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These 3 Things Make Authentic Mexican Mezcal Unlike Any Other Spirit.

These 3 Things Make Authentic Mexican Mezcal Unlike Any Other Spirit.

Nestled in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico, a small village known for its centuries-old mezcal tradition has produced a new artisanal spirit: T.O. Mezcal. This brand, born from the passion and dedication of its founders, Courtney and David Yurko, embodies the true essence of Oaxacan culture and heritage coupled with a burning desire to share it´s love and magic with the world, at a time when mezcal consumption is on the rise.

“Our first visit to Chichicapam, Oaxaca was in October of 2022. We were welcomed with open arms by David’s old friend, Gonzalo Santiago. It’s truly a magical and untouched area of the country that contrasted other trips we’ve taken to more touristy parts of Mexico. Oaxaca is a sacred place.” - Dr. Courtney Yurko says.

Mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant, has been produced in Mexico for centuries and it has some unique characteristics.

The Origins

Some historians believe that the indigenous people of Mexico were already making mezcal over 2000 years ago. However, the true origins of mezcal remain a mystery.

The production of mezcal is a labor-intensive process that involves harvesting agave plants, roasting them in underground ovens, grinding the cooked agave, and then fermenting and distilling the resulting mash. Each step is crucial and requires a deep understanding of the plant and its transformation.

The Flavor

One of the unique features of T.O. Mezcal is its use of the tobalá agave, a rare and highly coveted variety known for its complex flavor profile. The tobalá agave takes much longer to mature than the more common espadin variety, which is used in most mezcal production. As a result, tobalá mezcal is typically more expensive and harder to come by, T.O. Mezcal offers consumers and connoisseurs the very best of both varieties.

The Yurkos, who fell in love with Oaxaca and its mezcal tradition during that trip, founded T.O. Mezcal shortly after, along with their dear friend, entrepreneur Cory Paul Martin. Their vision was centered around creating a spirit that honored the tradition and craftsmanship of Oaxacan mezcal while also introducing it to a wider audience. Their passion and dedication are reflected in every bottle of T.O. Mezcal, which is made with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Since its launch, T.O. Mezcal has garnered a cult following, with aficionados and bartenders around Mexico and the United States singing its praises. This is not surprising, given the growing demand for artisanal and craft spirits in recent years. Mezcal, in particular, has experienced a surge in popularity as consumers become more interested in unique, small-batch spirits that tell a story.

“Mezcal chose us. We both feel that when opportunities arise, you must follow them. After we were welcomed into the beautiful town of Chichicapam and tried their earthly elixir, we realized it was truly something special. The origins of mezcal are unlike any other spirit, in that the artisanal way of producing it, truly aligns with how we consume: 100% organic and directly from the source. In the case of our tobalá, it is 100% wild, which is as organic as it gets!” -David affirms.

In addition to its exceptional taste and quality, T.O. Mezcal is deeply committed to sustainable development; Dr. Courtney Brandenburg Yurko and David Yurko both work closely with community leaders and mezcaleros to ensure that they use only the best and most responsibly sourced ingredients. They have also prioritized giving back from day one - Dr. Courtney provides free chiropractic treatments for the villagers of Chichicapam - as more ways to support the community and create a reliable source of wellbeing and prosperity for its inhabitants arise with the growth of their brand.

The Culture

Oaxacan culture is deeply intertwined with the production and consumption of mezcal. Mezcal is not just a drink in Oaxaca, it is a symbol of identity, a source of pride, and a way of life. Oaxacans have a deep respect for tradition, craftsmanship, and community, all of which are embodied in the production of mezcal. The agave plant, which is at the heart of mezcal production, plays a central role in Oaxacan culture and identity, with many Oaxacans involved in the cultivation and harvesting of the plant. Mezcal is also closely tied to their traditional cuisine and is often enjoyed with regional dishes such as mole and tlayudas. With every sip, this cultural phenomenon celebrates the history, traditions, and values of this rich and vibrant region.

“It all came together organically. Gonzalo introduced us to a few mezcaleros and after tasting their product, we found René, our third generation mezcalero. After realizing the special opportunity to share this product and experience with the world, we immediately thought of our good friend Cory Paul Martin. His natural ability to connect people and spread love made him the perfect fit to get the word out. — We are only focusing on organic and wild agaves to use in our mezcal. The love that is baked into our mezcal is important to share. It's TOgether that this product gets made and shared worldwide. It's the love that the people pour into our mezcal during production that makes it so unique and the flavors so incredible.” - Courtney and David state.

T.O. Mezcal is a testament to the beauty and complexity of Oaxacan culture and mezcal tradition. The Yurkos' dedication and commitment certainly make this a brand to watch in the world of artisanal spirits. If you´re lucky enough to come across a bottle of this elixir, grab a glass and experience the magic of Oaxaca for yourself. Salud!

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