From the Heart of Oaxaca

Casamigo’s tries a different craft.

By Freya Purnell 22/09/2019

Casamigos Tequila, created by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, has become a famed global tipple for its heightened taste as much as its star backers.

And now the trio has turned their attention to mezcal – arguably the more rarefied ‘craft’ Mexican spirit.

For the uninitiated, mezcal must be 100 per cent agave, and can be produced from more than 200 varieties (as long as they are grown and produced within the nine states of the Denomination of Origin Mezcal, an area covering over 500,000 square kilometres). By contrast, tequila must contain at least 51 per cent agave, but can be produced from only one type of agave.

While tequila’s usually produced in large quantities using industrial processes, mezcal is still predominantly made using artisanal processes – in the case of Casamigos Mezcal, by a family based in Santiago Matatlán, in the south-western Mexican municipality of Oaxaca, using long-preserved familial traditions.

Espadín agaves are harvested, with piñas(hearts) split and laid to cook for 4-6 days in earth pits lined with volcanic rock heated by a slow-burning oak wood fire.

The piñas are then cooled for 24 hours before crushing. The resulting spirit is twice distilled and allowed to stabilise for 30 days, before mountain spring water is added to finalise the drop. Now available in Australia, Casamigos Mezcal is best sipped slow (try with an orange wedge dipped in chilli salt), but also makes an excellent smoky margarita.

Acting as the ultimate quality assurance team, Clooney and Gerber themselves taste and give the seal of approval to each batch before being bottled in handcrafted and individually numbered matte-black glass bottles (also designed by Gerber). Yes, tough gig. $90 a bottle; casamigos.com

This piece comes from our 2019 Spring Edition - Best of the Best, to get your copy click here. 
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