Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $7.23 shipping
The Mezcal Rush: Explorations in Agave Country Hardcover – March 21, 2017
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Praise for The Mezcal Rush
"A rich, inclusive portrait of one of the world's great drinks." ―Kirkus Reviews
"A unique and fascinating journey following the mezcal trail from remote Mexican villages to trendy bars abroad, from indigenous fiestas to mixology events crammed with modish tipplers. Greene's lively and skillful blend of travelogue and social commentary charts the sometimes troubled links between these very different worlds." ―Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs commentator, The Financial Times
"Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, The Mezcal Rush is an original and inherently fascinating read from beginning to end." ―Wisconsin Bookwatch
"An artful combination of travel narrative and research―I felt as if I was sipping mezcal through Mexico as I read it." ―Baylor Chapman, author of The Plant Recipe Book
About the Author
GRANVILLE GREENE is a graduate of The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He has written for Outside, The New York Times, and many other publications. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book does a few things really well. First, if you want to gain an appreciation and understanding of the cultural importance of mezcal in Mexico, the author does a great job capturing the spiritual essence of mezcal. Second, he writes really well, and though there are no pictures, he does an exceptional job describing the micro-distilleries, the people, the landscapes, and the many small villages he spends time in - he really knows how to paint a picture. Plus, he is simply a good story teller so it is enjoyable to read. Third, I really respect how he immersed himself in the subject matter, spending a lot of time in Oaxaca, and even becoming an active participant in the production of mezcal.
All in all, I really liked it, and if you are looking to deepen your cultural understanding of mezcal, you will enjoy this book!
Funny enough, another reviewer mentions they think part of the book comes across as an 'homage' to Ron Cooper and Del Maguey whereas I read it as constructively critical. Sure, Cooper's the main guy who's marketed and bottled this stuff, but you slowly realize the real mezcal makers aren't getting their full due with a lot of these brands we see on shelves in the states. Two other interesting brands highlighted though are Real Minero and Tosba Mezcal and they come across way less....douchey than Cooper & Del Maguey. I can definitely attest Real Minero tastes better!
anyway, great book. If you like mezcal and want to do your homework for real you should read this.
If you are interested in Mexico, you'd probably like this book. If you are interested in mezcal, this is a must read. It also might interest readers studying the emergence of a new product--to consumers, it's centuries old in Mexico.
There's plenty of interesting information. I had no idea there were so many species of agave, or that production of alcoholic beverages may have been much more common and further back in Mexican history than once thought. Cooked agave hearts (a food as well as raw material for distilling mezcal) go back, Greene says, to 9,000 BCE. He discusses the drug cartels a bit, noting that portions of the country are very dangerous and that by 2016 more than 100,000 Mexican lives have been lost in cartel and drug related violence.
As for mezcal, much of it is artisan produced, in small amounts, in probably thousands of villages. The taste varies a great deal, he says, depending on the species of agave, the altitude they are grown, the water used in distillation, the composition of the soil the agaves grew in, the methods of the local distiller (Greene compares it to a kind of folk art), and many other factors, so that really there are myriad variations. The growth of the mezcal industry has attracted larger-scale distillers, middlemen who buy locally, bottle, label and sell it--they might pay 30 pesos for a liter and at the retail end sell a bottle for $200 at an upscale venue. Greene thinks that the locals deserve a bigger cut of the gross, because much is produced by local people who have a difficult time paying for food and other necessities. The bulk of the product traditionally was used for celebrations such as weddings, births, on he occasions of death, village fiestas and for other purposes such as medicinal.
Greene describes ordering mezcal at a variety of places such as an upscale venue (not exactly a bar, but I'm not sure what other word to use). He sees an unfortunate separation between the end user and the producer. Mezcal has become an upscale beverage the way some vodkas have, and Greene is mildly caustic about some of that. He also discusses in moderate detail agaves of several species.
The book sure could have used some photos. His many character sketches are excellent, but photos would help to get a sense of the villages and the layout of the agave process. There's a helpful glossary.