So what that means in reality is that about a month ago I got a text past midnight sometime. Jaime Muñoz from Los Danzantes is in town hosting a last-minute Mezcal masterclass. Whit such short notice the turn up was great, we got about 20 people together, which is a good number for an intimate masterclass. Quite naturally after the masterclass we got to talking. Talking lead to drinking. Drinking led to dancing, and just like that, another great night was over. Trying to scribble a little something together after that was not really fair to my memory, and lucky for me Jaime was in town for another couple of days, for the Copenhagen Cooking festival. As we all know Mexican food is best served with a glass of Mezcal on the side. Backed by the Mexican embassy Jand his crew from Los Danzantes were delivering just this, food and Mezcal. As well as making 22.000 liters of artisanal Mezcal every year, Danzantes also own three restaurants around Mexcio. I have been writing about production of Mezcal a few time already, so I wont bother you with that this time, but more about one of the men behind Danzantes. I do remember a few things that we spoke about on our night out, and after emailing back and for it is now all clear. Jaime said that we do not choose to work with the maguey (agave), but the maguey chooses us. ” The people who in the last few years got involved with Mezcal have been chosen by Mezcal, to spread the word. It’s an information from the soil that wants to be liberated. Through the agave/mezcal he will find his way and is chosen by the people to find the objective. We get chosen like you, Axel and me did. We just taste the Mezcal and make Mezcal a lifestyle. Without knowing how we get involved in the business, we will find each other.” The name Danzantes comes from a ancient spiritual dance named Los Danzantes Concheros and in the ancient dance of Concheros exist the NAHUAL, that is the soul of an animal that take care of you in this life, and everybody has one, which explains the label on the Danzantes bottle, Jaime and his two brothers.
Danzantes has another brand called Alipus, which is produced in different villages bu different distillers. We have had Alipus in Denmark for a while now, but Jaime had an ace up his sleeve. Alipus Sta. Ana Del Rio, one of the most interesting Mezcals I have tried in a long time. Unfortunately this is only avalible in Oaxaca, probably only in the village of Santa Ana Del Rio. ” The producer Eduardo Hernandez Melchor is an indigenous from the mountains of Oaxaca and he only speck his indigenous dialect and for a Mezcal can be export have to be certificate by COMERCAM that is the organisation that takes care of the quality of Mezcal, and they only speak Spanish, so in a few words it’s a communication problem.” Jaime Thank you very much for this bottle. It has been tasted by many, and will be tasted by more, but not too many, ought a have some for myself.
As for Jaimes impression of Copenhagen. ” Well is very different from where I come, is very organized, elegant and sophisticated. The design is very impressive and the architecture, old and new are very nice.But the best thing is the women, they are beautiful! “
The last year or two Olmeca has made a lot of noise in the Tequila world, especially working together with Tahona Society on a global Tequila training program. Basically they have been all over the world, sharing their passion for Tequila. International margarita competition was a part of that as well, where finalists were taken to Mexico to get to know the real culture and get a feel for what the Tequila life is all about. Unfortunately Pernod Ricard has not yet seen the potential of Olmeca Altos in Denmark.
But this we all knew, so what is it that is cooking. Olmeca Altos has just partnered up with Tequila ambassador Tomas Estes, and will become a priority brand in his restaurants, Pacifico & La Perla. According to the brand, Estes works closely with the Mexican National Tequila Chamber and has “contributed to the growing success of Tequila globally”, which I think we can all agree on. So what does it mean to be a priority brand, well in this case it means, customer awareness, new cocktail menu, staff uniforms and a mural in the restaurant. Olivier Fages, international vice president of Olmeca, said: “Olmeca Altos is already available in many top-end outlets in the UK, and this partnership will enable us to target new consumers in a cocktail environment, while feeding into our ambitious plans for continued growth in Europe.”
