Speaking to the Past and Present
Agave spirits have had a renaissance in recent years. Artisan producers harness the powers of that magical elixir, agave nectar, to craft unique Tequilas and Mezcals. These spirits tell vegetal and smokey stories of the land and hands that made them.
Agave nectar comes from any one of countless species of the maguey family, and is so intensely rich and powerful it begot the goddess, Mayahuel, in Aztec mythology. Get an early jump on Cinco de Mayo with a bottle of Mexican history. Here are some sweet suggestions on divine Mezcals and Tequilas from sales associates Erik Guzinski, Josh Mizrahi, and Jon Miner, and our spirits buyer, Nima Ansari-Bahmani, to get you started.
Siembra Valles Ancestral Tequila $124.96
Ever have a product that made you rethink your whole approach to the category? This is easily the most complex blanco Tequila I’ve ever had, showing notes of smoke, grass, fruit pith, and spice. Hands down one of the best Tequilas on the market right now. – Erik Guzinski
While it’s technically not Mezcal for legal reasons, this agave spirit is from a single village and a single species and is singularly delicious. 10 year-old Espadin grown at 5000 ft. elevation in the wilds of Oaxaca gives this spirit a depth and purity unrivaled at this price point. Citrus, melon fruit, and smoke are distinct elements, yet they combine to resemble something like tangy BBQ sauce with a serious kick. – Josh Mizrahi
A gem among the many Tequila options out there, each release from Tequila Ocho is terroir focused, meaning it’s vintage-dated and sourced from a single field. Mentholating, highly mineral, and full of pure agave aromas, this high-altitude Plata develops on the palate with notes of white pepper, banana, and rich brown sugar. – Jon Miner
Pierde Almas Lumbre $79.96
When we first brought this product into the store, it was the only bottling of 100% Lumbre agave available in the U.S. Still today, pure bottlings of this species are very rare, with varying quality. This is, to date, the best version we have tasted and a value that likely won’t be back again. – Nima Ansari-Bahmani
Del Maguey Wild Jabali $124.96
An iconic brand in the Mezcal category, Del Maguey continues to bring remarkable Mezcals to the light. This bottling marks the first U.S. release of wild Jabali, one of the hardest agaves to make Mezcal from. A must have for aficionados. – Nima Ansari-Bahmani
Azteca Azul Blanco $19.96
Tequila should be a staple of everyone’s home bar, though finding a reliable one can be difficult. Today, folks are rightfully demand higher quality without losing the value of something for mixing. The great Carlos Camarena hears this call and meets your needs with this excellent, no frills offering. – Nima Ansari-Bahmani