Tobasiche, 'Todos Santos', Mezcal, El Jolgorio (BB)
Todos Santos (All Saints) is a profoundly important event in Mexican culture: a three-day celebration of friends and loved ones who have passed on. The third and final day, the Day of the Dead, marks the moment these dearly departed can cross back over into our living world, joyfully reuniting families, friends and lovers for a brief moment. An altar is built for the visiting spirit, called an “Ofrenda,” and adorned with offerings of the things most beloved by that person in life: cherished objects, favorite foods, favorite candies, and often a glass of mezcal.
This year, Casa Cortes pays special tribute to the late Crispina Hernandez Romero, mother of Rolando Cortes and herself a maestra mezcalera. In lieu of a planned Todos Santos celebration in her honor, one among so many important gatherings cancelled this year due to the pandemic, Rolando has decided to release two bottles in her name.
In the words of Rolando, “My mother taught me the meaning of Dixeebe, a Zapotec word that embodies gratitude, love and thankfulness in a way that is difficult to explain. When we toast mezcal with our friends and family, we say Dixeebe to show them we are thankful to be with them. It was a tradition that was very important to my mother.
Because we could not have the Todo Santos celebration we wanted in Oaxaca, we decided to bring this tradition to the world with two very special edition mezcals. These Todo Santos mezcales symbolize the most important connection between life and death, between today and tomorrow, between two hearts and between families. They are an opportunity for us to pay tribute to my mother and toast with her when she is here from the spirit world.”
Salúd Rolando, salúd Crispina – Dixeebe!
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Tobasiche is a subvarietal of the Agave karwinskii species of agave. Unlike most agave, whose leaves (or “pencas”) grow outwards from a central heart or core which remains close to the ground, Agave karwinskii develop as a long vertical stem or trunk, with the sugar concentrated near the top where the pencas remain green and spiky.
There are many subvarietals of Agave karwinskii (Cuishe, Madrecuishe, Barril); Tobasiche is identified by its slender height, often towering above its siblings. Known for stronger sugar concentration than many, making it ideal when balanced against higher proof distillation.