WHAT IS MEZCAL?
Mezcal is proudly a Mexican drink, the result of the agave distillation process. It is a product with a Protected Designation of Origin and must comply with the guidelines established in the Official Mexican Standard (NOM-070); Likewise, it must have a certifying body that guarantees its compliance.
WHAT IS CONVITE?
Beyond the bronco Mexico, mezcal is related to Mexican festivities and traditions steeped in rural customs and traditions.
In Oaxaca, people meet, gather, invite and celebrate around a Convite: at births, baptisms, marriages, anniversaries, birthdays, bridal requests, “mayordomía”, communal work, parades and festivities such as Guelaguetza, Day of the Dead, Christmas and New Year.
Oaxacan mezcal cannot be understood without its unique context of art and Zapotec tradition expressed in its landscapes, architecture, artesanal crafts, music, gastronomy, graphic arts, folklore and textiles.
TYPES OF AGAVES
The agave cactus is what prevails in the mezcal flavor and it is precisely in these flavors that lie its strength and complexity.
Most of the mezcal magueys are wild and only some, such as Tequilana and Angustifolia (Espadín), are cultivated. Among the wild agaves are the Coyote, Jabalí, Madrecuishe, Tepextate, Tobalá and Tobasiche, each of them with a unique flavor and identity.
Oaxaca is the state that offers the most diversity in agave species, some of which are endemic to this region. The state has the greatest variety of mezcal agaves, benefiting from an exceptional geographic and climatic situation that result in an elixir, worthy of the most demanding palates.
The agave has contributed to the creation of our national identity, both in drinks and in landscapes, it is precisely where rural beauty converges with artisan beauty.
FROM 7 TO 25 YEARS
That is the amount of time needed for an agave to reach maturity.
While other spirits beverages have an agricultural cycle of nine to a maximum of 18 months, there are wild agaves that have a maturation cycle of up to 25 years!
Mezcal is the distilled beverage with the longest production process in the world. Therefore, producing a rounded mezcal involves many years of patience!
Traditionally, mezcal was stored in black clay pitchers, which served for the maturation and preservation of its organoleptic characteristics.
To preserve traditions at Convite, we designed a bottle that recalls the ancestral way of storing mezcal. The decoration of the bottle tells a 360-degree story about how wild agaves grow, the artisanal production processes, as well as mezcal’s contribution to the Mexican festive identity.
PREMIUM, EXCLUSIVE AND SOPHISTICATED
Mezcal is an agave-flavored distilled beverage made in Oaxaca, Mexico from any variety of agaves. The word meal also comes from Nahuatl sextet, meaning “ornate-cooked agave”. In the month of January or February, Mexican celebrate the Aztec festival of Aztec Sun Festival, where they break open large pots of mezcal to drink from; this symbolically gives us insight into the ancient Aztec way of using agave as a food and soul food. From this tradition, mezcal slowly developed from its original source from Nahuatl, to Mexican and southwestern American communities.
The main fermentation process used in Mexican meal begins with the soaking of the agave in hot water, and then the mezzanines are filled with it. From here, mezcal can undergo several stages including drying, roasting, mashing (the process of breaking down of sugars and starches to release their flavor), and finally bottling to release the flavor and aroma. Most bottles of Mexican agave nectar are simply labeled “agave”. Some specialty shops and stores specialize in medical and serve to educate and entertain customers on the rich, dark, and earthy flavors found in Mexican agave teas. These stores will often carry Mexican agave for some of the local mezcal brands, like CONVITE MEZCAL. While the team may not be quite the same, these teas still perform very well as agave teas and are very popular, especially among the tequila, salsas, and agave enthusiast crowd.
While many people in the US have only had access to store brand Mezcal, in Mexico and other Latin-speaking countries, the Mezcal is a much more common part of the daily cuisine. Many salsas and Mexican sauces contain mezcal in one form or another (for example, a mild salsa that goes great with nachos). Mezcal, along with agave, is becoming more popular in North America. It just makes sense to give it a try!