Hey Hey Agave
24 + Gabriela Badillo / 68 Voices 68 Hearts

24 + Gabriela Badillo / 68 Voices 68 Hearts

November 15, 2020

24 + Gabriela Badillo

68 Voices 68 Hearts

We are joined by Gabriela Badillo, the creator of Sesenta y Ocho Voces Sesenta y Ocho Corazones. Gabriela is also a co-founder of Hola Combo, a creative studio with a focus on animation, brand identity, and storytelling.  

Initiated in 2013, 68 voices 68 hearts is an animated series of Mexican indigenous stories told in their native language. These animated shorts are based on the philosophy that "No one can love what they don't know."

We speak with Gabriela about how she first conceived of the idea for 68 voices and how the project has developed over the past 8 years. She explains the creative process, logistics, and obstacles they face in producing each one minute short. We like to think of these animations as historical time capsules, each one preserving a story from an indigenous community in their native language, many of which are in danger of becoming extinct.

Mexico is one of the world’s most linguistically diverse nations. Within Mexico, there are 364 indigenous language subsets belonging to 68 distinct languages, which branch off from 11 language families! Nahuatl is one of the most widely-spoken indigenous languages of the Americas with approximately 1.5 million speakers in central Mexico.

We are excited to announce that a portion of the proceeds from our Cosmovision Collection will be donated to 68 Voices. However, because we are a small company and our sales are modest we encourage you to give directly if you can!

It costs $7000 USD to produce one animated short. How amazing would it be if we all contribute and help to produce one episode?! 

Donate directly using paypal

+ Make sure to mark your donation in USD (not MXN) and write hey hey agave in the notes +

Check out the !Hey Hey! Agave page on our website to see pictures from our guests.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: @milagroverdebk

Editing: Brittany Prater

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

23 + Asis Cortés / Mezcal Family History

23 + Asis Cortés / Mezcal Family History

October 19, 2020

23 + Asis Cortés

Mezcal Family History

 

We are pleased to welcome Asis Cortés to the show. Asis comes from 6 generations of Zapotec mezcal producers and maguey cultivators in Matatlan, Oaxaca. This podcast is an excellent opportunity to learn about the history of mezcal culture and production from the perspective of a person whose family has been producing since the 1840s.

Asis has been involved in several mezcal projects over that past 15 years. Many of them you may be familiar with: Agave Cortés, Nuestra Soledad, El Jolgorio, and Origen Raiz. Asis is also the founder of Mezcalogia, Ofrenda Oaxaca, Puro Burro Sunset Bar and the branding agency, Stratos.

This conversation highlights his latest project Mezcal Dixeebe. A collaboration with his father Valentin, developed to honor their ancestors and amplify the connection between agave plants and their culture.

Asis explains how the introduction of adulterated mezcal in the 1980’s and ’90s created a serious problem for his family and other mezcal producers in the region. This proved to be a devastating and protracted event for the communities in and around Oaxaca and caused his father to stop producing mezcal for a time. Adulterated mezcal also called Conejo (rabbit), was mezcal that was altered by adding non-agave spirits or worse, synthetic materials, pushing down the price, and making it very difficult for authentic producers of 100% maguey distilled mezcal to sell their product. This is one of the events that instigated the creation of the D.O and N.O.M and eventually the CRM.

We cover many topics as they relate to Asis’s experience as an entrepreneur, brand developer, mezcal educator, and prolific advocate for preserving his culture, the culture of mezcal. This is a podcast not to be missed!

 

Check out the !Hey Hey! Agave page on our website to see pictures from our guests.

 

¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: @milagroverdebk

Editing: Brittany Prater

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

22 + Rion Toal / Maestros del Mezcal

22 + Rion Toal / Maestros del Mezcal

July 28, 2020

21 + Rion Toal

Maestros del Mezcal

 

Rion is a co-organizer of the civil association Maestros del Mezcal in Oaxaca. He is the host of the podcast of the same name, Maestros del Mezcal as well as the founder of Of Spine and Vine an importer and distributor of rare beverages.

 

We discussed how Maestros del Mezcal promotes and advocates for the protection of traditional mezcal in Oaxaca and the surrounding states in Mexico. This social project has been in existence for over two decades but was officially formed in 2009. The association provides financial and technical support to producers to help improve their palenques, replant agave in danger of extinction, and reforest trees used for fuel in the production of mezcal. They also hold public tasting events that promote traditionally produced mezcal and are importing some of these expressions under the label Maestros del Mezcal.

 

The association is behind the proposition “Ley de Desarollo Sustentable de Maguey-Mezcal”, which is a proposed law aimed to manage all aspects of traditional mezcal production in Mexico. Currently in preliminary stages within the governmental process, its scope would essentially supersede the CRM and put in place new standards for the regulation of traditional mezcal as defined by the proposition. 

 

Rion has been living in Oaxaca since 2009. His vast knowledge of agave plants in the region is remarkable, we learned so much! Of particular interest is the species called Lyoba, which is predominantly found in the Tlacolula region and is commonly referred to as “coyote”. We also discussed the map he created that depicts the agaves endemic to the regions of Oaxaca. He’s working on making a print version available - in the meantime, you can see it here.

