Tequila Afficionado is a tequila/mezcal marketing agency run by Mike Morales and Lise Pietsch.
They are VERY hard working people, who have done an enormous job when it comes to telling the good stories about tequila. They have made hundreds of interviews and even created their own industry awards.
“From Babes to Boss Ladies” with the subtitle “The women who contribute to and create tequila, mezcal, sotol, bacanora and other Mexican spirits” is a book with 30 small, formalized interviews with women working within the agave spirits industry. And related areas. It’s a dual language book. The questions and answers are printed in both english and spanish.
The editorial choice that, the book only were to do interviews with women is an interesting one. We do tend to think about Mexican culture as having quite a lot of machismo, and this is also the premise of all the quetions posed to the women in the interviews.
The people who have found their way into the book are all professionals, and they have been chosen well. Some like Ana Valenzuela, Marie Gaytan and Sara Bowen are academics who have written works which are absolute classics and other like Sophie Decobeque, Barbara Sweetman and Kim Brandi are well known personalities from the producing side of the business. There is a LOT lesser known personalities though, and I for one found it interesting to read about these persons behind the brands.
Some interviews are better than others. The formalized manner of the interviews (everbody gets the same questions) makes for system, but is also a hindrance for getting good answers in some cases. Ana Valenzuela, for instance, tells about new agave hybrids. But not for very long, and I would dearly love to learn more about that. Erika Vargas Flores, who is behind El Consuelo, is another one, I would have like to know more about.
The defining premise of the book “is it difficult to be a woman in a male dominated business” is almost entirely denied. It seems all the involved interviewees only experience goodwill and kindness from their male colleagues in business. Tequila truly does unite people apparently 🙂
I confess to having som misgivings about the book. Firstly and mostly… it is not a pretty book. Typeset in at least 18 point, having no table of content, no index and poor print it hurts my eyes. Secondly… there does not seem to have been any editing or extra questioning done on the interviews, and that is a pity. Too many of the answers are somewhat bland and non informative. And THAT is a pity, because this an opportunity to learn about influential and interesting people.
When that is said, “From Babes to Boss Ladies” is a very interesting “time stamp” of a lively and pulsating industry with a great many exciting personalities. And merely making a short literary aquaintance with this list of participants, is well worth the $19.99 the book costs. And it comes as both a printed book and a Kindle version. Go find it here!
1. Ana Maria Romero Mena 2. Dr. Ana Valenzuela-Zapata 3. Sophie Decobecq 4. Carmen Alicia Villareal Treviño 5. Lisa Elovich 6. Graciela González Cortes 7. Lisa Barlow 8. Marie Sarita Gaytán 9. Cleo Rocos 10. Sarah Bowen 11. Kim Brandi 12. Judy Rivera 13. Melly Barajas 14. Anahí Rivera 15. Leticia Aceves Alvarez 16. Erika Vargas Flores 17. Terray Glasman 18. Jaclyn Jacquez 19. Barbara Sweetman 20. Karla Amtmann 21. Adriana Torres 22. Laura Espinoza Alonso 23. Elle France 24. Sofia Partida 25. Sydney Rainin-Smith and Carey Clahan 26. Isis Ramirez 27. Iliana Partida 28. Monica Sanita 29. Paola Basselitz
30. Ilana Edelstein