Introducing: Lucia Massey, Drinks Distilled Mezcal Guide
We caught up with our Mezcal Guide Lucia Massey to find out more about her selections and top tips on how to pick Mezcal.
Lucia set up Doña, a Music and Mezcal bar that seeks to promote independent creativity and empowered feminine energy. She believes in the importance of creating space in cities like London to provide support, nurture and a safe environment for alternative cultures to germinate and develop, and is a huge fan of independent, artisanal mezcal.
Tell Us More About Your Mezcal Selections
Dangerous Don Mandarina is produced by the Maestro Don Celso Martínez López, whose family have crafted mezcal in the heart of Oaxaca for over a hundred years, this is a mezcal that’s steeped in tradition, whilst also tasting new and fresh - thanks to its delicately fruity flavours, created using the pulp of Oaxacan mandarins.
Light and citrusy, with a soft, medium level of smokiness. There's also a hint of ginger spice and a herbal zest to this mezcal. It’s truly delicious and a great one to try if you are new to the category as it has a more approachable flavour profile.
It should come as no surprise that Picaflor Wild is award-winning. This is mezcal at its heartiest, packing a flavour-filled punch that will leave your palate with the sweet and smoky aroma of roasted agave. This is an ensamble mezcal, which means it’s produced using a combination of agaves. As a result it has a truly unique flavour profile - earthy and almost medicinal tasting, with sweet, fresh cut grass on the first taste which builds to a more intense, mineral finish.
What Are the Most Common Misconceptions People Have About Mezcal?
That it’s main flavour profile is smoky! Mezcal as a category is about as broad as wine in terms of different flavour profiles and plants. There are over 50 different types of agave that can be distilled into Mezcal, and many different ways of distilling.
Some agave are distilled when they are 8 years old, some are 25 years old. Some are grown in the low, desert-like landscape of the Oaxacan wilderness, some are high altitude where the vegetation is much greener and the ground contains much more moisture. This variance is represented in the myriad different flavours that you can find.
So if you don’t like smoky, it doesn’t mean you don’t like Mezcal!
What Are Your Top Tips for Picking Mezcal?
Always buy 100% agave - if it's been diluted it means it isn’t as good.
If you spend a little more money, you will enjoy an exceptional drinking experience that's informed by a culture of distillation that has existed in Mexico for centuries and is much unchanged.
If you purchase from small brands that are producing artisanal Mezcal you can be sure that they have successfully got through a stringent categorisation process that ensures they are working to very high standards.
Where is Your Favourite Place to Enjoy Mezcal Cocktails?
Doña! Of course. I know I’m biased but our cocktails are really so delicious. We only stock quality, artisanal mezcals and everything is squeezed and made in house fresh.
We use very little sugar and keep all our ingredients to the highest standard. You can really taste that in the drinks.
Lucia's Top Home Bartending Tip
Serve Mezcal neat; super simple, always delicious, always impressive.
Not everyone keeps Mezcal at home, so you can be sure that your guests will enjoy something a little different.
And remember that slither of orange with Tajin!