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Posts Tagged: mezcal

Our New Product: San Cosme Mezcal

We have a delicious new addition to our famous Tequila and Mezcal collection – one that we’re very excited to be bringing to the taste-buds of Soho. Now fans of the agave plant can come and try Mezcal San Cosme – a spirit that harks back to the craftsmanship of Mexico’s pre-colonial tradition.

 

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The name Mezcal San Cosme originates from Saint Cosmas who, together with his twin brother Damian, is the Patron Saint of Doctors. The brothers both defied death on a number of occasions and miracles are often attributed to them.

Therefore, Mezcal San Cosme can be approached for its mythical, rejuvenating and historic attributes, with each sip a discovery of its complex aromas, smooth textures and smoky softness. Sound enticing? Good! Come and try some today!

Tasting Notes from the San Cosme Mezcal website
Colour:
Bright, crystalline, unctuously caressing the glass of the mezcal, reflecting the great body of San Cosme Mezcal.

Nose:
A fresh scent of cooked agave, with a strong hint of alcohol and an underlying scent of raw agave. Some hints of caramel, wood and earth.

Taste:
San Cosme feels like it gently coats the mouth, and has a flavor of smoky agave mixed with leather.

Finish:
Warm pleasant finish.

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El Camion are going on tour!

Well, the day has come… for a while now we’ve been giving you numerous facts and figures and wonderful information about Mexico, and next week El Camion goes on tour!

We’ll be jetting over to Mexico City to experience some of the most famous sites, places of cultural significance, restaurants and, naturally TEQUILA! So make sure to follow us on Twitter @ElCamion_Soho to keep up to date.

Below are an array of the places we’ll be dropping into, in an effort to get thoroughly immersed in the culture of this wonderful city.

A trip to the world heritage site of Xochimilco – place of Aztec canals and brightly coloured boats called trajineras, where we’ll be eating lunch in a traditional manner.

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A visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum – a bright blue house that was the place she was born, lived for some time, and then died. The celebrated Mexican painter was known for her bold, personal and occasionally troubling artwork that pushed boundaries, as well as for her tempestuous love life.

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A visit to the holy city of Teotihuacan (‘the place where the gods were created’) Built between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D., it is characterized by the vast size of its monuments – in particular, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. It is one of the most powerful cultural centres in Mesoamerica, and is one the archaeological sites with the longest history of exploration in Mexico.

And naturally we’ll also be stopping off at the Tequila and Mezcal museum, which we’ve already written a blog about!

So make sure to follow us for all the action from Mexico City @ElCamion_Soho – see you there!

 

On The Horizon… Tequila & Mezcal Fest 2015!

It’s on its way… TEQUILA & MEZCAL FEST 2015!

Last year we had such an awesome time at Tequila & Mezcal Fest and we were stoked to hear that the festival is returning this September in the new venue of Old Spitalfields Market.

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There are many things we love about this festival (including the obvious: it’s all about tequila and mezcal, and we can drink it all day long without being quizzed…) but more than anything, for us, it’s about the ethos. It was born from one single objective: to educate people about how to consume tequila and mezcal.

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Hey, guess what! It’s not about shooting it with lemon and salt and wooping about how much it burns! But you knew that already. What you might not know is how to pair tequila with food or the journey of tasting notes you might embark on from sipping an artisanal mezcal. Tequila & Mezcal Fest shows you all these things and more, including cocktail masterclasses and educational seminars.

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Live music from a mariachi band, Mexican art and photography exhibitions and lip-smackingly good food will totally immerse you in Mexican culture – hell, you even have to pay for things with pesos! (There are places inside to exchange your English stirling for peso tokens – no need to pop off to the post office.)

With ambassadors like Tomas Estes (founder of the Pacifico Group and creator of Tequila Ocho) and El Camion’s very own Jon Anders Borchgrevink Fjeldsrud, who worked here with the brilliant Dick Bradsell, we tequila lovers are in extremely excellent hands.

Spread the word: it’s gonna be a ball, kids!

 

http://www.tequilafest.co.uk

 

@tequilafestUK

 

A MUSEUM FOR TEQUILA & MEZCAL?! HELL YES!

Yes, you did read the title correctly. There is indeed an actual museum purely for the celebration of Tequila and Mezcal. And it is, naturally, in Mexico.

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The Museo del Tequila y del Mezcal is located in the Plaza Garibaldi – part of historic downtown Mexico City. The museum is a sign of the renewal of this area – oh yeah, and it’s also a FREAKIN’ GREAT IDEA FOR ALL AGAVE AFICIONADOS!

