researcher, so my experiences are much different than those women who are navigating the business side of these trades.

What I can say, however, is that during the process of conducting fieldwork in Sarita_crop (2)Mexico for my book, industrialists, regulators, and tourism employees, both men and women, were generous with their time.

I approached the topic with sincere curiosity—I did not have a hypothesis to prove, I wanted to learn as much as I could, and folks were very open to sharing their experiences.

TA:  How have you been able to change things within the Tequila/Mezcal Industries?

MSG:  What I have done is try to resituate the focus on tequila by paying attention to the people behind the product.

I am less interested in which tequila tastes best, or experimenting with the latest agave-based cocktail.

My work underscores how and why tequila emerged as Mexico’s drink—that is, my aim was to dig into the politics that created the conditions for tequila’s rise to fame within the nation.

TA:  What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila/Mezcal Industries?

SaritaMSG:  Women have always been working in the tequila industry.

What’s changed somewhat, is that now they are creating their own brands, starting their own companies.

As tequila and mezcal become more global, there is more room for the entrance of new actors, new competition.

Women are definitely making their mark as the market continues to widen.

TA:  What facets of the Tequila/Mezcal Industries would you like to see change?

MSG:  I am not especially impressed with the Tequila Regulatory Council’s close connection to the government, their support of the interests of transnational liquor conglomerates, and their myopic focus on profit.

Together with Sarah Bowen (from North Carolina State University), we’ve published several articles critiquing their politics—extralocal actors, in particular, multi-national companies—have more influence over the direction of the industry at the peril of small-scale agave farmers, local craftsmen/women, and the residents of Tequila.

This remains a critical problem, one that is not poised to change anytime soon.

TA:  Do you approve of how Tequila/Mezcal brands are currently marketing themselves?

I’ve never thought about this question as a matter of approval or disapproval, but what I will say, is that I’m very interested in seeing how tequila and mezcal branding unfolds in China.

What do producers think about Chinese consumers?  What will Chinese consumers be looking for when they purchase certain brands?  This is fascinating stuff.

TA:  Is there anything you’d like to say to women who may be contemplating entering and working in the Tequila/Mezcal Industries in one form or another?

MSG:  Continue to network and find a mentor, woman or man, to help you understand the nuances of the industry.

Tequila Aficionado Podcast

Take Your Tequila (Podcast) With You

podcast, tequila aficionadoJust as you realize we aren’t sitting around all day drinking tequila (no, really, we aren’t), we realize you’re on the go too and that means you want to take your Tequila Aficionado Media with you.  That’s why we’re bringing back the podcast!

We’ve been knocking ourselves out over the past few years to take things up a notch and make Tequila Aficionado content more valuable to you and available on all platforms.

We strive daily to make good on the first part.

On the second…

Tequila Aficionado began as a podcast back in 1999 and then we moved to the Vodpod video platform.  In the past three years, we’ve taken it to YouTube, YouTube Red, the Maker Studios Channel, and Blab.

Old School Podcast

Now we’re taking it back to old school tech and we’ll be bringing you the complete library of Tequila Aficionado audio and video via podcast.  Look for more podcasts coming daily.  We’re working on getting onto iTunes, but that will take a bit longer.  So click on the feed below or the RSS icon in the sidebar to add the Tequila Aficionado Podcasts to your feed and start listening today!

podcast, tequila aficionado, feedburner

Tequila Aficionado Heartland Tour

Heartland Tour

HeartlandTour sidebar, heartland, tequila aficionadoWe’re planning to hit the road again this fall and we’re taking this trip in a whole new direction.  Our last trip was all about the great Southwest and the photo ops available there for Tequilas and mezcals, but this tour will be different – we’re going straight for the Heartland.

What We’ll Do

On this tour, we’ll be traveling north from Texas to the Twin Cities to share some agave love in those states in between.  From there, we’ll explore pairing with Wisconsin Cheeses and Michigan apples.

All along the way, we expect to have plenty of pairing and photo ops for agave spirit brands that want to come along and we’re fine tuning all our networks to share as much of the experience as we can through live Facebook video, YouTube video, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and more.  This means epic, out-of-the-box content for the brands who choose to come with us.

How To Get In On It

If we’ve reviewed your brand and nominated it for or awarded it with a Brands of Promise Award, we’d love to have it on board for this tour that promises the best the American Heartland has to offer.

For details on the social content packages that we plan to provide for brands during this tour, contact Lisa@TequilaAficionado.com.

Bullying in Tequila?

By now, many of you have seen or read the following story that first appeared in the Chinese press and was then regurgitated by the Mexican newspapers, followed by this video report concerning the alleged shutdown and supposed seizure of over a million liters of tequila at the Embajador distillery (NOM 1509) located in Atotonilco, Jalisco Mexico.

 

Recently, a concerned tequila brand owner emailed us the following:

 

“Curious–in your opinion do you think they [COFEPRIS (Comisión Federál para la Protección contra Reisgos Sanitarios)  and SAT (Servicio de Admistración Tributaria)] might be just flexing muscle?  Wonder if some of it was just paperwork and getting blown out of proportion?  …Nothing surprises me, anymore.”

 

Whether you’re a consumer or a tequila brand owner, you’d be correct in asking these same questions.

 

And, since you asked…

 

To me, this is clearly a case of government agencies bullying an up-and-coming player poised to enter the Asian market.

 

 

Here’s why I think that–

 

My sources tell me that the family-owned distillery has had a clean track record without a single citation in over 15 years.  Moreover, in the past year or two, the family has made a number of improvements and investments to the distillery in order to compete effectively in Asia, with a focus on China.

