The Aspen Food & Wine Classic extends its reach well beyond Pitkin, County every year as chefs, purveyors of food and makers of wine/spirits descend on Denver before heading home. Luckily, I know someone that knows Ron Cooper of Del Maguey 'Single Village' Mezcal very well. The evening started out at a Mezcal dinner hosted by the newly opened Adelita's of Denver. But the real fun began when a tight-knit crew made its way to Willams & Graham (newly listed Top 10 best bars in the country) for shenanigans with Ron Cooper himself.
Del Maguey Mezcal
Williams & Graham
Anyone in the industry knows that Ron Cooper has carved out a niche in the world of Mezcal. his "Single Village Mezcal" is born in the Oaxaca'n state of Mexico.
"Mezcal is the mother of Tequila, and Del Maguey represents its true heritage. It is among the finest and purest spirits available in the world. The way mezcal affects one’s palate and the way it warms the chest, throat and mouth are quite different than any other alcohol. And Del Maguey, Single Village Mezcals transcend all others.
The word Mezcal comes from Metl or Mexcalmetl, the prehispanic Nahuatl language, meaning Agave. Today the commonly used word for Agave in Oaxaca is Maguey. Nearly twenty-five percent (900,000) of the total Indian population of Mexico live in the state of Oaxaca. The indigenous languages and cultures of Oaxaca are unusually diverse and un-industrialized or changed by modern society.
The Zapotec people are still producing one of the most important hand crafted distillates on earth. With minimal resources, they are up against multinational might and multimillion-dollar facilities, like those found in the state of Jalisco, where tequila is made. Like their ancestors, they still make offerings to deities, in exchange for permission and blessings, before harvesting for the revered spirit, which they regard as a spiritual entity."
--- Del Maguey
Your meant to sip not shoot the Mezcal in these traditional clay cups.. of which Ron travels with many and the bars which source his fine spirits are required to carry and serve in.
The particular strain served that evening was a very small batch, personal, Mezcal Iberico that Ron provided. Note; the recycled plastic water bottle. The Mezcal was infused with Iberico Ham that was delivered to Ron specifically for that purpose.