Why did you decide to go into Mezcal and when did it start?
Growing up in Mexico City I have had the unique opportunity to sample a divers range of agave spirits direct from the source. That experience has fine-tuned my palate for agave spirits.
Drinking mescal evokes a deeper connection with the earth, which produced the drink. It connects me with my heritage and the history of my family and culture of Mexico. The climate and planet need to be in perfect harmony to produce mescal; in the mescal you can taste that simplicity.
The name Santo Diablo, where does it come from?
The name “Santo Diablo” comes from the folk story of a young Aztec warrior. He was well liked among his village; his blinding charisma was as bright as the golden treasures held within the village. Despite the gravitational pull he had towards those around him, no one truly knew him. He had wandered into the village a few months prior and no one knew where he came from.
Certainly no one ever expected him to skip off down the road towards the camped band of conquistadors that had been making their way through the mountains in search of their village made of gold. As his fellow warriors were preparing themselves for war against the men, who were followed by a cloud of destruction and fallen friends, the young warrior seemingly beamed with joy as he pranced into their camp with song and good drink. The conquistadors were spell bound by the young warrior’s beaming smile and laughable charm, they welcomed him as an honoured guest instead of the sworn enemy they knew him to be.
That night the village looked down on the fires of the camp, hearing their own songs being sung and their own drinks being enjoyed by the same men they knew were hungry for gold and bent on destroying their village. They could not believe their eyes that their beloved young warrior had abandoned them and joined the enemy. “El Diablo, the devil!” they shouted. They debated amongst each other whether he had actually been their enemy all along. The next morning the village warriors stormed the conquistador’s camp…but to their shock and bewilderment the camp was completely empty. It was as if no one had ever been there. It was as if the men they saw dancing the night before were nothing more than ghosts and spirits. The warriors, faces blank with an amazed perplexity, stood looking around at each other, had the young warrior saved them? They gasped; “El Santo Diablo”…was the warrior a Saint? Or was he a Devil? The mysterious young warrior had saved the village; he instantly became the substance of legends told during late nights filled with friends, and dance, and strong drinks.
Originating from the same mountains, Santo Diablo honors its folk legend with every glass that is shared. The smoky, seductive aroma of our mezcal captivates all those within its reach, just as the young warrior’s charisma did. The mysterious flavor warms the body and lifts it up, leaving those that enjoy it to wonder…is this a Saint or is this a Devil? One thing is clear…a night with Santo Diablo is a night filled with laughter and fun amongst friends and anyone else who is close enough to be captivated.
What do you do when you’re not drinking Mezcal?
Although my passion for Mezcal runs deep, it does not consume my entire life. I have four beautiful young children who often require my undivided attention. My children are my life, they are my heart and they are my soul. It has definitely taken practice to find the perfect balance between my passion for business and my passion for motherhood but now I would not trade it for the world. My children inspire me everyday and every minute I am with them I am moved to make a larger impact on the world. It was this inspiration that motivated me to start my other business, InPulse 20. With InPulse 20 we use amazing state-of-the-art electro fitness machines to allow busy individuals to get the benefit of 4 hours of traditional exercise in only 20 minutes! Being a busy mother-entrepreneur I know how hard it can be to maintain a healthy life with a balanced amount of exercise. Seeing the smiles on the faces of my clients, as they feel healthier and stronger each week reassures me that I am making an impact in my own way in the world around me, and of course a good, hard workout is a great reason to enjoy a perfect glass of Santo Diablo among friends!
Where is Santo Diablo produced and what is the method?
A true Mezcal starts with the maestro mezcalero, or master distiller. The master distiller uses one of production techniques that have been passed down for generations in his family. Each technique varies slightly according to each family’s traditions. It is this commitment to tradition that forms the foundation of the Mezcal industry. Passed down from father to son, for generation after generation, Mezcal is the product of artisans who have earned the ancestral honor to produce this spiritual elixir. Attempting to reduce Mezcal to a combination of engineering and scientific methods would be futile, the product would be missing the magic and from the first drop on the lips, the drinker would notice this lacking. It is not hard to spot the magic in Mezcal because the Maestro Mezcalero will only put his name on a product that he is truly proud of, one that has a piece of his spirit.
