Agave Recommendations for Día de los MuertosBy Stephanie Moreno
Día de los Muertos is a multi-day holiday celebrated in Mexico. It begins on Nov. 1 with Diá de los Inocentes, to honor children that have passed. Nov. 2, sometimes referred to as Día de los Difuntos (deceased), celebrates all who have died. You might think it’s supposed to be a somber holiday, but it’s actually quite joyous. Ofrendas or offerings are made at grave sites or at altars created in families’ homes. Calaveras (sugar skulls) are often used as decorations, including as ornate paintings on the faces of the living.
Expect to see cempasúchil (Marigold flowers), also known asflor de muerto, both on the altars and in the hands of the living. Their vibrant colors of yellow or orange and strong aromas are meant to assist the deceased on their journey back to their families.
In addition, favorite foods like mole, Pan de Muerto (a traditional Mexican sweet bread) and other sweets are left for the departed. Most of all, we mustn’t forget about the beverages. The deceased’s favorite brands of tequila and mezcal are placed on the altar. There are many worthy agave spirits we could recommend, but here are a few special ones which use symbols of the holiday on their labels.
Cabeza, meaning “head”, is referring to the calavera on the packaging. This tequila is flavorful with notes of tropical fruits, particularly pineapple. A pleasant departure from vodka-like neutral tequilas, this one has gravitas and is cost-friendly to boot.
Los Siete Misterios (The Seven Mysteries) was founded in 2010 with the mission of preserving the dying tradition of mezcal making. The seven mysteries are the bottlings themselves—there are seven expressions available, each representing a different type of agave.
Rock music is played during the production process to “inspire” the agave, and the result is an Añejo tequila that is as mixable as it is enjoyable neat or on the rocks.
KAH tequila is most notably known by its hand painted glass bottles, meant to symbolize the traditional calaveras. KAH is Mayan for “life”.
Tequila Galán (gallant) uses a suave Day of the Dead skeleton with gray-streaked pompadour to grace its label.
This tequila was aged for 11 months in former Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. The bottles are handmade with a Dios de Muertos skull design etched in the glass.
A calavera graces this bottle, which was updated in 2014. In 2016, the brand put a focus on Dallas, Denver and Chicago as its key markets, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re planning a visit.
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