I consider myself more knowledgeable about tequila and mezcal than your average gringa, but I felt out of my depth during today’s fascinating interview with mezcal expert Clayton Szczech. Szczech is the owner of Experience Tequila and Experience Mezcal and has published a series of well-written and extremely informative articles on potential changes in the norm for mezcal labeling, a process “that would take major steps toward elevating the status of artisanal mezcal and its producers by means of some radical changes to everything from mezcal’s very definition, to the way it is bottled and labeled.”
If the idea of mezcal labeling sounds dry, think again. Establishing a coherent norm could empower rural communities and help artisanal producers get the recognition they deserve. I’m linking to Clayton’s articles and you’ll be hearing more from him in my upcoming article on a mezcal-related rural empowerment project in Guerrero.