As we head into the holiday season, drinkers are looking for new spirits to experiment with, and perhaps to bring that special gift to seasonal cocktail parties. Holiday revelers might want to take mezcal under consideration.
Mezcal has come from its humble beginnings as a niche category to a mainstream phenomenon amid the growing popularity of agave spirits. Mezcal is now a fixture at many bars and restaurants, and sales have grown by 42 percent this year over 2020.
While tequila is produced by steaming the agave inside ovens before being distilled, mezcal’s agaves are cooked in pits lined with lava rocks and filled with wood and charcoal which gives it a smoky aroma and taste.
The premium brand Vamonos Riendo is an ensemble mezcal that combines high altitude 14-year-old Tobala growing wild together with the finest Espadin magueys from the Sierra Madre Valley in Mexico, resulting in more intense flavors than other mezcals and tequilas.
Victor Rutstein, a resident of Highland Park who imports Vamonos Riendo says there are several additional characteristics that set this mezcal apart.
“Nurturing every step of the small batch artisanal process, Vamonos Riendo artfully includes a triple distillation with local fruits resulting in a remarkably fresh flavor with a subtle smokiness that is unique to other mezcals,” Rutstein says. “In 2020 we won the Best Mezcal of the Year at the New York International Spirits Competition and were awarded a Platinum Medal at the Los Angeles Spirits Awards.”
Vamonos Riendo, which translates to “Let’s go laughing,” is infused with the spirit of gatherings and a sense of community.
“Unlike other brands that appeal to the drinker’s darker side, our bottle uses storytelling and vibrant artistic designs to convey a message of inclusivity and positivity, which is part of the tradition of the Oaxacan people,” Rutstein says. “The brand also maintains a commitment to its roots through philanthropic endeavors with S.A.C.R.E.D., a nonprofit company led by Chicago-based CEO Lou Bank that helps improve the quality of life in rural Mexican communities where agave spirits are produced.”
Vamonos Riendo recently announced expanded distribution in Chicago at retail outlets such as Binny’s, Sunset Foods and Garfield’s Beverage, in addition to restaurants such as Mino’s Italian in Winnetka, Authentico in Lake Forest, and Miramar and Casa de Isaac in Highwood.
“Whether sipping it neat or adding it as a cocktail ingredient, Vamonos Riendo is the perfect spirit for the holidays,” Rutstein says.
For more information or to purchase, visit vamonosriendomezcal.com.