Unlocking the Secrets of Mezcal - A Look at Mezcals' Growth in Popularity in Dubai and the UAE

By Lindsay Trivers September, 24 2023
Lindsay recently sat down for a chat with Laurent Frangie, the founder of Quiote Company, an alcohol trading company in Dubai that specializes in agave spirits – Tequila, Mezcal, Raicilla, and Bacanora. In this 2-part series, Lindsay and Laurent dive deep into the world of Tequila and Mezcal, and how these incredible spirits are making waves right here in Dubai and the UAE. *Answers have been edited slightly in some cases for readability. 

Lindsay: Can you tell us about the history and cultural significance of Mezcal in Mexico, and how it has evolved over the years?

Unearthing Mezcal’s Indigenous Roots

Laurent: Mezcal, pronounced “mehs-kahl,” isn’t just a drink; it’s a piece of Mexican history and culture that has been evolving for over 500 years. The term “mezcal” itself is rooted in the indigenous Nahuatl and Zapotec languages, meaning “cooked agave.” These ancient civilizations were the pioneers, fermenting agave to create a rudimentary form of mezcal.

The Spanish Influence and Distillation Refinement

With the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 16th century, the process was refined, and distillation techniques were introduced. Mezcal became deeply ingrained in Mexican culture, playing a role in rituals, celebrations, and daily life. Over time, it diversified, with distinct regional varieties emerging, each offering unique flavors and production methods.

Mezcal’s Global Rise as a Craft Spirit

In recent years, mezcal has gained international acclaim for its artisanal craftsmanship, sustainability practices, and complex, smoky flavors. Today, it stands as a symbol of Mexican heritage and the pinnacle of craft spirits worldwide.

Lindsay: Mezcal has been gaining popularity in recent years. What do you think are the main reasons behind this trend, and what sets Mezcal apart from other spirits?

The Allure of Authenticity

Laurent: Mezcal’s recent surge in popularity can be attributed to several key factors. First and foremost, it offers an authentic and artisanal production process that appeals to consumers seeking more genuine, handcrafted experiences. Small-batch production methods, along with a deep connection to Mexican culture, set mezcal apart from other spirits.

The Smoky, Complex Flavors of Mezcal

What truly makes mezcal stand out, though, is its flavor profile. The smoky, complex taste is unlike anything you’ll find in other spirits. It’s this uniqueness that has captured the taste buds and imaginations of spirits enthusiasts worldwide.

Lindsay: Many consumers are interested in sustainability and ethical practices. How do your Mezcal brands approach these aspects, from agave cultivation to the bottling process?

Mezcal’s Ethical and Sustainable Journey

Laurent: At Quiote Company, we’re committed to working with Mexican-owned brands that embody the values of sustainability and ethics. Our partners engage in various initiatives that reflect these principles throughout the entire production process. From agave cultivation to bottling, our brands focus on:
  • Supporting educational programs within agave-growing communities.
  • Ensuring fair prices for farmers by collaborating directly with them.
  • Recycling and reusing waste materials during production.
These ethical practices are at the core of our mission to bring the finest, most conscientiously produced mezcal to consumers. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Q&A with Laurent Frangie, where we dive into agave varieties, the differences between mezcal and tequila, and the future of this remarkable spirit in Dubai and the UAE. Looking to find great Mezcal and Tequila in the UAE? The Bottle Store Outlet in Al Ghadeer has the biggest selection in one place, in the UAE. For more blog posts on the wonderful world of food and drink, click here.  For wine tastings, mezcal tastings and dining experiences in Dubai and the UAE, click here.

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