Culture

There’s A Women-Led Tequila Brand Inspired By Día De Muertos And You Need To Try It

A women-led company has made Satryna a new premium tequila inspired by Día de Muertos. The brand which boasts a 60-year-old family recipe passed down three generations have made the tequila with The Day of the Dead in mind. Using luxurious and premium ingredients, Satryna is only available in small batches and will cost you a pretty penny. 

Owner Nitzan Marrun, an heir to the legendary Tequilera Newton and Maestra Tequilera Mireida Cortes from Tequilera Newton have joined forces to launch Satryna Blanco, a triple distilled version and Satryna Cristalino, an Añejo Claro versio. 

During Día de Muertos, a Mexican celebration of remembering and honoring the dead, it is not uncommon to use a bottle or shot of tequila as an ofrenda. Enter: Satryna. 

A tequila inspired by the owner’s Mexican heritage.

The handcrafted glass bottle makes an intricate display of Mexican iconography. The focal image is a modern mockup of La Catrina. Mostcommonly depicted as a female skeleton in European style clothing to symbolize she is ashamed of her indigenous ancestry. La Catrina is an icon of Día de Muertos thanks to Jose Guadalupe’s Posada’s original satirical illustration in the early 1900s. 

“[Día de Muertos]is not only a very powerful and mystic celebration that brings together all Mexicans, but also great care is taken with every aspect of the celebration to honor our ancestors,” Marrun told Forbes. “Likewise my Satryna tequila is mystic, powerful and great care has been taken into every aspect in order to honor my ancestors and their legacy.” 

Each bottle is handcrafted and etched with ancient Aztec sketching, the metal topper is a sugar school, but more than that Marrun believes is a key part of Día de Muertos celebrations. 

“Tequila is part of the ofrenda,” says Marrun. “It’s an offering to the dead, which is an essential part of this day’s celebration…It is a way of honoring our family and friends who have past away with the food and drinks that they liked the most when they were alive. When we set an offering for my ancestors, we always place our favorite drink, Satryna tequila.”

A 60-year-old family secret finally comes to light in Satryna. 

A descendant of the Newton family Tequilera, Marrun says she spent years honing her craft and learning the family’s traditional methods. It took time but she was able to convince her family to release the 60-year-old family recipe that has been tweaked with Marrun’s learnings. 

“Growing up in Mexico, Nitzan developed a passion for tequila and spent considerable time honing the craft and dreamt one day her tequila would be admired and sold all over the world,” the company website reads. “After many years of convincing her family, they have now decided to release this legendary tequila so that true aficionados around the world can savor this special gift of Mexico.” 

The process of making Satryna is pretty intense.

Satryna is made from 100 percent blue weber agave curated from the “Tequila Valley of Mexico” in Jalisco. The agave is derived from the rich volcanic soil in the area and grown for eight to 12 years. When it is perfect, the agave liquid is extracted, then fermented and distilled three times. Lastly, it’s aged in oak barrels from California and Cognac. 

“The semi-arid and semi-humid soil in the rich agricultural lands of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt is ideal for the harvest of our sweet agave plants. Each hand-selected and harvested is ripened to perfection only after being nurtured for eight to 12 long years,” according to the website. 

Satryna claims their Maestro Tequilero utilizes a tequila making process that is centuries old combined with a modern distillation process to ensure purity and smoothness. 

Each bottle of the spirit is numbered and signed by Carlos Newton, one of  Tequilera Newton founder Enrique Newton’s descendants. Satryna Blanco pricing starts at $90 and Satryna Cristalino starts at $169. It is quite the investment but the laborious process and the owner’s attention to detail explain the costly price tag. Moreover, the stunning bottle, with it’s intricate and historical artwork, wouldn’t make a bad centerpiece a once the contents are gone.

Mexico City’s Annual Día De Muertos Night Bike Ride Broke Records And It Looked Incredible

Culture

Mexico City’s Annual Día De Muertos Night Bike Ride Broke Records And It Looked Incredible

Omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Dia de Muertos may have officially happened over a week ago (it takes place from November 1-2), however, that isn’t stopping Mexicans from celebrating.

Sure, Mexico City had its massive Desfile de Día de Muertos last weekend and the incredible Mega Procesión de Las Catrinas on the weekend before but this weekend the celebrations continued. And this time, it took place in the form of a massive nighttime bike ride through the city’s most busy boulevards.

Mexico City’s Dia de Muertos night bike ride broke records with nearly 150,000 people coming out to celebrate.

A record 147,500 people took part in the annual Day of the Dead night bike right held Saturday in Mexico City, according to the city’s transportation secretary.

Riders showed up in elaborate costumes and disguises and completed an 18-kilometer route (about 11 miles) along the city’s famed Paseo de la Reforma. The route took the riders through some of the city’s most popular districts and along some of its most popular monuments. The ride then ended in the historic center of the capital city.

A costume contest at the Angel of Independence monument, live music at different locations and the screening of short films promoting the use of sustainable transportation at Plaza Tlaxcoaque complemented the bicycle outing.

Families and even their pets participated in the 11-mile ride.

Mexico City Transportation Secretary Andrés Lajous, who participated in the ride, told the newspaper El Sol de México that one of the most gratifying aspects of the event was to see young children enjoying their city at night. Many families took part including some that took their pets along for the ride, which took place between 9:00 and 11:00pm.