 

Oddly, the news broke almost immediately in the Chinese press with an exact list of the seemingly minor infractions and liters of tequila “seized.”

 

Why was it not reported in the Mexican press, first?  How did China scoop Mexico in its own backyard?

 

 

Realistically, the amount of seized juice could be estimated to have a wholesale value of $10 million dollars, and a retail value of exponentially much more.

 

Why would a family-owned tequila distillery suddenly become so careless with a process that is very near and dear to them?

 

In my opinion, this whole situation reeks of a deliberate and malicious act to not only bully the family-owned distillery, but to also smear its reputation locally, and potentially, globally.

 

The aforementioned sources also claim that no tequila  was physically seized, carted away or even dumped.  Customarily, the minor infractions that were meticulously listed in the news reports would only garner a fair warning and would never warrant such a full blown assault on any tequila producing factory.

 

Strong arming Embajador Tequila and making it a sacrificial lamb to justify the existence of an illusory campaign against illegally produced tequila is simply bad politics.

 

My research reveals that the Embajador distillery is working closely with the CRT. 

 

It will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds.

Open Bar with Nocaut Reserva Tequila

Join Mike & Lisa on Open Bar with Nocaut Reserva Tequila – a former champion that has come out of retirement for a comeback!

 

Don’t be fooled by imitators!

This is the original Nocaut Tequila from NOM 1459.

tesla

Find Nocaut Reserva Online

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Organic Tequilas To Be Certified By CRT

organic tequilas, tequila aficionado Certified Organic Tequilas

The CRT has announced that it is going to become the certifying authority for organic tequilas.  While preparing to film Sipping off the Cuff, we discussed what this could mean for the industry and raised some questions as to how this may affect smaller producers as well as the legitimacy of the organic certification.

The CRT officially gets into the organic #agave segment as a certifying agency.

Posted by M A Mike Morales on Friday, April 8, 2016

What does Mike think?

Tequila Aficionado’s Mike Morales answers some questions:

From Tequila Aficionado: Organic Tequilas To Be Certified By CRT http://ift.tt/20qb4o0

Posted by M A Mike Morales on Saturday, April 9, 2016

What are your thoughts on the CRT putting the other certifying authorities out of business and taking this role?

Lisa Barlow VIDA

Women In The Tequila Industry: Lisa Barlow

One of the more intriguing Tequila Boss Ladies, is the brains–and grace–behind Vida Tequila, Lisa Barlow.

A contestant on Last Tequila Standing, and a participating brand during our 2015 Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour, Ms. Barlow works tirelessly to keep Vida’s image and flavor fresh and consistent.

Aside from being a Woman In The Tequila Industry, Lisa was also a partner in one of the most celebrated restaurants in Park City, Utah, called Silver.  Up until June 2015, it hosted wildly popular events that were the hottest tickets to come by during the star-studded Sundance Film Festival.  In 2016, a pop-up Vida Tequila Lounge continued that tradition at Sundance.

A triple threat, this wife and mother of two also runs a marketing firm based in future VIDA ownersNew York.  Lisa Barlow makes working her businesses seem effortless, and does it all with flawless style.

Here are her thoughts on our customary handful of questions.

***

TA:  How would you describe your experiences as a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?

LB:  I have never felt as though the challenges in the spirits industry stem from being a woman.  I have a strong vision for VIDA and a strong business acumen.  I like being in an arena where I am constantly challenged and the spirits industry gives me that opportunity.

Man or woman, it really doesn’t matter; what matters is that you are on point and doing the right things for your business.  Being a mother of two boys, I think its a great example for them to see me work hard at our family business.

TA:  How have you been able to change things within the Tequila Industry?

VidaLogo

LB:  One always hopes they are making a difference.

When we launched in 2007 there were less than 400 tequila brands in the USA.  For me it was important that the brand had a clear vision and an authentic one.  Your customers feel your passion.  It engages them into your product and drives them to search for more information, which helps the category.

I love what I do.  I really wanted to integrate things that were important to me into our brand.  We launched with a beautiful white package that was very Lisa_Vidadifferent from the bright colors and busy boxes we were seeing on the store shelves.

I also incorporated my vision of what tequila should be in early advertisements; tequila is modern, sophisticated.

We had campaigns that said “NO WORM, JUST ROCKS,” or “VIDA COUTURE” moving VIDA away from the cliches and stereotypes.  This is one thing and those things take time and [it] was challenging in the beginning.

[It is] much easier to launch a brand today with how much education is now available, that was not there when we launched.

Being able to make a great tequila is beautiful.  Everything from the plant to the process is bold.  To be able to take this into the USA and other countries and grow the category is huge.  I am very involved because I love what we produce and our brand, VIDA.

TA:  What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila Industry?

LB:  As the category continues to rise, so will the number of women who work within the category and the roles they play.  From Distiller to CEO, I think there will be a lot of growth and changes on multiple levels.

TA:  What facets of the Tequila Industry would you like to see change?lisa headshot

LB:  This is a tough question.

There is an art to making tequila.  From start to finish; to me it’s beautiful.  The rich history of this spirit is in Mexico – it’s important to maintain this.

Within any industry, it’s important to make sure that production and distribution are continually evaluated.

Change is good, always.  We are constantly trying to evolve and put our focus on a global future.

TA:  Is there anything you’d like to say to women who may be contemplating entering and working in the Tequila Industry in one form or another?

LB:  Its an amazing industry to be a part of.  Have a clear plan and go for it.

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