Reading is Fun: Mezcal, L’esprit du Mexique

With Agave Festival happening this April, it’s a great time to get around to a book review I’ve been meaning to do for awhile.

Mezcal l’esprit du Mexique by Domingo Garcia, David Migueres, and Alexandre Vingtier and with a forward by local bar and restaurant owner Carina Soto Velasquez is a great reference on this agave-based spirit. It is currently only available in French, but I’d love to see an English edition come out as well because it nicely summarizes the basics while blowing away some of the misconceptions (the worm is a marketing gimmick and it won’t make you hallucinate!) But, if you don’t read French, you can pop over to our audio show Paris Cocktail Talk to listen to an interview (in English and being released 4 March) I recently did with one of the authors, David Migueres.

The book is full of nice illustrations as well as photos

Its bite-sized chapters cover the basics of the spirit, the regions where it’s produced, the plants used, production methods, and how to read the labels. A fair number of pages are devoted to the consumption of it with recommendations on brands as well as bars and shops in various cities around the world. It includes a nice selection of recipes from some big name bartenders, including from Paris.

Photos give a little glimpse into the production of Mezcal

The format is fun and easy to dip into. Rather than just paragraphs of monotonous text, the font varies, and it includes plenty of jazzy graphics and informative photos. Though its purpose is not purely decorative, it would make a nice coffee table book as well, being pretty to look at and easy to scan.

The authors at Paris bar Candelaria

Basically, it makes mezcal accessible to anyone and offers up pretty much everything you need to know about it in one digestible and fun read.

Im not a F****cking Cactus
reprinted with permission from the authors
Recipe created by Mickael Mas for Gravity Paris

50 ml mezcal
10 ml Fernet Branca
5 ml Velvet Falernum
1 bar spoon maple syrup

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.

The book includes lots of fun recipes to try at home

About Forest Collins 362 Articles
Cocktail Expert Forest Collins is the creator of 52martinis, an online guide to the best cocktail bars in Paris and other small batch spirits news from France. We've also recently launched an app so you can keep all that bar info in your pocket!