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Sager and Dzelzainis concoct category-breaking Mexican spirits

Published:  07 December, 2018

A partnership between Michael Sager and Marcis Dzelzainis of London venues Sager + Wilde, together with East London Liquor Companys Alex Wolpert, has resulted in a range of category-defying Mexican spirits entitled El Destilado.

The inaugural collection consists of 13 bottlings, 11 of which are non-DO agave spirits, joined by two sugar cane distillates. The intention is for each spirit to express terroir, and the range is the result of the three founders’ travels in Mexico and their encounters with independent producers there.

The agave distillates, effectively non-DO mezcals, have been made using ancestral methods, cover a wide variety of agave varieties – including Madrecuixe and Tobala, as well as a blend of Barril and Espadin – and are bottled without any filtration or dilution.

“We’re like wine brokers. Mezcal has the same fundamental attraction that wine has, with different varieties, terroir and more,” explained Dzelzainis. “There’s more similarity between mezcal and wine than between mezcal and other spirits.”

Label design for the range provides in-depth detail about each bottling, including the origin and name of the producer, as well as information about fermentation and distillation.

For future bottlings, El Destilado won’t necessarily be limited to Mexican spirits, and may even include categories as diverse as Armagnac at some point, according to Dzelzainis.

Between 70 and 420 bottles of each spirit in the initial range have been produced, with each priced between £35 and £120 per 50cl bottle. The range is available from both Speciality Drinks and The Whisky Exchange.




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