 

Please check out the Hey Hey Agave page on our website where we post links to topics we covered as well as images that our guests provide.

 

¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

 

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: @milagroverdebk

Editing: Brittany Prater

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

21 + Salvador Picazo Chavez / La Luna Mezcal

21 + Salvador Picazo Chavez / La Luna Mezcal

June 16, 2020

21 + Salvador Picazo Chavez

La Luna Mezcal

Salvador Picazo Chavez is the founder and President of Puente Internacional and the founder of La Luna Mezcal and Gustoso Aguardiente Rum, both produced in Michoacán, Mexico.

This is the first interview we have had with a producer from Michoacán but definitely not the first conversation about the State and the mezcal produced there. Michoacán is a rich and fertile region of Mexico, where most of the Avocados consumed in the US are grown. It is home to a vibrant culinary tradition and has a history of sugar cane distillation and mezcal production. 

Chava’s story and the story of La Luna is a coming home of sorts. Chava was born in California and raised in Sonoma. His father grew up on a farm in Cotija, Michoacán and his mom is from Ecatepec, Estado de Mexico. Chava was drawn back to his Father’s home town and inspired by the potential he saw within his family and his network of friends to create a brand of mezcales that would express the specific terroir of the region. 

Chava explains La Luna’s evolution from purchasing distillates from one producer to building vinatas and distilling with his own team. They are currently building vinatas in Indaparapeo, Cotija and Etucuaro. We discuss the different production styles, which vary among their vinatas. We learn about the agaves of the region, both silvestre and cultivated, and discuss what the future holds for La Luna.

Check out the !Hey Hey! Agave page on our website to see pictures from our guests.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: @milagroverdebk

Editing: Brittany Prater

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

20 + Niki Nakazawa & Leonardo Comercio / Neta Spirits / PM Spirits

20 + Niki Nakazawa & Leonardo Comercio / Neta Spirits / PM Spirits

May 18, 2020

20 + Niki Nakazawa & Leonardo Comercio

Neta Spirits / PM Spirits

We have two guests with us for this installment of the pod. Niki Nakazawa co-founder of the Agave Spirits Brand NETA and Leonardo Comercio of PM Spirits, an importer and distributor of small-production distillates made by artisan distillers from around the world.

Niki has lived in Mexico for the past 12 ½ years and has been involved in several culinary and spirits driven projects. In this conversation, we learn how Niki fell in love with agave spirits early on in her life and how her friendship with Max Rosenstock led them to bring Neta to the US market. 

We discuss how Max and Niki have built and developed their relationship with the cooperative of producers they work with called Grupo Productor Logoche from Logoche, in Lachigüizo which is a town outside of Miahautlan, Oaxaca. The group is composed of immediate and extended family who are mezcaleros and agave growers.

Leo tells how he was introduced to the brand and how PM came to import Neta, which is bottled as an agave spirit. We discuss PM Spirits' commitment to sourcing artisanal handcrafted spirits from around the world and their philosophy on how they build their portfolios. 

Finally, we touched on the different expressions Neta offers and specific production practices that make these spirits very special indeed.

 

Check out the !Hey Hey! Agave page on our website to see pictures from our guests.

 

¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: @milagroverdebk

Editing: Brittany Prater

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

19 + Scott Rosenbaum / Spirits Portfolio: Taste, place and the market

19 + Scott Rosenbaum / Spirits Portfolio: Taste, place and the market

May 4, 2020

19 + Scott Rosenbaum

/ Spirits Portfolio: Taste, place and the market

Quarantine remote podcasting continues with our guest Scott Rosenbaum, Vice President of T. Edward Wine and Spirits. In addition to developing an exceptional spirits portfolio, he also teaches at the IWC and at NYU. If you’ve been listening for a while you might remember that T. Edward’s agave portfolio includes Lagrimas de Dolores and Cinco Sentidos. We have hosted podcasts with both brand owners: German Gutierrez Gamboa of Lagrimas and Jason Paul Cox of Cinco Sentidos.

The conversation we had with Scott provides context to how the role of importer and distributor functions between the brand and the market and ultimately how they cultivate that relationship.

It also offers aspiring spirits specialists an opportunity to learn about how Scott got started in his career and the paths he took, including weathering the 2008 financial crisis. 

We made our first attempt to discuss terroir in agave spirits, a subject we hope to explore more in future episodes. The concept of terroir is fantastically complicated and imperfect when compared with wine, however, it does allow for a structure with which to talk about the different elements that make each spirit special and unique to the place the plants were grown and where the spirit was made.

Check out T. Edward's live morning show on IG! They feature producers from around the world. You get an up-close tour of their vineyards, distilleries and best of all you get to hear directly from them:)

Stay Positive and Sip Mezcal!

