There’s not a celebration in the world that has the look, feel, and flavors of Mexican Independence Day—a loud and proud party full of colorful decor, irresistible food, romantic mariachi music, and delicious drinks. Since its day of triumph on September 16, 1810, Mexico has adapted international influences from its past while developing a rich and proud culture all its own. This of course includes the production and distillation of mezcal, a native spirit tightly intertwined with the country’s history and identity.
Similar to the traditional cooking of barbacoa, the mezcal process begins with the heart of the agave plant, or piña, being covered and roasted for days underground in a stone pit. What emerges from the earth is a product full of natural sweetness and smokiness ready to be crushed, fermented, distilled, and enjoyed. Made from dozens of different varieties of the agave plant, mezcal can feature a wide range of subtle flavor notes within any given bottle. It’s been said that even different batches of the same brand can slightly differ due to the many variables along the way. This versatility has captured the hearts of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts around the world and each passing year sees a new surge of awareness and appreciation for what the spirit offers.
So join us in honoring this holiday and ushering in a fresh season of fun with an all-out early-fall fiesta. We’ve got the cocktails covered with a tasty trio that screams out Celebrate Mezcal! Subscribe now through August 31st to get this box—it’ll ship the week of September 3rd.
A delicious drink might elicit any number of audible exclamations after just one sip—not every one will have you howling with delight, but Jules Mavromatis’s Sassy Loba is well equipped for the task. Here, sharp and smoky mezcal mingles with a syrup that bursts with blueberry and rich, earthy tea flavor. The tropical sweetness of orgeat and bright fresh lemon juice add yet more layers to the drink, completing the transformation of this wolf from frightening to flashy and fun.
Jules is the co-founder of Agave 308, an agave-focused bar in Key West. Between her time there and her numerous travels to Mexico, she’s cultivated her passion and knowledge for agave spirits and cocktails. She’s chosen to donate her proceeds from this box to Refuerza La Vida, an ongoing effort by BeSomeone Worldwide to sustainably rebuild southern Mexico after the devastating 2017 earthquakes.
Introducing our newest friend el Señor Rojo, a classy gentleman if there ever was one who conceals some unexpected complexity within. His creator, Sam Jimenez, plays off of mezcal’s inherent fiery qualities with a bright, smoky extract of hibiscus and chipotle that Woodward Extract Co. is calling Hot Hibiscus—developed just for this cocktail! Fresh blood orange juice cools things down and brings a deeper shade of rojo to this blossom-topped señor designed to evoke the flavors and aromas of Oaxaca.
Sam has worked in almost every position imaginable in many bars and restaurants throughout upstate NY and is currently a brand ambassador for a boutique line of mezcal. You can find him traveling through Mexico getting to know more about the magical distillates of his home country.
For some behind-the-scenes tidbits from Sam on Mexico, mezcal, and his cocktail (plus recommendations for food and music pairings!), check out our interview.
There’s a low cloud rolling into town, and right alongside it comes the Lost in the Fog to keep you sated with a tasty drink in hand until visibility improves. Caer Maiko Ferguson had the classic Sazerac in mind when creating this spice-packed sipper. The allspice syrup and Angostura bitters lend the mezcal a warm twist straight from the Caribbean islands, but this drink offers more for your senses than just taste. Top with lightly torched rosemary and star anise to add the namesake aromatic fog to your drinking experience!
Caer works at The Roosevelt Room and is the bar manager for The Eleanor in Austin, Texas. She was nominated for Bartender of the Year at the 2018 Austin Tastemaker Awards, among other accolades. She’s chosen to donate her proceeds from this box to RAICES, an organization that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant families and refugees in central and south Texas.
The brass instruments are polished and the stage is set for fun times. Whether you’re looking to join in on the Mexican festivities or get a lively head start on the fall season . . . come Celebrate Mezcal and do both at once!
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: nothing