When Ignacio “Nacho” Jimenez, the co-owner of Mexican American cocktail bar Superbueno in New York City’s East Village, looks for new agave spirits, he focuses on small family producers with an ethical and equitable approach to production. So when Jimenez met Alex White, the founder of Rezpiral, five years ago, he felt an immediate connection. Rezpiral is a spirits label and fair trade project that sources high-quality, artisanal, single-batch mezcals—or agave spirits as they’re uncertified by the official body—and brings them into the U.S.
“Alex White represents mezcal with an unpretentious approach, and brings all these wonderful producers to a handful of places in the U.S. that you may not typically get to taste and experience, as they’re not part of bigger brands,” says Jimenez. “Rezpiral’s focus is to respect and uphold the tradition of mezcal, the generations worth of knowledge, the families, and the land, while also uplifting the communities around them.”
Jimenez spotlighted Rezpiral’s Tobaziche from Simeon Ramirez—a mezcal producer from San Agustín Amatengo in Oaxaca—as a particularly standout release, using Tobaziche (Agave karwinskii) aged 10 to 14 years. “Another reason to love this bottle is all this information is on the back of the label so you instantly feel that connection with those who made it,” says Jimenez.
Rezpiral Simeon Ramirez Tobaziche Selling Points
- With a cult following and a limited production, this hard-to-find pour offers a rare and unique mezcal experience.
- Rezpiral redirects 30 percent of its profits at the end of the year back to the producers, as well as gifts agave plants to support repopulation and biodiversity efforts.
- The company also advocates for sustainable seeding and planting practices and counters the industrial standardization and cultural appropriation of mezcal.
Rezpiral Simeon Ramirez Tobaziche Tasting Notes
“This mezcal has a really distinct roasted sunflower seed and melon flavor profile,” says Jimenez. “It’s very hot at 54% ABV, but it drinks very well.”