Behind the Agave
Raised in Oaxaca, Francisco Javier Perez Cruz saw the hardship that followed families making mezcal. Although the craft was part of their heritage, the life of a mezcalero was difficult and unsustainable, which forced families to separate. He thought that if he could keep the hard-working families together and devise a way for them to work towards a common goal, they could be successful.
In 2004, he founded the Banhez Cooperative as a platform for local mezcaleros to organize. His work, inspired by his own family, has changed the tradition of making mezcal into a community that was committed to the quality of their craft and helping one another. Today, his son Luis runs the Banhez Cooperative and strives to continue his father’s work.
Although there is much speculation, evidence suggests that the use of agave by humans may have begun as many as 11,000 years ago. Throughout history, the plant has been an important part of daily life in Mesoamerica, used to make clothing, tools, medicine and, of course, mezcal.
In Oaxaca, communities lived in isolation from one another due to the rugged landscape. Over time, this led to each group to establishing unique traditions and methods for making mezcal. The variety of climates also play an important part in the complexity of the agave’s taste. It is this vast history and cultural diversity that has made mezcal one of the oldest and most complex spirits in the world.
Composition: This mezcal is comprised of 90% Espadín and 10% Barril agaves. It offers a delightfully mild, floral and fruity (pineapple, banana) taste.
Pairings: Ceviche, mango salsa, chips and guacamole.
Staff Recommendation - Josh's Pick
“This earthy and smoky mezcal is considered a great bottle in mezcal sipping world. A strong roasted agave flavor combines with tropical fruit on the palate, leading to a leathery finish. This spirit is flavorful and easy to drink poured over ice or in your favorite cocktail.”