You see, tequila and mezcal are as intrinsic to the heritage and cultural identity of Mexico as, well, sombreros and mariachi bands. One simply can’t think of Mexico without thinking of awesome agave. After all, they’re the two most traditional drinks.

The museum is spread over two rooms, and there are exhibitions, talks, concerts, presentations of Mexican distillates, gastronomy, lectures and loads of other cultural events. One room is dedicated to tequila and mezcal, while the second celebrates and informs about the history of the Mariachi and Garibaldi Plaza.

And you know what else? We’re betting this place has the BEST gift shop in the world.

 

A Mezcal Tommy’s made by Jonnie

Our Tommy’s Margarita is one of our bestselling cocktails. You guys love the sweetness of the agave syrup, which rounds the sourness of the lime and peps up the tequila kick. We’d recommend it anytime!

 

But for some time now our bar guys have been experimenting with mezcal cocktails, and fast becoming a firm favourite is the Mezcal Tommy’s.

 

Instead of 60ml of tequila, we use 60ml of Mezcal – we like to use Del Maguey Vida, a double distilled, organic, single village Mezcal that is beautiful to mix. At a slightly lower proof than Del Maguey’s other mezcals, it is smooth to drink, with the fruity flavour of the agave still very much there. Then, it’s 30ml of lime juice and instead of triple sec that you would use in a regular margarita, we use 15ml of agave syrup.

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Fill a rocks glass with ice and when all of the ingredients are in the shaker, shake!

 

Watch Jonnie shaking his Tommy’s right here:

Jonnie’s Mezcal Tommy

Then, as Jonnie just did, you strain it over the ice in your glass and add a lime wedge on the side.

 

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There you have it – a Mezcal Tommy’s! It’s everything you love in a Tommy’s Margarita but it’s smoky, woody and a little more complex – just like Jonnie. Enjoy one of these next time you visit us in The Pink Chihuahua!

 

5 Mezcal Cocktails

Discovered mixing with mezcal? This beauty of a Mexican spirit adds smokiness, depth and complexity to some already awesome cocktails – it’s definitely a spirit worth experimenting with! Here are a few mezcal cocktails that will rock your cocktail-shaped world…

The Mezcal Paloma

Also known as ‘The Palomaesque Cocktail’, a creation by mixologist Scott Baird, the tequila is swapped for mezcal and fresh grapefruit juice is used, along with the sweet Italian wine, Cocchi Americano. Still thoroughly Mexican, this version of a Paloma conjures up hot, sultry Mexicano nights.

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Basil Cranberry Julep

Use mezcal instead of bourbon for this smoky version of a classic julep. The mezcal with the tart cranberry and the fragrant basil creates a heady, herbaceous concoction, which is pure summer when served with loads of crushed ice.

Maguey Sour

Shake mezcal with Benedictine, lemon juice, orgeat and egg white, pour over ice and serve with a garnish of grated nutmeg and an orange twist. This is a classically excellent mezcal cocktail, with a deliciously tart bite, which is softened by the silky egg white.

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Ginger’s Lost Island

Mezcal and ginger are an amazing firey combination. Created by Bryan Dayton, Ginger’s Lost Island comprises of mezcal mixed with cardamom, cinnamon and ginger liqueur, resulting in a bombastic marriage of flavours from Mexico and India.

Jewel of Oaxaca

Mango, lime, ancho chilli syrup… sounds awesome already? Just add some of that earthy, woody mezcal and you’ve got a tropical party in a hot tub! Strain and serve in a sexy coupe and accept that adoration that will be showered upon you.

Tags: , , , | Filed under: cocktails

Mixing Mezcal!

More and more people are getting curious about mezcal. The bar-drinker wants to try it and the bartender wants to try mixing it. Both things could be sliiiiiiightly intimidating for a few of those on both sides of the bar as it’s a complex spirit that requires a little understanding and care.

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If you know about tequila, you’re halfway there. A common misunderstanding is that mezcal is a type of tequila… wrong! Tequila is technically a mezcal though – any alcohol made from distilled agave is a mezcal. Tequila is made from 100% blue agave in a specific area of Mexico, whereas mezcal can be made from over 30 types of agave all over Mexico.

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In order to make mezcal, the hearts of the agave are slow-roasted over hot rocks in earthen mounds for several days. This gives a glorious smokiness to the spirit, which actually varies depending on the region it was produced in and the type of agave used, much like a fine wine.

So, how best to make the most out of mezcal’s spicy, earthy smokiness?

For the mezcal novice:

Simple is best. Mezcal on the rocks with a splash of club soda and lime is a great way to enjoy mezcal, and it allows mezcal’s natural flavours to flourish.