 

¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: Milagro Verde

Editing: Brittany Prater

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

18 + Ferron Salniker / Mezcal Community Update

18 + Ferron Salniker / Mezcal Community Update

April 6, 2020

18 + Ferron Salniker

/ Mezcal Community Update

Welcome to our very first remote recording! Joining us is Ferron Salniker, a freelance journalist and events manager for Mezcalistas. We thought it would be good to check in with Ferron and see how the industry is adapting to this new #stayhome quarantine world. We discuss the current state of the pandemic in LA and NY including the repercussions we are seeing in the industry so far. Ferron shares information about Mezcalistas' new virtual programming called Conversations in Agave. We also took the opportunity to discuss her recent article for Life and Thyme about the Vieyra family who produces mezcal under their brand, Don Mateo, in Michoacan. 

We are using this episode's webpage as a resource database with links to different organizations that can help people in need - everyone from service and hospitality workers as well as our undocumented friends. Please feel free to email us with other resources you think would be helpful. We will update it regularly.

Stay Safe and Healthy Everyone!

 

Check out the !Hey Hey! Agave page on our website to see pictures from our guests.

 ¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: Milagro Verde

Sound Editor: Brittany Prater

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

17 + Elisandro Gonzalez Molina / Tosba Mezcal / PART TWO

17 + Elisandro Gonzalez Molina / Tosba Mezcal / PART TWO

March 16, 2020

17 + Elisandro Gonzalez Molina 

/ Tosba Mezcal + PART TWO

In PART TWO, we discuss the traditional use of mezcal within Zapotec communities vs. the roll of mezcal in the international market. Elisandro explains some of the experiences he and Edgar have had within their community and how they are implementing initiatives to help support and sustain the community and the environment. Part of this collaboration is called GOZONA which is a native word used to describe how community members come together to help one another.

We taste Tosba’s latest Cenizo Agave expression (so exciting!) and Elisandro introduces us to their latest project DAKABEND, a Rum Agricole that hit the market last year. 

ASK ELISANDRO ANYTHING! 

Ask a question to Elisandro by emailing us or sending a DM.  We will record a question and answer pod with him:) This is a great opportunity to follow up on the things we discussed and ask questions about topics we didn’t cover! Everything is on the table, so dig in!

 

Check out the !Hey Hey! Agave page on our website to see pictures from our guests.

 

¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: Milagro Verde

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

Editor: Brittany Prater

17 + Elisandro Gonzalez Molina / Tosba Mezcal / PART ONE

17 + Elisandro Gonzalez Molina / Tosba Mezcal / PART ONE

March 9, 2020

17 + Elisandro Gonzalez Molina 

/ Tosba Mezcal + PART ONE

This is PART ONE of a two-part series. We speak with Elisandro Gonzalez Molina, who along with his cousin Edgar Gonzalez Ramirez, are the producer-owners of Tosba Mezcal.

PART ONE focusses on Elisandro and Edgar’s early life. He explains his experience growing up in the Sierra Norte region of Oaxaca in a town called San Cristobal Lachirioag which is a Zapotec community.

We discuss how he and Edgar decided to plant agaves before building their palenque, while they were both living and working in California. Elisandro takes us through the early days when they were first learning how to make mezcal, including how they built their palenque using an old roof from the local Mercado. Elisandro gives us his perspective on the reality of mezcaleros today and he shares the difficulties he and Edgar faced when certifying their destilados de agave.

We end the conversation with Elisandro explaining Edgar's production style and we review the expressions they currently offer in the US market.

 

Check out the !Hey Hey! Agave page on our website to see pictures from our guests.

 

¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: Milagro Verde

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

Editor: Brittany Prater

16 + Jason Paul Cox / Cinco Sentidos

16 + Jason Paul Cox / Cinco Sentidos

January 20, 2020

16 + Jason Paul Cox

/ Cinco Sentidos

In this episode, we talk with Jason Paul Cox. Jason is the owner of Cinco Sentidos, a small batch agave spirits brand specializing in artisanal and ancestral single expression mezcals. Cinco Sentidos tends to be a sought-after brand due to the limited number of expressions that make it to a few lucky US States. 

Jason explains the brands' origin and development alongside El Destilado his farm-to-table restaurant with partner Joseph Gilbert in Oaxaca City. We discuss some of the expressions that are available in the US, including the Papalome produced by Amando Alvarez in Santa Maria Ixcatlan. 

We talk about a 20-day agave roast, raw-hide fermentation and what makes Delfino Tobón Mejia’s lenteja still unique. Look out for the new La Coleccion Mixteca, a series of agave spirits from the Mixteca region which includes areas in Oaxaca, Puebla, and Guerrero (so far this collection includes expressions from Puebla and Oaxaca).

Jason also introduced us to his newest project, an agricole-style rum, or aguardiente de caña. Cañada is produced by the Krassel family in the region of Oaxaca known as the cloud forest.Read more about Jason and Cinco Sentidos here:

T Edward Wine and Spirits / Cinco Sentidos

K&L Spirits Journal / What's in a name?

 

Check out the !Hey Hey! Agave page on our website to see pictures from our guests.

 

¡Hey Hey! Agave is dedicated to all things agave. Join us for conversations with industry experts, enthusiasts, producers and educators as we discuss the fascinating world of agave spirits.

¡Hey Hey! Agave is a podcast from TUYO NYC

Music: Milagro Verde

Production: Sabrina Lessard and Gabriel Velazquez Zazueta

Play this podcast on Podbean App