More specifically, the process of artisanal mescal production begins with the agave, which only after 10-14 years can mature to reveal a palate of deep and complex flavors. Cutting away at the spiny flesh of the agave reveals the heart of the plant, the pinas. These pinas, which can weigh up to 160lbs, are hand chopped into quarters and then cooked with care in an underground, earthen pit. The extreme heat of the underground oven made of volcanic rock and wood allow the pinas to slowly roast, revealing a subtle caramelization and smoky aroma over the course of several days. After the pinas are properly cooked they are resurrected from the earthen pit and crushed using the traditional tahona, or donkey-pulled stone wheel. Breaking down the meat and fibers of the plan releases the liquids, which are then moved to an open tank of wood or clay and allowed to ferment for up to two weeks. Only a true master distiller knows when the spiritual elixir is ready; when it is ready the liquids and solids are removed and then moved to small copper pots for a second distillation lasting around two hours. This artisanal practice of twice distilling allows for the rich, complex flavors of the authentic Mezcal to be released.
Santo Diablo is produced in San Juan del Rio Oaxaca.
How should one drink Santo Diablo and what is your secret recipe ?
How does Mezcal make you feel when you drink it?
To taste Mezcal, is to taste a unique, individuality with every glass and every sip. No two Mezcals are alike; the perfect Mezcal requires just the right combination of fresh agave, authentic culture, and a dash of magic. Mezcal is a reflection of the beauty of the land it originates from; you can find it hiding within the rugged mountains and living amongst the native groups, who are committed to preserving its ancestral traditions while they watch others around them let the jewels of their culture fade into distant memories. A true Mezcal is one of those jewels; it is the hills, it is the palenques, it is the isolated villages still holding on to what brings them closer to who they know they really are. Mezcal is not just another smile at the bottom of a glass; it is the sun shinning down on our face, it is consistency of time, and it is the collective passion of a culture dedicated to preserving its inner spirit. This spirit gets whispered and passed along with every sip of Mezcal. The story has been passed down in Mexico for over 24 centuries and we are committed to sharing it, and the spirit of Mexico, with the rest of the world.
You live between LA and Mexico – where do yo go in both cities to sip a Mescal – can you paint us the perfect Santo Diablo situation?
Mezcal is not something you take a shot of but rather something you put in a sniffer like a scotch or a Cognac Personally, I love it neat and at room temperature I wouldn’t recommend putting ice in Mezcal because it will water down the true flavors and the unique sweetness of the agave. it’s definitely tasteful and delicate enough to sip over a long evening with friends
In Smell Santo Diablo is mainly herbal and citrus notes are perceived like green grass, lemon verbena grapefruit and pineapple shell.
When you first taste Santo Diablo it has a friendly and light alcoholic perception, leaves a warm feeling after the first sip and a sweet aftertaste of cooked agave and herbal aromas that refreshes and cleans the palate.
Its Best served as an aperitif or to accompanied fresh dishes
Santo Diablo is now being served in all the trendy bars and restaurants of Los Angeles and we are getting ready to launch it in Mexico and the rest of the world
Signature Santo Diablo cocktail recipe
1.5 oz. Santo Diablo Mezcal
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
4 oz. Pomegranate Juice
1 oz. Agave Nectar
Mix all the ingredients into a very chilled shaker, and serve in Martini Glass with a blood orange garnish.
If you had to associate Santo Diablo with a piece of Bex Rox which one would it be and why?
The Sophia Cuff its my favorite piece its endlessly, Intriguing and purely sexy just like Santo Diablo. We are soon releasing a Special edition Mezcal with the colors of the cuff.
Your life mantra?
I did it MY WAY