The ultra-premium mezcals and agave gins from Gracias a Dios are all produced in Oaxaca, Mexico – a region in southwestern Mexico known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and, of course, it’s mezcal! The people of Oaxaca have a special saying – “Para todo mal, mezcal, para todo bien, también,” which translates to – “For everything bad, mezcal, for everything good, the same.”
What began as a mezcalería serving up the finest mezcals from around the region of Querétaro, Mexico in 2010 only two years later became the famed home Gracias a Dios. This was due to a partnership that formed between Oscar Hernández, 4th generation Maestro Mezcalero and Mageuyero with owners, Pablo López, Enrique Jiménez, and Xaime Niembro. Their mezcals and agave gins follow their collective commitment to family values and Mexican culture, along with numerous eco-conscious practices such as water conservation, solar energy, and the use of recycled materials.
Hernández learned from his mother at the age of 14 how to craft mezcal and he has been doing so ever since. Every step of the process, from planting to bottling, is done with patience and admiration. Their methods are dedicated to ancestry, natural order, and work.
Great care is put into the growing of the treasure Espadín maguey. Espadín maguey is a member of the agave family and has been an integral plant in the lives and culture of the people of Oaxaca for centuries. Besides being the most commonly used agave to produce mezcal, its fibers were key for creating carpets, hammocks, and fishing nets until synthetic fibers became more widely accessible in the 1970s.
The Espadín begins its life in the Gracias a Dios greenhouses, where it grows for 2 years before being moved out into the fields. There it lives out the rest of its life until it is harvested, somewhere between 7 and 25 years. The heart of the Espadín, known as the piña, is then removed and cut into four sections. These are then cooked for 2 days in a conical oven and left to cool for another 2 days.
Up next is grinding, which is handled by La Gaviota, a beautiful mare who lives at the Gracias a Dios factory. Her workday is only 2 hours long and she is free to roam and do as she pleases for the rest of the day. Hernández oversees the fermentation and distilling process to produce the best quality mezcal before it is sent off to be hand bottled and labeled.
Espadín Blanco Mezcal
The Espadín Blanco Mezcal is a wonderful place to start for those who are less familiar with mezcals. Its bold intensity is complex, with strong herbal and citrus aromas, a slightly smokey beginning, tropical fruit undertones, a mild astringency, and a dry, spiced finish. The cooked agave gives this mezcal a warm, caramel, and ginger essence with slight cereal notes.
Espadín Reposado Mezcal
The Espadín Reposado Mezcal gets its elaborate flavors and beautiful golden color from being aged for 3 years in new American oak barrels. Right off the bat, you will find a beautiful blend of dry fruit notes reminiscent of dates, dairy aromas like fresh butter, vanilla, almond, caramel coconut, and wood. With its low alcoholic perception and silky smooth texture, it’s a truly easy and pleasurable mezcal to drink.
The incredibly versatile Agave Gin from Gracias a Dios is a true showcase of the flavors of Mexico. 32 different botanicals representing each state of Mexico are macerated for 48 hours within the agave before being triple distilled. The foremost flavors that come through are bright citrus and classic juniper. The collection of aromas includes fruity ones, like grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine, along with herbal notes, such as rosemary, lemongrass, mint, eucalyptus, and, of course, some spices like anise, ginger, cardamom, and cilantro seeds.
Agave Gin Oaxaca Recipe
This agave gin is a much more specialized recipe than the one listed above, inspired purely by the Oaxaca. It begins with 7 Oaxaca-specific botanicals, like avocado leaf, yerba santa, cacao, and tangerine, along with juniper macerating in the same agave base as before. Again, it moves on to the triple distillation phase before being bottled. Inviting aromas of chocolate, chili pepper, and orange peel while the juniper brings a bright pop with every sip!