Tequila and mezcal have a denomination and cannot legally be produced anywhere besides the areas within the denomination areas. BUT it certainly IS possible to create and enjoy a spirit inspired by tequila and mezcal and that is exactly what a bunch of young Danes have done.
Hip, modern and with a very Danish attitude to design, they have created “Mæxiko” – a Scandinavian “mezcal inspired” spirit called “Mæxiko”. It is an interesting angle to product development and it certainly holds a charm. TequilaList has made an interview with part owner of the brand Jens Frederik Boas Smith
Q: Who’s behind Mæxico and Parforce Spirits?
A: The brand was established by a group of friends from Mexico and Denmark, who had the idea of playing around with a fusion of Mexican spirit traditions and Nordic ingredients. Later on, the project has shifted hands to Jens Frederik Boas Smith, who took part in the product development at an early stage, and has since taken over running the operation from product development to management.
Q: When and why did you take an interest in Mexican spirits?
Jens: I have been fond of tequila for several years, and fascinated with both Tequila and Mezcal because of this spirit’s very distinctive character. Since I’m also working in the travel industry I have had the opportunity to visit Mexico several times, and on the trips, I have always been impressed by the Mexican culture. When I learned, that Parforce was working on producing a Danish product inspired by the Mexican originals, I asked to be involved, and the owners invited me in to help with sales.
Down the road they decided to partly withdraw from the project, and put me in charge as part owner and manager.
Q: What exactly is “Mæxiko” made from?
We make two products: “Montezuma” and “Mæxiko”. “Montezuma” is made from a spirit based on corn, asparagus and sea buckthorn, part of which we grow ourselves on a farm in Nordsjælland.
“Mæxiko” – our entry level product – is made from the same ingredients but not locally grown, plus a measure of grain spirit.
Q: What is the process of making “Mæxico”?
We ferment a mix of smoked corn, asparagus and sea buckthorn with champagne yeast. When it has finished fermenting, we transport it to a distillery.
Q: You call “Mæxiko” a Scandinavian mezcal-inspired spirit… What aspect of mezcal did you fancy for your product?
Yes and no. We do not call it a mezcal, this would be unlawful, rather we call it an homage to Mexican spirits like mezcal or tequila. I know of course that tequila is a mezcal, but most people know what tequila is, but not what mezcal is, that is why we mention both spirits. Not to plagiarize them, but to get the idea over, that it is a strong smoky spirit.
Q: The imagery on the bottles/marketing is really neat. The depiction of a red bearded hipster in mock-Aztec style wearing the name of the last Aztec ruler, Montezuma II, holds a certain charm. Who has made it and why did you use Montezuma II?
The artwork is made by Copenhagen Posters. Originally, we intended to call the product “Quetzalcoatl” – and we still may use this name – after an ancient myth about a light skinned, blonde haired and blue-eyed god who arrived to South America, according to our Mexican partner. So, we played with the idea, that this must have been a Viking, who might have had sea buckthorn on his ship as provisions.
In South America corn is abundant, this is why we decided to use it in our mix, and also use sea buckthorn since this is a surprisingly “exotic” fruit growing up here in the north. You see him holding seabuck berries and corn. The asparagus we use, because it is a plant related to the agave, and actually gives some of the same aromas as agave.
Q: What are your plans for “Mæxiko”?
Our ambition is to introduce the product to the market.
The original founders treated the project as a hobby, they were not really into the commercial aspect, and also not focused on Mæxiko, but also on making other spirits from the Parforce area. This name comes from the Parforce hunting territory, spanning from Dyrehaven in Klampenborg up to Fredensborg here in Denmark.
I also want to continue this part of the company, and continue working with the already planted juniper, for gin of course, and sea buckthorn and asparagus, that we farm in Fredensborg in Nordsjælland,
Parforce Spirits and their delicious products can be found here: https://parforcespirits.dk/