Edmundo Farrera describes the taste of mezcal as a complex experience: “First you taste the valley where the agave plant was grown, next the earth it came from, and then on to taste the cosmos and time.”
The Veracruz, Mexico native who opened New Zealand’s first mezcal bar says each sip of a great mezcal is “so beautiful and powerful, like pyrotechnics exploding on my palate.”
An ancient drink that dates back to the Aztecs, they agave was eaten and used in ceremonies. Mezcal came about after the colonization in Mexico by Spainards. They brought Filipino slaves with them, who shared distillation techniques with the Aztecas.
Farrera says mezcal has long been popular in America but only recently it’s becoming more popular globally. American foods and sommeliers, he notes “are fascinated, even more than us, with these agave spirits. They get into it, they study it, a good percentage of American sommeliers, like with wine, can recognise different species of agave in a blind tasting of mezcal.”
He advises “a real mezcal drinker will never touch a cocktail.” Mezcal should be enjoyed sip-by-sip, he says, with the first sip awakening the palate and the second sip experiencing the multi-dimensional taste.
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