Agave Spirits is out Now!

Agave Spirits: The Past, Present and Future of Mezcals

By: Gary Paul Nabhan and David Suro Piñera

Publisher: W.W. Norton / May 16, 2023

An acclaimed ethnobotanist and a pioneering restaurateur beautifully capture the unparalleled diversity and distinctiveness of artisanal mezcals.


The agave plant was never destined to become tasteless, cheap tequila. Follow Gary Nabhan and David Suro Pinera on the trail with archaeologists and botanists to caves where 9,000-year-old remains of agaves have been found, and then fast track to the 1990s, the peak of the "margarita craze," before a deadly cocktail of microbes devastated blue agave plants on Mexican lands.


Culled from decades of fieldwork and interviews with mezcaleros in eight Mexican states, Agave Spirits reveals the stunning innovations emerging today across the mezcal supply chain and offers solutions for improving sustainability and equity. Thousands of years of tradition are inspiring a new generation of individuals (including women), with an explosion of cutting-edge science pointing a way forward for the betterment of the drink and the lives of the people who create it. Agave Spirits boldly delights in the most flavorful and memorable spirits humankind has ever sipped and savored.