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For centuries, Mexican curanderos have used a good solid sip of mezcal to ward off susto: a frightened, soulless sensation. Agave nectar and its smoky flavor carry the spirit from the spectral realm into transcendental consciousness.
We knew we loved it, but it’s nice to know the experienced members in the wine and spirits industry do, too.READ MORE
Oaxaca is Mexico’s mezcal capital. Located in Southwestern Mexico, it is home to 80 percent of the country’s production of mezcal and home to the best cooking in the country.
First of all, mezcal is not “smoked tequila.” Mezcal is all about high proof, small batches, and no worms. Mezcal is a distilled spirit that can be made from some thirty varieties of agave, or maguey. It is usually made by mezcaleros or producers with a process that redefines “artisanal”: agaves are roasted in an underground pit, wild-fermented in open vats, and distilled to proof. SUSTO is unique in that Grupo Compadres owns the NOM and the production facilities. SUSTO is not a white-label brand. Through its Mexican entity, Compadres chose to take the complex road to become certified producers of mezcal (a process that took over a year to complete) through the Mezcal Regulatory Council (CRM). NOM-0526X.
SUSTO is crafted in San Dionisio Ocotepec, Oaxaca by Crispín Pérez. In 1996, Crispín left his community to work abroad, putting in long hours to earn enough money to shape two of his dreams into realities: celebrate the baptism of his two daughters and buy a copper still. Most days, Crispín, and his son work hard to create another delicious batch of SUSTO, carrying on a tradition that started over 400 years ago. In 2017, Crispín partnered with Grupo Compadres to bring SUSTO to the United States.
Long-time friends Liz Stewart, Ingrid Taylor and Titi Rodriguez launched Grupo Compadres in 2017, realizing a dream that had first taken root over two decades ago.
Liz has lived in Austin for over 35 years. She is a daughter, mother, wife, spiritual companion, and friend. She aspires to love, laugh, and be healthy. She believes in community and and a good night’s sleep.
Ingrid has lived in Austin for decades and throughout, has been engaged in the community through work and volunteering. Passionate about travel and always seeking culinary delight, she loves being part of the SUSTO family that extends from Oaxaca toTexas.
A native of Oaxaca, Titi brings extensive experience in the hospitality industry, both as a business entrepreneur and as a public official. She expanded the family business by opening a new concept of restaurants and later served as Oaxaca’s Secretary of Tourism.
In the spirit of giving back Grupo Compadres is committed to making a difference in the communities we work. Our focus is on education. In late 2017 we established a partnership with the Fundacion Comunitaria Oaxaca, A.C. We have given $4,000 USD to the foundation to be used for merit-based scholarships for 9-10 middle school girls in San Dionisio Ocotepec, Oaxaca, the community where SUSTO is made. The name of the school is Escuela Secundaria Técnica No. 237 of San Dionisio Ocotepec, Oaxaca. Grupo Compadres are committed to making a difference in the community over the long term.
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