Santo de Piedra Mezcal has been launched in the UK on-trade, with a focus on its traditional production methods and its smoothness and versatility for cocktails.
After the first bottles arrived from Mexico last week, it has been introduced by distributor Highball Brands on behalf of producer House of Agua Piedra Mezcal & Co in the Oaxaca region, the spirit’s heartland.
It is made using Espadin agave which is planted and distilled in the village of San Bartolo Yautepec, south-east of the city of Oaxaca and close to the Pacific Ocean.
The sea air and terroir bring a unique floral and herbal note to the spirit. The agave plants, which are grown over 10 years, are roasted with a house blend of woods that includes black cedar to bring a depth of flavour. Once roasted, a traditional pressing method extracts the liquid before being twice distilled in a copper pot still.
Santo de Piedra Mezcal has a fruity aroma of peach, apricot and grapefruit along with a subtler smokiness. On the palate, it is smooth with a peppery, smoky finish, making it particularly versatile for cocktails. It has ABV of 40%.
It was launched to the on-trade last night at Dandelyan at the Mondrian London hotel – the first UK bar stocking the brand. To tie in with the event, the Dandelyan team created cocktails to complement the mezcal’s flavours.
They included a twist on one of the bar’s existing cocktails, substituting non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip with mezcal to create the Million Dollar Cartel with roasted sweet potato, Off-Cut Cordial, spices and grass distillate.
The other drink was a twist on a classic Death in the Afternoon, combining Santo de Piedra Mezcal with coconut, americano vermouth, absinthe and champagne.
Fabrice Limon, co-founder of Highball Brands, said: “Santo de Piedra Mezcal is a great addition to our portfolio of global brands and we’re looking forward to introducing its unique qualities to the on-trade. Its dedication to traditional methods to produce a high-quality product make it second to none.”
David Santillán Giles, founder and director at House of Agua Piedra Mezcal & Co, added: “We are extremely pleased to be working with Highball Brands and that they will be introducing us to the UK on-trade for the first time. It’s a market we’re keen to establish ourselves in, and their experience and expertise will be integral to this.”
House of Agua Piedra Mezcal & Co is committed to authenticity and sustainability. The bottles are handmade on site with recycled glass and each one is numbered and signed, allowing consumers to trace when and where their spirit was made.
The producer also supports the local community and set up the Agua Piedra Mezcal for Social Good Foundation. Its aim is to support local businesses to create a sustainable economic environment while also delivering a variety of social impact programs to people living in vulnerable conditions in Oaxaca.