| A Sommelier Turns Mezcal Maker - Food Republic
#sommelier Richard Betts foresee this trend when he made the leap from wine to mezcal several years ago and launched his brand Sombra Mezcal
In tequila, everyone bottles at 80 proof because that's the standard. It's not because it tastes good, but because they're trying to stretch a profit. When we were coming up with Sombra, we would taste it at 100 proof, then at 95, 90 and 85. We were looking for the proof that carries the most information and where it's the most delicious. At 100 proof, it was really smart, but hard to drink. We worked our way to 90, which shares all the information that we want and it's delicious. No lime, no salt, no mixers needed.
So, what's next for Sombra?
Well, despite what I said about tequila, the next thing we're working on is a tequila. I wanted to make it like it was made 150 years before it was a legislated industry, when it was about quality. It's out now; it's called Astral. It's just a blanco. It's also organic. But the main thing is that it's fermented on the agave #fibers . Everyone today is throwing out the solids. It's like trying to make red wine without the grape skins. The skin is what contains all the color, tannins and flavor. So, we actually keep and ferment all the solids^aEUR| We're arbiters of authenticity in the agave space.