Agave Spirits is out Now!

‘Agave Spirits’ Takes a Stand Against Blue Tequila Agave



The New York Times just posted praise for our Agave Spirits book, but at the same time I want to thank the many friends who came out to the Marfa Agave Festival, Collected Works in Santa Fe and Book Works in Albuquerque for our storytelling from the book. As NYT noted this morning,

“Agave Spirits” by David Suro Piñera and Gary Paul Nabhan is a manifesto. It takes a stand against Blue Tequila agave, or Agave tequilana var. azul, and the spirits made from it. The authors explain how the recent monoculture of blue agave, embraced by commercial producers, is agriculturally and culturally unsound, destructive for the environment and, in the long run, unsustainable. The tequilas made from it, they complain, are mostly industrialized and, if not utterly tasteless, lack the complex character of more traditional agave spirits — notably mezcal, which can be made from more than 200 agave varieties. Their book offers a lively and compelling journey through a large swath of Mexico, highlighting the history of agave and mezcal in Mesoamerica going back 10,000 years; the value of the plant’s versatility, taste, nutrition; and its place in Indigenous culture. They offer a positive spin on the future of mezcal, and also make the case for distilling having been used in the region long before the Spaniards showed up. “

-Gary Paul Nabhan