As violence continues to rack Mexico, events like this show highlight the positive events and moments in a country battling rampant drug violence. For many, the event offered a sense of pride as they were able to enjoy their city by night.

The night bike ride was just the latest in a series of major events in the city to celebrate Dia de Muertos.

For many, Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is synonymous with sugar skulls and elaborate ‘Catrina’ face painting. In reality, it’s a two-day festivity that lights up Mexico with colors, flowers, candles and a seemingly omnipresent joy.

Every year, on November 1st and 2nd, Mexicans take part in the adored demonstration of love and respect for their deceased relatives. And though the country’s capital is full of cemeteries to celebrate, plazas decorated in beautiful ‘ofrendas’ and lots of ‘pan de muerto’ weeks before the celebration, there’s one special day in CDMX when visitors will get to see a huge group of beautifully decorated Catrinas walk down the street in a parade celebrating life and death.

This year marked the 6th year that the parade took place. And more than 150 thousand people participated despite cool and rainy weather. Plus, there were nearly 200 professional makeup artists getting everyone looking like the famous ‘Calavera Catrina.’

However, not everyone was able to enjoy their night as some complained of police brutality.

While the vast majority of participants had an enjoyable and safe night, one young woman said that she and other cyclists were attacked by at least 20 police officers late on Saturday.

Twitter user @malitriushka said that after Reforma avenue reopened to traffic at about 11:00pm, the safety of cyclists riding on the road was threatened by an aggressively-driven Metrobús.

The woman said that she and other cyclists approached police to ask for assistance but were beaten and accused of theft. “As a cyclist, as a woman, I saw the situation and decided to help. Now I have fractures and am accused of theft,” she wrote on Twitter. “They beat me and with false testimony they say I stole a hat,” the woman said in another post.

She also said that her boyfriend and three other people were detained by police and that their cell phones, which had recorded the incident, were confiscated.

Here’s The Woman Behind The Stunning Marigold Bridges In ‘Coco’ And Her Ofrenda Art

Culture

Here’s The Woman Behind The Stunning Marigold Bridges In ‘Coco’ And Her Ofrenda Art

Javier Rojas / mitú

This weekend is sure to be a special time at the Hollywood Bowl as Disney and Pixar’s Coco will be screening a live-to-film concert experience like no other. Stars like Miguel, Eva Longoria, and Benjamin Bratt made appearances at both screenings and the iconic film was accompanied by a full, live orchestra.

However, there was one other star making her presence felt this weekend. While she might not be taking the stage or even be known to some, she is a legend in the world of Día De Los Muertos. Meet Ofelia Esparza, who for the last 40 years she has been behind hundreds of ofrendas, or alters, honoring loved ones who have past.

Her work has been featured in some of most famous museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Japanese American National Museum, the National Museum of Mexican Art, internationally at the first Day of the Dead exhibit in Glasgow, Scotland. Just last week, Esparza and her daughter, Rosanna Esparza Ahrens, had an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

This weekend, Esparza and Ahrens showcased a three-level ofrenda right outside of the Hollywood Bowl venue. The ofrenda greeted guests attending the showings of “Coco.”

Credit: Javier Rojas

Esparza, 86, who was born and still lives in East L.A, has devoted most of her life to creating alters. She learned many of her craft skills from her mother in Mexico and in return has passed on these traditions to her nine children. For Esparza, alter making is more than just a form of expression but an obligation that has made its way through multiple generations to honor loved ones who are now gone.

While Esparza has never met her great-great-grandmother, she knows of her through years of alter-making. Without this craft being passed down through multiple generations, she says she might have never known much about her and credits this tradition for intimately connecting her.

“My mother passed this on to me at a very young age and it always stuck with me that I have to carry on these traditions because if we don’t then who will,” Esparza said.

Using an array of photos, candles and vibrant carnations, Esparza’s alters stand out for their use of giant multilevel structures. The alters range from personal, political and even spiritual. Her work has garnered her many awards including just last year when she was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as a 2018 National Heritage Fellow.

“I’m touched that people look at my work and want to learn more about this. It goes beyond just Día De Los Muertos but celebrating and honoring those who have past,” Esparza said. “To me that’s the biggest honor, being able to teach people about what alter making is really about.”

Esparza has followed through with many of the traditions her mother taught her at a young age and continues to pass this on. In her 40s, she became a school teacher where she included Mexican culture into her curriculum, including Dia de Los Muertos celebrations. This has included speaking at schools, museums, community centers, prisons, and parks throughout LA county and across the country.

Her expertise and passion for alters led Esparza to be a cultural consultant for “Coco.” Many of the scenes, including the famous flower bridge, were ideas that came from her.

Credit: Javier Rojas

Esparza was approached by Disney and Pixar to be a cultural consultant for the Oscar-winning film. She says that many details and scenes seen throughout the movie came from some of her feedback including the famous marigold bridge scene where ancestors cross over into the land of the living on the Day of the Dead.

“I gave them a lot of feedback on certain things including what the bridge that connects the two worlds of the living and the dead represents,” Esparza said. “It was incredible to see that come to life and for people to resonate with that message of crossing over into two worlds.”

When asked about the popularity of the film and what it means for new generations to learn about Día de Los Muertos, she says it makes her happy and only asks of one thing.

“I want people to know that Día de Los Muertos is more than just putting on some skull paint but a true honoring of those who are no longer with us.”

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