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Mezcal at the Smithsonian

August 2017

“Stigibeu, Bakeen” – To your health, to the health of your friends and the life of the planet, drink! This traditional Zapotec prayer marked the beginning of the mezcal tasting at the Smithsonian last week with Miguel Lancha, ThinkFoodGroup’s Cocktail Innovator, and Ron Cooper, founder of Del Maguey. Mezcal, a distilled spirit made from the agave plant, is traditional in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Guests listened to Cooper and Lancha discuss mezcal and then tasted three different styles.  Each mezcal was poured into a clay copita, a small clay tasting cup.   The best way to taste mezcal is straight, sipping slowly to enjoy the taste and the aroma; and Cooper finds that these clay copitas create the best nose and flavor for the smoky spirit.

Cooper has been making mezcal for years and has worked with Chef José Andrés in the past to create Ibérico Mezcal, a unique mezcal made with an Ibérico ham leg.  The ham is hung in the distillation chamber during the process making it taste smoky, salty and almost ham-like.

Want to try this traditional Mexican spirit for yourself? Mezcals from Del Maguey, as well as many other makers, are available at Oyamel - make a reservation here and drink to your health, your friends' health, and the life of the planet!