Mezcal 8 Viboras | The Spirit That Needs Kisses

06 May 2014
2 min read
A legendary Mexican spirit, Mezcal 8 Viboras holds an abundance of culture in it’s taste. Sophie Cater talks out about what, exactly this traditional drink is…

What is Mezcal?

“Mezcal 8 Víboras is a premium handcraft drink with a tradition that started more than half a century ago, produced by the second generation of the Hernandez family in Matatlán Oaxaca. The taste and quality of our certified mezcal is the result of a careful cultivation of the maguey plant, until its final process, offering one of the most genuine drinks in the world.”

In what way is Mezcal artisanal?

“For us it’s very important to preserve and protect the agricultural process of the agaves and the traditional making of the mezcal, which is why we use conical earth ovens, Chilean Tahona, pine fermentation vats and copper stills to preserve the properties, minerals and flavors on the agave.We maintain the ideal that in order to verify that is a traditional mezcal, it must have at least 45 ° Alcohol Volume.Our drink is handmade thanks to itsproduction process, whichpreserves Mexican folklore.

How do you make Mezcal?

First comes the process of cutting the agave, called ‘jimar’, where the the leaves and root of the agave, leaving only its heart. The hearts are then cooked underground in order to break the chains of fructans and get sugars that can be fermented. Once cooked, the agave headsare choppedinto smaller pieces with an axe or machete to place them in the mill,usinga circular grinding stone called a Chilean thaona.The crushed agave is then placed in pine or oak containers to ferment for a few days, although the fermentation really begins at the end of the cooking. The distillation process then takes place in a still, by subjecting itto heat which causes the evaporation of alcohol and separation ofimpurities. The last processis bottling and labelling.

How is Mezcal traditionally enjoyed?

There are two ways to enjoy it. Firstly, one important point – you must drink mezcal with little kisses; enjoy it slowly in a small shot glassto savour all the flavours. First smell it, have a tiny taste, smell it again and then take a bigger taste. This way, you get used to the high percentage of alcohol.

The second way is more traditional. It is enjoyed with salt with the agave worm. The tastes complement each other perfectly (see recipe below).

Clamato Desnivelado Cocktail

2 ounces of8viborasmezcal(Joven Espadin)

8ounces of clamato

1/2 ounce lemon juice

Worcestershire sauce

Tabasco sauce


Worm salt


Mix the ingredients in a mixer, then strain and garnish with a celery stalk.

Find out more about Mezcal 8 Viboras at

Cocktail© flickr, The Culinary Geek