Agave Road Trip Celebrates Its One Year Anniversary

Agave Road Trip sifts through fact and fiction surrounding agave spirits. Hosts Lou Bank and Salvador “Chava” Peribán serve as tour guides for gringo bartenders, sharing firsthand knowledge about heritage agave spirits in rural Mexico. 

This month, Agave Road Trip celebrates one year on HRN. In commemoration of their first anniversary, Lou and Chava are sharing some of their favorite episodes from the show thus far. Whether you’re a frequent or first time listener, these episodes highlight the lively banter, exciting journeys, and compelling ideas and stories shared on the show.

By: Zoe Denckla

S1 Episode 4: The Grind: After you cook your agave, you’ve gotta mill it – make tiny, little pieces of those giant, cooked agaves. How do you do that? We explain it here and maestro mezcalero Eduardo Angeles joins. Then we talk about how to avoid explosive diarrhea while eating great street food in Mexico. And chocolate.

S1 Episode 5: Fantastic Fermentation: We give a nutshell explanation of how agave turns from sugar to alcohol and are joined on the occasion by mezcalero Amando Alvarado Alvarez. We also talk about how growing agave helped a middle school in rural Oaxaca reduce violence in their community. 

S2 Episode 1: What’s in My Tequila: Some tequila bottles say they're 100% blue agave. Others don't. So ... what exactly is in those bottles? Lou and Chava speak with David Suro of Siembra Azul Tequila about mixto tequilas: what they are and how they affect the tequila industry and the people whose lives are impacted by the industry. 

S2 Episode 4: No Tequila is Mezcal: Maybe someone told you that all tequila is mezcal but not all mezcal is tequila. Hell, maybe you read it in the New York Times, USAToday, the Daily Mail, or the Chicago Tribune, or on VinePair, Thrillist, Chowhound, or Science 2.0. They’re all wrong.

S2 Episode 5: What’s Heritage, Anyway?: The traditional methods of making agave spirits in Yutanduchi de Guerrero, in Oaxaca’s Mixteca region, go back to … the late 1990s? So what does “heritage” mean, in this case?

S2 Episode 16: Did Mezcal Save Fiestas, or Did Fiestas Save Mezcal?: The religious fiestas in rural Mexico are often colored by the heritage agave spirits made in the community — which makes for an especially fun night when those festivities also include fireworks and flaming toritos. In this episode of Agave Road Trip, we ponder the question: Did mezcal save the community fiestas, or did the community fiestas save mezcal?

S2 Episode 21: “Milpa” is Spanish for “Regenerative Viticulture”: If you dip your toe into the world of wine, some buzz phrases you’ll see are “regenerative viticulture” and “regenerative agriculture.” But, really, when you get right down to it, isn’t that really just milpa? Join us for a conversation about farming practices in Mexico, and about how those farming practices impact agave spirits.

S2 Episode 22: How Many Agaves Does it Take to Make a Bottle of Mezcal?: It’s crazy enough to think that every other alcohol is made from a sugar source — like grapes, grains, grasses, and starches — that take, at most, a year to reach maturity. Most, in fact, are harvested at less than six months old. But agave takes anywhere from three to forty years to reach harvest age. But it gets even crazier when you realize how many agaves are used to make a bottle of mezcal! Find out the answer in this episode of Agave Road Trip

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