Agave Spirits is out Now!

The Past, Present, and Future of Mezcals with Gary Nabhan





What’s shakin, cocktail fans? Welcome to Episode 265 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast!

This time around, we’re joined by author and ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan to explore some of the most important and pressing issues facing agave spirits enthusiasts and mezcaleros.

In this botanically diverse conversation with ethnobotanist and author Gary Nabhan, some of the topics we discuss include:

  • The winding, intersectional, and truly inspiring story of Gary’s personal journey, from his family ties to bootlegging during Prohibition, to his days spent foraging and learning about plants in the Indiana Dunes, to his documentary work showcasing the pollinator relationship between bats and agave.
  • How he teamed up with his co-author, David Pinera, a famed distributor and curator of agave spirits, to assemble his latest book detailing the ethnobotanical importance of plant/people relationships and the nuances of the mezcal and tequila industries.
  • Some notes on the sacred nature of agaves, and how his background as an interfaith member of the Franciscan order has informed his mission to protect what is sacred
  • Why mezcal can truly be described as “Biodiversity in a bottle,” plus some advice for navigating the almost dizzying array of distillates to choose from in today’s market.
  • And of course, we speculate on what the future might hold for our beloved agave spirits, including why the Tequila industry might learn a thing or two from the parable of “The Prodigal Son.”
  • Along the way, we cover the relationship between agave spirits and deforestation, explain why cactus and agave are truly the “bison” of the plant world, sing lavish praises for the elusive black sphinx date, and much, much more.

You can pick up your copy of Agave Spirits: The Past, Present, and Future of Mezcals wherever books are sold, and I’d encourage you to also keep an ear out for some other important and educational texts that Gary mentions during the lightning round.