Mezcal Is The Fastest-Growing Liquor In The US.
Making mezcal is really hard work. Mexican producers harvest agave by hand and cook it in giant, earthen ovens. Then they crush it using a 1,000-pound, horse-drawn stone and distill it in copper pots. Despite all this effort, Mexican producers aren’t making the big bucks, even though demand for the spirit is booming.
While Mexican regulations do require mezcal to be made in Mexico, that hasn't stopped large, international companies from scooping up mezcal supplies, repackaging, and reselling bottles for huge profits abroad. And the only organization that can stand in the way, the mezcal certifying agency COMERCAM, has faced claims of favoritism of these large companies. This has left some century-old mezcal brands frustrated and fearful that their ancestral ways of making mezcal are at risk. So, there's a growing trend of brands leaving the certified industry and choosing to call their brands "distilled agave" instead of mezcal.