To celebrate National Margarita day on 22nd February 2021, The Lost Explorer Mezcal has re-imagined the Mirror Margarita, created by Deano Moncreiffe, The Lost Explorer Mezcal Brand Ambassador and founder of Hacha Bar in east London.
Co-founded by adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild and entrepreneur Thor Björgólfsson, The Lost Explorer Mezcal is made from 100 percent agave, cultivated in the Valles Centrales, Oaxaca, Mexico. For the spirit’s launch, the duo set out with a mission to “create a brand that empowers people to explore and appreciate the environment, foster social good and promote curious living”, with sustainability at the forefront.
In partnership with expert Maestro Mezcalero Don Fortino Ramos, with his daughter Xitlali and their family, The Lost Explorer Mezcal is distilled in small batches in the arid valleys of Oaxaca. Protecting the land’s biodiversity, the sustainable production also benefits the local mezcal producing community, with commitments in place including the Mezcalero being a shareholder in the company; reclaimed wood is used, while at least three agaves are planted for every agave distilled. Fertiliser is also created from agave waste and solar panels are installed to harness energy for power generation and water heating. ‘The Lost Laboratory’ has also been created at the brand’s home, playing a leading role in the experimentation and support of environmental improvements in the making of sustainable, artisanal mezcal.
On working with The Lost Explorer Mezcal, Maestro Mezvalero, Don Fortino Ramos said: “Mezcal production is a longstanding source of employment not only for me and my family, but for the entire local community in Oaxaca. Today, we easily see multiple generations contribute in various ways, whether it be working on the farms, production and distillation, administration, harvesting and even packaging. Crafting The Lost Explorer Mezcal has been no exception and our three varietals are a product of multiple hands from multiple families here in Mexico.”
As for the spirits, The Lost Explorer Mezcal produces three expressions – Espadín, Tobalá and Salmiana. Exclusively using agaves that have reached full maturity, each species is hand-harvested at the precise moment of ripeness, and the piñas (agave hearts) are then returned to the earth and cooked in conical earthen ovens – which gives mezcal its categoric smoky nuance, significantly differentiating the spirit from tequila. Once cooked, the piñas are ground and macerated, fermented in open- 2 top wooden barrels, then double-distilled in a copper alembic still. The final product is captured in glass bottles made from recycled crystal scraps, hand-labelled, and sealed with a natural wood stopper and biodegradable natural beeswax.
The Lost Explorer Espadín is the brand’s core expression, made with agave harvested after eight years growth. Known as the ‘Explorer Agave’, the Tobalá expression is harvested after 10 years of growth, while the Salmiana mezcal uses agave harvested after 12 years in a high-altitude terroir, producing a much lower yield.
Espadín is featured as the base of Deano Moncreiffe’s Mirror Margarita, “creating a visual illusion that delivers the freshest, greenest and cleanest tasting margarita in the market”. This twist on the classic cocktail uses kaffir lime, smoked sea salt, and a hint of eucalyptus to compliment the agave. The secret ‘Hacha Sour Mix’ is another key component, giving the award-winning cocktail its unique taste, with a crystal clear end product harbouring a clean finish and underlying hints of smoke and salt.
Sipped neat, The Lost Explorer Mezcal Espadín is especially smooth, with a luxurious mouthfeel. A subtle smoky aroma is joined by some apple, herbs, roasted green pepper, and a whisper of vanilla. Fruitiness continues on the palate with a lingering salinity note that prevails through to the elegant finish, joined by some sweet, herbal notes and a pronounced vegetal savour synonymous with high-quality agave spirits, plus some mild smokiness that rounds off the well-balanced palate. Ideally enjoyed neat, at room temperature, or as the base of balanced, classic cocktails.
The Lost Explorer Mezcal is available to purchase online from the brand’s website. The Lost Explorer Mezcal Mirror Margarita is available to buy in 500ml bottles at hachabar.com and will be available by the glass once the venue re-opens. Each bottle provides two serves and is simply poured over ice in a rocks glass.