“Alvin Starkman would never call himself a ‘mezcal expert’ – no, he is too humble to do so. But, in fact, he is! In his revised and expanded second edition of Mezcal in the Global Spirits Market his depth of knowledge and on-the-ground experience vividly shines through. The book focuses on how and why mezcal gains its complexity and nuance, and he brings these themes to life with incredible detail, countless first-hand accounts, and a host of scientific observations. All of this brightly illuminates the uniqueness of mezcal and why it is vastly different from any other spirit on the planet! I’ve had the good fortune of mezcal-touring with Alvin many times, and every time has been an intoxicating experience – in more ways than one. While you may never have had the pleasure of one of his Oaxacan tours, this book will practically take you there!”
John McEvoy, author, Holy Smoke! It’s Mezcal!
“Spike Mafford has been a Seattle colleague since the 1980s. His photographs, shot since that era and continuing to date, of mezcaleros, their families, and all stages of production from field to finished distillate, reveal a sense of warmth and honesty. There’s a certain vulnerability displayed by his subjects which only Spike can capture. On a recent visit to Oaxaca with Spike, watching how he interacted with the villagers, and their welcoming greetings, was eye-opening. Spike’s photographs are a roadmap to the culture of rural Oaxaca, and mezcal. They impacted my decision to finally move to Mexico! I thank and salute Spike for all he has contributed, through his photography, to our knowledge of mezcal and its makers.”
Bruce Robert Dugdale Photography
“Mezcal in the Global Spirits Market offers great insight into the world of mezcal and agave spirits. Alvin has spent decades working with producers in Oaxaca and this text shows the deeper understanding that he’s attained through these experiences. Alvin’s knowledge and perspective on the industry are unrivalled, and this provides an excellent background for anyone interested in learning more about mezcal.”
Jonny Thompson & Tyler Tadej, founders, Mezcal Reviews
“The older I get, the smarter Alvin Starkman gets. I was once one of the ‘mezcal geeks’ he refers to, turning my nose up at wood-aged mezcals, mocking any bottle that clocked in below 45% ABV. Then the things I hear Alvin say, I started hearing from producers around Mexico — started seeing with my own eyes. Alvin writes the truth as he speaks the truth. You should go down to Oaxaca and travel with him, when you can. You should travel with him through this book in the meantime, to learn about the beauty of this complex spirit that is capturing everyone’s imagination. Alvin has captured its essence in this book.”
Lou Bank, founder, S.A.C.R.E.D., and co-host, Agave Road Trip