Once upon a time, it seemed like mezcal was doomed to forever live in the shadow of tequila’s popularity. Mainstream consumers saw mezcal as a drink for the poor, working class farmers who occupied some of the more remote regions of Mexico. But trends are changing, Slate reports, and mezcal is slowly becoming the “it” drink for high end consumers; bottles for mezcal can easily top $100US or more.
As prices for high quality mezcal skyrocket, entrepreneurs are tapping Oaxacan farmers for a quick profit.
Unfortunately, as Slate reports, mezcal’s production leans heavily on a limited number of farmers who have dedicated their lives to perfecting the distillation process, using techniques that have been handed down from generation to generation. But as the popularity of mezcal increases, companies in search of massive profits will be forced to take production out of the hands of farmers. We saw this happen with tequila production many years ago, and unless business practices change, mezcal may face the same fate. Read the whole story at Slate.