Tequila and Mezcal:  An Introduction to Mexican Spirits with Chantal Martineau

Tequila and Mezcal: An Introduction to Mexican Spirits with Chantal Martineau


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Tequila and its ancestor, mezcal, are all the rage these days. Discover the history of these spirits and what connects them to their land, their people, and you.  We will taste tequila and mezcal during the seminar to deepen our understanding of these two iconic spirits.

Mexico's most famous spirits, tequila, and mezcal are wildly popular. They can also be wildly misunderstood. Demystify these spirits by delving into the history and culture of the amazing agave plant and how the world developed a thirst for it. One of the first cultivated crops in the Americas, agave was once a cornerstone of life in Mexico. It has been used as food, shelter, and in religious rituals. Today, it's the raw material for Mexico's most coveted liquid exports.

Tequila and its ancestor, mezcal, are inextricably connected to their land and people. The growing popularity of these distilled spirits has been a boon for those who produce them, pulling farmers out of poverty and enriching communities. But it has also raised questions about the sustainability of a billion-dollar industry that relies on a limited resource, a slow-growing agricultural crop, and a delicate balance of bio-cultural preservation. We'll explore these issues while walking through the production process, from field to glass, of both tequila and mezcal (and how they differ!)... and learn to taste how each reflects the place it's from.

Led by spirits expert and author of How the Gringos Stole Tequila and co-author of Finding Mezcal, Chantal Martineau, this interactive seminar will uncover the rich heritage of tequila and mezcal. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation for the complexity and singularity of Mexico's agave spirits.

This seminar will include a tasting element and participants may wish to come to the event with one or more of the following on hand to taste along with the group:

Tequila:
  • Siete Leguas
  • Siembra Valles
  • Fortaleza
  • El Tesoro
  • Tapatio
  • Ocho
  • Arette
  • Cimarron
  • ArteNOM
  • or any blanco or silver (un-aged) tequila, including Patron or Casamigos, which are easier to find.
Mezcal:
  • Del Maguey
  • Vago
  • Derrumbes
  • El Jolgorio
  • Bozal
  • Real Minero
  • Alipus
  • Banhez
  • Agave de Cortez
  • Amores
  • de Leyenda
  • or any joven (un-aged) mezcal.
Please note, each of these brands has multiple expressions, and any will suffice for the tasting.

Born in Nova Scotia and raised in Montreal, Chantal Martineau writes about wine, spirits, food, and culture. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur, The Atlantic, The Financial Times, AFAR, and others. She is the author of How the Gringos Stole Tequila and co-author of Finding Mezcal. She lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her partner and two daughters.

This conversation is suitable for adults over 21 years old

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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