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Bozal Mezcal: In Spanish Bozal means wild or untamed. Since Bozal produces their Mezcal from Agave that fits that description, it’s an apt name. There are a number of Mezcals in the Bozal line. Some of them are produced using more than one type of Agave and others are limited to a specific type. Bozal uses traditional production methods. The Agave hearts are cooked in earthen ovens underground and then crushed and mashed with a stone wheel that’s turned by horse power. Fermentation occurs in open air with wild yeasts. Double distillation follows. I sampled two offerings from their line, what impressed me most, in addition to overall quality, was how distinct they are from one another. This speaks largely to the different Agave used. The ceramic bottles used for Bozal nod to traditional cups used to drink Mezcal. The unique look and select colors for each expression means they’ll stand out on your shelf too.
Bozal Mezcal Espadín-Barril Mexicano Ensamble ($50)

This Mezxal was produced using three distinct types of Agave (Espadín, Barril, and Mexicano) that are indigenous to the Oaxaca and Guerrero hillsides and grow wild.  Each type of Agave brings different aroma and flavor elements with it. Bits of citrus underlie a burst of pure agave aromas here. Taking the first sip the inherent smokiness sits just below the surface of savory herbs and fruit flavors. The finish is lengthy and mellow with gently lingering flavors. This is a really well rounded Mezcal that would be a great introduction to the spirit for those who are unfamiliar. At around $50 it provides excellent value.

Bozal Mezcal Cuixe Single Maguey ($80)

This Mezcal was produced entirely from Cuixe. This type of Agave grows vertically and features just a single stalk. It’s one of the most difficult types of Agave to harvest and work with. Papaya and tangerine aromas light up the expressive nose. Orange rind, bits of thyme and wisps of limestone are evident on the palate along with a core of smoke. Hints of salinity are evident on the long and deeply layered finish. The duality in this Mezcal is that the single type of Agave makes it singular and precise in both aromas and flavors; on the other hand it's incredibly complex and demands attention.

The classic Paloma Cocktail is enhanced by using Mezcal in place of Tequila. The smokiness of the Mezcal and the tartness of the grapefruit soda play off of each other beautifully.

The Paloma

2 parts Bozal Mezcal Espadín-Barril Mexicano Ensamble
½ part Lime Juice
Grapefruit soda
Salt for rim
Salt the rim of a Collins Glass. Fill the glass with ice. Add the Mezcal and lime juice. Fill the glass with grapefruit soda.

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