Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tequila & Mezcal

The hometown paper had a little feature today on drinking misconceptions that will not die. As part of Burro Hall's mission to strengthen cultural and educational ties between Mexico and Brooklyn, we excerpt this one item:
The reputation and quality of tequilas and mezcals has risen recently. But drinkers fall back on frat-boy practices, like asking for a lime and salt, a ritual that dates to the days of lousy tequilas. “I say, ‘Whatever spirit I serve you is good, ” said Ivy Mix, a bartender at the Clover Club in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, “and you don’t need to cover it up.’ ” Then there’s the worm in the mezcal bottle. “It was created by Gusano Rojo in the 1950s,” said Steve Olson, an owner of the Lower East Side tequila and mezcal bar Viktor & Spoils, of the widely sold mezcal brand, “when the tequila market had boomed and left mezcal far behind, as an enterprising marketing attempt to get mezcal away from its image as moonshine.”

So now you know.


Gringado said...

Sure, good Mezcal doesn't need lime or salt but its flavors are lacking without the addition of chapulines.

KeylimeSteve said...

From my limited experience, the in-country Mezcal is quite different from everything intended for export, the reference to media-cuadra or un cuadra (how far you can expect to walk after consumption) is warranted with the former. I was just caressing an empty bottle the other day (we had spent some time together the night before) and noticed no reference on the bottle as to alcohol content, only a lovely image of a painting. Granted the quality is getting better in the US, but because of the regs needed for export, nothing near what you get SOTB.

Paul Sunstone said...

Good to know. I still like salt with tequila, though -- even if it is not necessary.

Pedro said...

Mezcal is a great spirit. It's all I've been drinking lately.
There are a couple of Mexican brands that were introduced in NYC this year that are very good. My favorite is Mezcales de Leyenda. Even better than mezcals available in Oaxaca.

BrooklynChica said...

I agree about mezcal not needing any other ingredients to taste delicious, but I recently I attended an event called Ilegal Wednesdays and had a cocktail made with Ilegal Reposado, Maraschino Liqueur, and Mole Bitters and it was excellent. Three cheers for mezcal in NYC!