Gracias Madre rejects ‘industrialised’ Tequila productionBy Owen Bellwood
Los Angeles cocktail bar Gracias Madre has launched a drinks menu that only features agave spirits made without “industrialised and chemical” processes.
The American drinking den has compiled a list of Tequilas, mezcals, bacanoras and raicillas that are not made using the diffuser process, a move its founders hope will “start a conversation” about the practice in the industry.
In Tequila production, the diffuser process extracts starch from the agave before it is cooked using high pressure water. The traditional method of extracting sugars from the plants involves roasting them in an oven before crushing the piñas with a large stone wheel.
Maxwell Reis, beverage director at Gracias Madre, said: “Gracias Madre will no longer serve any products subject to the industrialised and chemical process known as diffuser production or support the distilleries that house these practices.
“We’ve taken this opportunity to take a stand against these processes and educate our guests about what they choose or choose not to put in their bodies.”
Cocktails on the bar’s menu have been made with spirits deemed to be “sustainable and accountable”, and include the Rocket Man, made with arugula, gentian, fino Sherry, lime, mezcal and aquavit.
The bar’s other signature cocktails include the Tepache Junglebird, which combines tepache, roasted pineapple, Campari, black strap molasses and reposado Tequila, and the Poeta des la Suenos, made with espadin, cuixe and tepextate mezcal, blue majik algae, Benedictine, vermouth blanc and grapefruit oil.
Gracias Madre also boasts an extensive menu of agave spirits, including single village mezcals, barrel-aged Tequilas, ensambles mezcals, bacanoras, raicillas and more.
Reis added: “I fell in love with agave spirits while tending bar in LA. The deeper I dug, the more I began to see each bottle as a story of tradition and the land from which it came.
“I wanted to give our guests the opportunity to look beyond any previous misconceptions and find an approachable foray into the world of what I feel is truly the most diverse and nuanced spirit category.”