You love mezcal and other agave spirits...
So do we. So we host events where you get to taste the traditional and artisanal small-batch agave spirits that we've collected from maestros in rural communities in Mexico. The craftsmanship that is being employed in making these spirits is literally unlike anything else in the world. Here is how you can experience these amazing flavors in the near future....
The POWER Project
Logan Square Arts Festival
Saturday, June 24
4 - 5pm
2579 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago IL 60647
There's nothing being poured, as this is Park District property. But we'll host an hour-long talk about the process of making artisanal and traditional agave spirits in rural Mexico, and how those spirits are changing the fabric of the communities where they are made.
Scotch vs Mezcal
Tue, June 27
7 - 9pm
Nick's Neighborhood Bar & Grill
1168 Wilmette Ave
Wilmette IL 60091
It's bagpipes vs. mariachis! Kilts vs. sombreros! It's Scotch vs. Mezcal, and you get to be the judge! Come to Nick's Neighborhood Bar & Grill on Tuesday, June 27, and taste your way through three rounds of artisanal spirits from Scotland and Mexico. Your donation of $65 makes you a player in this ultimate spirits smackdown, featuring rare agave spirits from independent producers in rural Mexico and rare scotches bottled by the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society in Edinburgh. Food befitting an artisanal spirits throwdown will be served.
Get tickets here!
Mezcal & Mutts:
A dinner to benefit
One Tail at a Time
Monday, July 10
7 - 10pm
One Tail at a Time
2144 N Wood St
Chicago IL 60614
Join us at One Tail's adoption center for a Mezcal tasting with vegetarian food pairings from Chef Jonathan Zaragoza of Birreria Zaragoza led by Mezcal enthusiast Lou Bank. Your dog is welcome! Don't have a dog? Find one that evening in our adoption center!
Get tickets here!
Agave Spirits-infused Chocolates
While they last...
Wisconsin Dells, WI
For the past three years, SACRED has hosted tastings of agave spirits at the Fermentation Fest in Reedsburg, WI. Every year we raise more and more money for the projects we support in rural Mexico, and we make more and more friends in the process. One of the friends we made this year is Lisa at Roots Chocolates. She loved the spirits we were pouring and the programs we are supporting and suggested a way to raise more money: a box of agave spirits-infused chocolates! So, available strictly by mail-order, for a limited time, are four different chocolates, each infused with a different agave spirit. Here's the rundown on the spirits used:
Miguel Angel Partida Rivera is a fifth-generation master distiller in Jalisco. He distilled Ixtero Amarillo — a cultivated agave Rhodacanta that takes between six and twelve years to mature — in a wooden-mount condenser fashioned from a hollowed-out tree trunk. This is called a Filipino still and its use in Mexico dates back to at least 1630. Miguel and his father Macario are some of the most vocal opponents to mezcal certification regulations, especially because they cannot (and never legally will be able to) call their spirits mezcal because of the tequila regulations in their region. This spirit was sourced and bottled by Cinco Sentidos in Oaxaca, a line that is bottled by El Destilado.
When Eduardo Angeles Carreno makes a spirit from Espadin agave, he will distill it twice in his wood-fired clay-pot still. But when he makes a batch of Pechuga for his Lalocura label, he'll throw that Espadin spirit into the clay pot a third time, adding fruits like pineapple and plantains, spices like cinnamon, and a raw chicken breast (yes, raw chicken breast) before stoking the still's fire. Lalo -- as his friends call him -- isn't just creative with his distillation. He is also the man who has set up the greenhouse operation in Santa Catarina Minas, Oaxaca, that is saving rare agave varietals from becoming extinct, and the mastermind behind a system that has simultaneously both secured that town's water future and reduced its likelihood to be damaged by El Nino rains.
Erick Rodríguez of Almamezcalera is the Indiana Jones of artisanal Mexican spirits. He travels deep into Mexico looking for the best examples of these spirits to share them beyond their local communities. That's exactly what he found when he met Ventura Gallegos of Nombre De Dios, Durango. Ventura roasted wild sotol plants in an earthen oven before milling those plants with an axe and fermenting them using wild yeasts in an open-air wooden barrel. He then distills the fermented beverage twice in a wood-fired copper still. The result is an herbal, dry spirit that smells like green bell peppers.
Tío Chuchi and Tía Victoria are a family of maestros in Chilapa de Alvarez, Guerrero, a region that is a mosaic of Nahuatl-speaking communities that maintain ancestral traditions. They distill their spirits in wood-fired clay-and-steel stills from fermented papalote agave that grows wild in the area's red earth. Each agave is roasted over yellow oak in a stone-lined earthen oven, milled by hand, and fermented in open-air wooden barrels. This spirit comes to us from El Tigre Mezcal, an organization that devotes a portion of its earnings to sustaining this artisanal process that guarantee its preservation in the land of the ancestors of the tigermen.
Each box of chocolates costs $10, and 20% of that goes back to the farm-related projects we support in rural Mexico. To order your box, visit rootschocolates.com!
The Agave Triangle
Chicago IL 60647
You've been reading about mezcal, heard your friends talk about sotol, are interested in all these fancy tequilas. If you live in Chicago, the place to learn more is Logan Square's Agave Triangle!
You make a $25 contribution to replant agave in rural Mexico.
You receive a receipt for your contribution.
You take that receipt to Masa Azul, Estereo, and Mezcaleria Las Flores.
Show your receipt at each of these fine establishments, and each will
thank you with a sample of a different agave spirit!
To learn more and to make your contribution to the greenhouse project, visit agavetriangle.org.