Founder of Sirena Imports and Brand Ambassador for Gente De Mezcal. With a Colombian heart and Mexican Roots, Gente de Mezcal brings tradition, sustainability and mysticism to the UK
Gente de Mezcal (“Mezcal People”, in literal translation) is a family owned business founded in 2015 by three lovers of Mezcal and its culture. The group founded Gente de Mezcal to promote the art and work of Maestro Mezcaleros and their communities. The brand was born out of passion and love for Mezcal and it’s traditions.
Gente de Mezcal is an ethical brand, promoting sustainability within the industry, specifically (but not limited to) the cultivation of the plants, ensuring they are grown in a sustainable fashion and within the traditions of the masters. They work directly with the growers ‘Masters’, meaning that the ‘middle people’ are taken out of the process and the growers get paid what they deserve.
The sustainable concept is also reflected by its export logistics: the product is imported via the same owner's trade business Sirena Imports, using traditional sail boats, meaning the Mezcal is brought over by the wind, ensuring no carbon footprint.
In April 2019, Gente de Mezcal received international recognition from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in the form of a Double Gold Medal for their Tobalá and a Gold Medal for their Espadín and also for their Tepeztate. They have also been included in BBC Food’s ‘10 Best Mezcals’.
Mysticism is one of the characteristics imprinted on the brand, inspired by the legend of the Mayahuel, the goddess associated with the Agave flowering plant Maguey. As the personification of the plant, Mayahuel is also related to fertility, fecundity and nourishment among Mexican cultures. This, as well as the brand’s female representation in the UK, co-founder Erica Martinez, gives Gente de Mezcal a very female-oriented concept and tone of voice.
Creating experiences is another important focus for the group. “Rather than becoming a popular Mezcal label you can find at any cocktail bar in London, our mission is to educate people about the Mezcal culture, from the Agave cultivation to the drinking rituals”, says Erika Martinez. “Mexican people don’t drink mezcal, they kiss the glass”, she adds, and Gente de Mezcal is committed to teach their UK based fans to do the same.
To ensure that positioning, the brand has been offering different types of experiences across the UK, including ad-hoc tasting experiences, food pairing in partnership with restaurants and a Mezcal & Tequila Cocktail Masterclass hosted by the brand’s award-winning mixologist team in Mexico City and offered worldwide as a virtual Airbnb Experience, that has become popular during the Pandemic.
About Gente de Mezcal
Gente de Mezcal is a small, independent, Mezcal-producing company founded in 2015 by Hardey Martínez and Juan Carlos Muñoz Flores, who are passionate about small-batch production, local sustainability, and the Mexican Mezcal culture.
In 2019, at their first ever competition, Gente de Mezcal received one Double Gold and two Gold medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for their Tobalá, Tepeztate and Espadín productions.
Since 2018, they have been exporting their award winning Mezcals to the UK via sailboat, all part and parcel of their business philosophy, and since 2019 they’ve been exporting to the USA.
Their HQ in Mexico City is a small but perfectly-formed tasting room, El Salón, where they host intimate tasting experiences all year-round. In 2020 they opened their new venue, Salón Rosario, a dedicated Artisanal Spirits Lounge specialising not only in the highest quality Mexican spirits but also in the finest Single Malts, Single Cask Whiskies and Gin from Scotland. Salón Rosario is also the stage for their hugely successful online Mezcal & Tequila Cocktail Masterclass, a digital experience led by their team of world-class award-winning mixologists.