Tequila and Mezcal
Luckily there is always some noble soul prepared to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves. Tequila, the ugly duckling among spirits, is looked upon by many as just the party drug of choice of kids who don’t know better.
But the two Stockholm bartenders Josephine Sondlo and Madeleine Rapp have fallen in love with the misunderstood drink – especially its little sister mezcal – and they are now doing their best to dispel all the negative associations.
After weeks of sampling mezcal and tequila cocktails in New York and New Orleans, and a couple of trips to Mexico to visit producers, the pair are releasing a book not only explaining all things mezcal and tequila in detail but also highlighting a vast array of exciting, tasty cocktails based on the drinks.
Their point is that good tequila and mezcal are refined liquor in no need of salt and lemons to disguise the taste.
So when do we get colourful little mezcalerias in Stockholm?
Josephine: Hopefully soon. But the question is if it would work in Sweden? And should we from a sustainable point of view really import mezcalerias. Don’t forget that mezcal is a spirit that is made in an extremely artisanal way and traditionally hasn’t been a product they have wished to commercialise. Every step in the production takes a long time and the agave mezcal derives from is expensive and unreliable. With a higher demand, volumes would go up and people would deviate from the traditional methods in favour of cheaper solutions.
Madeleine: Exactly. This is very unique liquor, and its heritage and production has be protected. You cannot, as in the cases of vodka or gin, “just make more”. Sure, these small mezcalerias are magic but the question is – would it be the same here?
For incredible cocktails and complete edutainment on tequila and mezcal, buy the book Tequiila och Mezcal out now through Natur och Kultur. And next time you’re in a good bar, try quenching your thirst with a delightful Mezcal Mule.