For the mezcal intermediate:

If you’re feeling a little more experimental, muddle a shot of mezcal with lime, cucumber, a splash of club soda and a dash or two of hot sauce.

For the mezcal pro:

Make a Oaxaca Old Fashioned with two shots of mezcal muddled with two orange slices, a couple of maraschino cherries and some diluted agave syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add a dash of Angostura bitters and shake, strain and pour over ice. Top with a splash of club soda and you’ve just made one hell of an awesome cocktail.

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Love mezcal and it is one spirit that will love you back. Enjoy!

Chicken distilled Mezcal? Hell yes!

When scanning our Mezcal menu, your eyes might drift to the bottom and alight upon our Del Maguey Pechuga de Minero. Then you might do a double take. After all, this is our most premium Mezcal, priced at £18 per 25ml (trust us fans, it’s worth it).

But then they might do a triple take. Why? Because, on reading the description, you will see that, not only is it legendary, but the word ‘Pechuga’ means chicken breast. This is because of the chicken breast that is suspended inside the still in a basket of fruit during the third distillation.

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Well, we thought this warranted a bit of El Camion fact-finding on your part. Apparently the tradition is centuries old, with Del Maguey’s variety dating back at least 75 years. Their mezcal is an infusion of wild mountain apples and plums, plantains, pineapples, almonds, and uncooked white rice, as well as that famous chicken breast. The meat is said to balance the fruit which, at one point, might have masked the taste of bland mezcals in times gone by. Now it’s a delicacy, and crafted from closely guarded family recipes.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the spirit tastes of poultry. It simply adds a complexity to the flavour, with some tasters using the words umami and unctuous. Some say they can detect hints, almost like a stock or broth, but mainly it’s the fruit components, or the smokiness. The chicken breast is suspended by its ribcage so that the steam cooks through within minutes. Common belief holds that the chicken’s fat and proteins help soften the blow of the smoky mezcal.

So, as long as you’re not a veggie and want to experience an incredible mezcal, we’re the place to come. You need to try at least once!

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Protecting our agave

Can a bunch of bartenders save artisanal mezcal and tequila? We bet you they can!

It’s no secret that here at El Camion we love tequila and we love mezcal – two awesome spirits made from the wonders of agave. But, if the agave is not protected, what does this mean for the industry and the livelihood of the noble agave farmer?

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This informative article from PUNCH talks about TIP (Tequila Interchange Project) and how this group is influencing government policy in Mexico regarding agave production.

TIP’s story began in 2010. Five bartenders, who were originally on a trip to find out more about tequila, learned of the changing nature of the agave spirits and together, with a mezcal producer, embarked on a mission to preserve the sustainable, traditional and quality practices in the tequila industry.

Mexicans have been farming agave for hundreds and hundreds of years, and it wasn’t until the 20th century that international demand started to soar, due to a global desire for cocktails. Multinational spirits companies started buying up farms, turning them into high production facilities. The agave rush had begun – but with it came over-planting, early harvesting, diseases within the crops and lots of wastage.

Because of demand, the future does mean innovative industrial production, which, of course, risks wiping out artisanal practices that have been passed down through families for generations.

TIP have campaigned to protect small distilleries and have already stopped policies going through that would have been a threat to the traditional culture of mezcal production. Now, a thriving non-profit organisation, they comprise of bartenders, consultants, educators, researchers, consumers and tequila enthusiasts and are seen as a leading advocacy group for agave distilled spirits.

Keep updated about TIP here on their website.

@ThinkTequila

An introduction to mezcal – Del Maguey

Mezcal – have you given it a go yet? If you’re a staunch fan of tequila then it’s high time you expanded your horizons and embraced the other Mexican spirit that we love.

We’ve already gone into the difference between mezcal and tequila here, and now let us introduce you to one of our house pours – Mezcal Del Maguey1056744x.

 

There is a delicious smokey earthiness to Del Maguey – this is in part due to the way it is produced. With tequila, the agaves are baked or roasted in autoclaves. However, in traditional mezcal, they are smoked in earth pits called “huecos.”

 

Del Maguey is a great introduction to the spirit, as it has lovely citrus notes, layered with the pepper and smoke that good mezcal imparts. It is hand crafted and twice distilled, very slowly in small wood-fired, riverside copper stills.

 

When trying, expect to find a nose of fruit aromatics, with a hint of sweet honey, vanilla and then the delicious roast agave. The taste merges ginger, cinnamon and burnt sandlewood, along with fruits from banana to tangerine. The finish is long and soft, making it not only make it a delicious drink to sip, but it has huge versatility in cocktails.