Produced in Mexico for centuries but little known elsewhere until recent years, mezcal has captured the imagination of spirits enthusiasts with its astonishing complexities. And while big liquor is beginning to jump aboard the bandwagon, most mezcal is still artisanal in nature, produced using small-batch techniques handed down for generations and often using agave plants harvested in the wild.

Join author Emma Janzen as she presents an engaging primer on all things mezcal: its long history, the craft of distilling it, and a thorough guide to many of the most common agaves used in production and how they shape the resulting spirit. In addition, top mezcal bars across the United States and Mexico contribute a selection of nearly fifty cocktails that accentuate its distinguishing qualities. Beautifully produced and authoritatively written, this is the definitive guide to exploring and unraveling the mysteries of this extraordinary handcrafted spirit.

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``It's a really beautiful book that is very thoughtfully done. There are a lot of books about mezcal that have come to my attention over the last couple of years, but this one I think is the most thoughtful with a whole lot of interviews with the mezcaleros. I think that's a really cool thing.``

Rick Bayless, chef and host of Mexico: One Plate at a Time
“As one of the fastest-growing spirits categories, it was only a matter of time before we got a single-subject book on mezcal aimed at a more mainstream audience. With Emma Janzen at the helm, the result is a smart primer that is readable without dumbing down its subject—one that offers something for both those brand-new to the spirit and more seasoned fans looking for a non-wonky reference book. Janzen covers the full life cycle of the spirit, from the basics of agave types and production to the evolution of America’s embrace of the spirit (and the sustainability issues that go along with it), with asides throughout serving as quick cheat sheets to of-the-moment topics. In knowing fashion, a chapter on the controversial subject of mezcal drinks is approached with the understanding that cocktails, especially in the hands of knowledgeable bartenders of the likes who contributed to the book, can be a valuable gateway for novices (and unarguably delicious). But the moments Janzen spends on the ground with producers and bartenders are among the book’s best.”


``For spirits enthusiasts looking for a reference manual which digs deep into the differences between mezcal and tequila accompanied by beautiful photography and concise storytelling, Janzen’s “Mezcal” is it.``

Beth McKibben, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution