In Mexico, agave has long been considered a sacred plant with juice once called “the elixir of the gods.” Cultural mythology holds that a lightning bolt struck the first agave plant, cooking it and releasing its inner liquid for the benefit of humankind.
When the Spanish conquered Mexico, they began searching for a way to make a fermented drink using local resources. Their experiments with agave resulted in the first Mezcal, a notoriously strong spirit made by fermenting and distilling the mashed, smoked piña - or heart - of the plant.
he first historical mentions of Mezcal appear in written records from travelers during Mexico’s colonial period, as well as in the Political Treatise on the Kingdom of New Spain by Alexander von Humboldt.
The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis describes the making of Mezcal by designated Mescalero Apaches: “the cooked plant… is placed in a heated pit and left until fermentation begins. It is then ground, mixed with water, roots added, and the whole boiled and set aside to complete fermentation.”
While Mezcal was first recognized as an Appellation of Origin in 1994, this regulation did not become law until 2003. Today, the Consejo Mexicano Regulador de la Calidad del Mezcal A.C. (or the Mexican Regulatory Council for Mezcal Quality) officially recognizes Mezcal as an agave spirit produced specifically in the provinces of Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Michoacan, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.
Gaston Martinez - a native of Durango, Mexico - co-founds IZO with a mission to share the celebratory spirit and centuries-old legacy of agave spirits with the world. Firmly rooted in community values and cultural heritage, the IZO team works to uphold and preserve a proud legacy of partnership with the land and its resources as they produce an inspired collection of spirits, including an award-winning Mezcal.