Denmark is about 9.508 km from Mexico City. Which is quite a distance. But in Denmark we have a small webshop called Tequila.dk, specializing in quality tequila and mezcal, and I am the sole owner and manager of said shop!
I have been looking around for some quality sangrita – the delicious orange/tomato/chili juice used as a companion for tequila/mezcal – but I have not really had any luck finding any good stuff. Until I asked the Mexican embassy here in Denmark and suddenly found myself with the contact info for a company in Oaxaca – Cofradia Gourmet.
Now contacting mexican companies through email is not always an easy task. If you are (very) lucky they will answer. If you are insanely lucky they will also answer your next email. I topped all the “lucky parameters” and found at the other end of my conversation a small innovative company, Cofradia Gourmet.
I bought a bunch of their Sangrona sangrita and it is absolutely tasty! Mild and fruity with a little bit of chili. Sangrita is supposed to complent and give synergy to the tequila/mezcal, so i must not be too strong on the chili side.
I took an interest to the company and made a small interview with them.
Q: What is Cofradia Gourmet? What do you create/do?
A: Cofradia Gourmet, is a company that seeks to promote the ancestral and artisan traditions of Mexico, On of the best things in our country is the food and beverages, the mezcal will be a world heritage. The state of Oaxaca is our main objective because it is from there, where we produce our mezcal and Sangrita
Q: Who are you?
A: I am Ernesto Valdés and I am Co-founder of Cofradía Gourmet (Facebook: Neto Valdés Arreguín). My professional carrer is the Psychology, I am 32 years, I am proudly Mexican and I love the Mexican traditions. I have a master in Mezcal and Agaves (Agaves is the traditional plant to make the mezcal) I living in Mexico City. And I would like to be in Europe presenting all our products and traditions the people who make a wonderful beverage since two centuries ago.
Q: I am a bit curious about the choice of career. How does one go from a career in psychology to being a mezcal producer?
A: It was a difficult road and decision because they are completely separate paths, but someday I had the dream
of having a company that could generate more jobs for people who need it in Mexico. Also I have to tell you that
psychology and sales go hand in hand, because you learn a lot from your clients.
Q: How many people and who?
A: We are two founders of Cofradia Gourmet, The other one is Juan Carlos Fernández de Lara and Me. We have the idea of produce mezcal by own, with the help of our ¨Maestro mezcalero¨, his name is Roman Rosendo, He is from Oaxaca, and his team is around of 400 farmers who are planting the agave, cooking the Agave and distilling the mezcal.
August 2016, that month was the official foundation of Cofradía Gourmet Legally
Q: What is your story?
A: The story of our company was so funny, because we were in Oaxaca (the state who most produce mezcal in Mexico) we are taking a vacations on the beach, so in a restaurant we meet the maestro mezcalero who had a big table and he invite us to take the sit with him, because the restaurant was so full.
And we began to talk and we saw that he had a bottle with a crystal liquid. And he invited us to drink with him, so proudly saying that he produce that mezcal with his hands, and we are fascinating because we taste the best mezcal of my life, and we kept the communication and he taked us to his PALENQUE (The place where the agave or plants are cooked, cutting and distilled.)
In the town of MIAHUATLAN OAXACA, and we found a magic in that process, my heart fall in love while my eyes saw it everything, and in that moment I knew that my passion was in that place. After that we produce the Sangrona, what is the official Mezcal Sangrita.
This Is Miahutlán:
Q: When were you founded and by whom?
A: The project started in Agoust of 2015, but legally in agoust of 2016, and since that date, we are working, Juan Carlos and Me, with Roman producing the mezcal, and promoting in Expo, Fairs, and sailing the product in the Mexican market, and Now with Tequila.dk
Q: How have you evolved?
A: I am in charge of the sales, I am the face with the customer, and making promotion strategies, right now my focus is arrive to the European market and create a culture of How drink the mezcal and benefits.
Q: Where are you located?
A: Our office is in Mexico City and the Production is in Oaxaca state (East South of Mexico.
A: Rio Nilo 55, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City, CP. 06500.
You can reach us at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: What products did you start with?
A: I started with Sangrona ¨Complemento pal mezcal¨ after that with Mezcal Agave Macho and Sheela Mezcal Creams.
“Sheela” is a Zapotec word from Mexico. “Sheela” means: MUJER DE PALENQUE or A Palenque Woman.
Because women are a very important part of this process because they make all the artistic thing in the bottle. It’s the women who designed and made the beautiful logo and the outstanding weaved straw band around the bottles top. Producing mezcal is a business which takes all sorts of qualifications. The women who work painting the bottles are the wives of the farmers, they help the product to have that artisanal style that characterizes the people in Oaxaca. That means that all the members of the family are important link in the production of mezcal. I
Q: Mezcal Creams? I have seen some – not a lot, but some – tequila creams, but mezcal creams are new to me. What are they, how do they taste and are they a common thing in Mexico?
A: About the creams with mezcal, let me tell you, that is not a common product in Oaxaca, because the people from Oaxaca and the rest of Mexico are accustomed to drink mezcal or tequila with lemon or orange and sea salt or worm salt. Mezcal cream is for after meals, and we have discovered that there is a market for the mezcal creams for, mostly women. We are certainly innovating the mezcal market with the mezcal creams.
Mezcal has a rich and deep flavour and aroma. We take the best from mezcal and make a product which is not so strong and has a sweetness and roundness which appeals to women, and generally people who like to enjoy a bit of spirits after the meal, but who is not interested in strong a strong spirit like mezcal.
Q: Can you tell how you reached the recipes for Sangrona?
A: that´s a funny story too, because in Mexico the original way to drink the mezcal is with Orange slices and worm salt (the worm comes from the agave, they are living on the leafs of the agave, and they are very delicious)
We are thinking my partner and me about people who does not have the possibility to get the worm salt because is very expensive and also the salt is not easy to get it on markets, so we say, what if we produce and shake of the orange slices also worm salt with chilli? And we make the first test with our hands and the result was more than we expected.
And now we are so thankful with Tequila.dk because the are trusting in us. And very soon we are in local markets in Mexico and other countries like Canada, and we hope USA.