Estes said: “With the increased demand for high quality 100% agave Tequilas, the addition of Olmeca Altos to their [Olmeca] portfolio in 2009 was an exciting phase for the brand, and has established them as a preferred choice within the bartender community.
“Working closely with Olmeca’s cocktail experts Henry Besant, Matthias Lataille and Steffin Oghene, we look forward to creating a series of drinks for our menu that will perfectly compliment the wonderful qualities of Olmeca Altos as well as creating stimulating, educational activities around tequila.”
Which naturally leads us on to the next topic, Matthias Lataille who Pernod Ricard recently appointed UK brand ambassador for Olmeca Altos. (Congrats Brother!)
Lataille said: “Since joining The Tahona Society team, I have been raising awareness of the tequila category internationally and the unique qualities of Olmeca Altos.
“In this new role, I will focus on the vibrant UK cocktail scene and take Altos to the next level, through continued education of the category.
Hopefully this also raises awareness for Altos in Denmark. Our neighbours in Sweden are on it, so I guess it is a matter of time, bring it on! And until you do I guess I have to spend more time wanting to open the Altos Repo I have standing on my shelf at home, signed by master distiller Jesus Hernandez. One of the many treasures I got hold of this summer. This one was a gift from Matthias, gracias!
Pretty much the last two months I’ve spent waiting for the Danish summer to hit me, fill me with those two, two and a half months of sun it takes for me to be able to make the long cold winter. I just realised that was time spilt and not well spent. So I have now given up and will slowly get back to work, but if the sun comes out, I will be out there in the half-cold catching every little glimpse of it. Copenhagen has a tendency over to summer be in a weird standby mode, everyone is on holiday and due to the massive flood there are many bars that still hasn’t been able to open. Tres Mariachis will start functioning again after a “summer” full of research and a lot of sampling. Here is the hottest news from Arenal.
Personally I was probably a little too young when the man made his name heard around the globe for the first time, even the second time around, coming to think of it, he actually never crossed my path until now. Life is funny in that way some times. Who would have thought that me and Mr Santana would sit in the same chair, in the same Tequila distillery only about a year apart, sipping the sweet juices of Casa Noble Tequila. It is not an amazing story, I know, but it made me smile when I thought of it. The reason why I bring Santana up here is because of quite recently Santana became a part of Casa Noble Tequila, which is big news. You might even hear those ol’ guitar strings singing sweet love songs to Tequila soon. I will let Mr Santana take it from here. Until next time, Salud!
Buenos Tardes Amigos!
Last night I was going through some old video footage from when I was in Mexico and found that most of it was useless, first of all due to the poor quality and second of all, I did not film very interesting things, haha, the one thing I always bring but never use, my camera. So I thought I should put it to better use, and started fooling around with it a bit yesterday, the result is somewhat very average, and a bit pointless, but slightly more interesting to watch than a bunch of photos of my tequila selection. For the next minute and a half or so you get to enjoy a amature at work. Enjoy.
Moving on from this great presentation, I thought to also show how the professionals do it, maybe not in the making of video, but in the cooking of agaves. It is very easy to describe how to make a stone oven for cooking agave, in writing it sound like and simple and fairly romanticized ritual, but in reality it is very hard work getting the job with such simple tools and only manpower, well man, horse and donkey power. Here is a great video to show you how it is done, from the producers of the son to be available in Denmark, Real Minero. Salud!
Todays I stumbled over a great little video about Piedre Almas Mezcal. It is not the most informative video I have seen, but it gives a very good idea of where it comes from and what it is that makes it special. Just look at the way these people are working and what they are working with, it is truly amazing that something so simple can create something so complex. Salud!
It is sometimes hard to explain with words the process of making Mezcal. A lot of people have a hard time understanding how primitive it can actually be, and still produce some of the worlds best spirits. Here is a very nice little video, you do not have to speak spanish to kind of get the gist of what is going on. The fermentation tank is made from a cow hide! Now go be creative at home, and build yourself a pot-still. Enjoy the video, Salud!