Sustainability is a big issue in the world of agave. Unlike other produce used to make spirits such as grapes, wheat or rye which can be planted and harvested within a year, agaves can take anywhere from seven to thirty years to grow and reach maturity. We try to ensure all our brands make their spirits in a sustainable and responsible way, either by producing their spirits in an eco-friendly way by utilizing its waste products; investing in reforestation and replanting programmes or trying to prevent the extinction of rarer species.
Any species of agave have all kinds of uses, making it a hugely valuable plant and can provide all things necessary for human living: Food, water, clothing, and shelter
- Roots, when cooked, are a nutritious meal
- Its sap/aguamiel/honey water is full of nutritious value
- Spikes can be used as needles or pens, or in the past were even used for weapons
- Leaves/pencas can be made into paper; shelter; textile for shoes & clothes
- The quiote could be hollowed out to make instruments; structures for shelter
- In the past and in some rural areas still today the maguey is used in natural medicine to cure indigestion; stomach cramps & pains; labour pains
Reducing our impact on the environment and mother nature is hugely important to me in my private life and at work respectively and try to live as sustainably as I can.
Eco friendly packaging is perhaps the easiest way any business can reduce their impact on nature. All packaging I use can be either recycled, composted or reused. Our bottle wrap bags are made from 95% bio-degradable OXO; our void fill we use is wood wool, which is 100% bio-degradable; our postage bags are made from 100% post consumer recycled material and fully recyclable; our cardboard boxes can of course be fully recycled and/or reused; our giftwrap uses recycled craft paper, twine and plant based, plastic free Sellotape.
Another way we try to help is by supporting some amazing projects, where we match every donation made and send to both the Tequila Interchange Project’s Bat Friendly Program and Real Minero’s Project LAM. You can read more about them individually here: CHARITIES
All our agave spirits are 100% agave and governed by their NOM (The official Mexican Standard for agave spirits that is regulated by the Mexican Government) so you can be assured that no shortcuts are taken in the making.
We only work with the categories of artisan or ancestral mezcal and avoid stocking industrially made mezcal. With it being near impossible to find small batch tequila producers, we look for producers who prioritise the quality and authenticity of the spirit and try to do so with respect to the environment and the agaves, rather than finding quicker ways of making more. One of our favourite tequila brands we work with is 30-30 as the owners run their distillery off the waste produced by each distillate and reuse any fibres to fertilize their agave fields. They also allow the soil to regenerate by planting corn after harvesting the magueys.
Mezcal can often be produced in less developed areas and so we believe that the development of Mezcal internationally should have a positive impact for the people who produce it and their communities. For this reason, we personally select each Mezcal, trying to make sure that the brands we import ourselves are actively engaged in improving communities and the lives of the people who live there. We also try to ensure all the mezcals we import originate from either family run palenques or are Mexican owned, giving them our support in their fabulous businesses.
In 2015 I was still quite new in the bartending scene and had limited experience in spirits when I started bartending at 400 Rabbits, Nottingham’s first dedicated Tequila & Mezcaleria. I immediately fell in love with the incredible diversity of agave spirits and discovered a whole world of history and traditions.
My passion for the spirit allowed me to progress in the business to the extent that running the bar was not enough anymore. I needed to show the world why Agave spirits are so amazing and why we should all be enjoying them. Another hugely important thing for me is the fact that it is such an honest and humble spirit. There is nothing quite like tasting something which was created through generations of ancestral knowledge. The humble background of the families and their palenques is admirable and I want to do whatever I can to support them.
Unlike any other spirit, the agave category has so many stories to tell and traditions to show, which has driven me to starting Casa Agave.
In Casa Agave’s first year I received my certificate of achievement handed to me by the CRT who govern Tequila and now am on the panels of globally recognised agave spirits competitions such as the IWSC, ISC and World Tequila Awards. I have also been featured in numerous articles including BBC Good Food, The Spirits Business and Drinks International.
Jen, Owner Casa Agave
Back in 2013 I fell in love with Tequila, Mezcal and all things agave. It started on a sunny Spring afternoon in Nottingham at a tasting session arranged for the bartending community of the city. Until then I was more of a whisky guy, I drank beer, enjoyed rum, a gin and tonic now and again and a good bottle of wine but agave spirits were never something I had dabbled in.
The tasting was fantastic, we tried a range of Mezcals each from different villages around Oaxaca, the epicentre of Mezcal production in Mexico, and immediately I fell in love. The smells, the flavours, the complexities, the nuances, they were like nothing I’d ever tasted before. We were talked through the artisanal processes of Mezcal production and discovered the ancestral methods still used for its production. That the agaves are still cooked in a hole dug under the ground, that the stills are as old as my grandparents, that the tahona wheel used to crush the Agaves is pulled by a donkey and that all this is done by the same families who have been making this delicious liquid for centuries.
From then on, I was hooked (and a little drunk)! My previous knowledge of the category had been £1 shots with salt and lime and a gold liquid with a worm in the bottle. Awful stuff that gave you an even worse hangover. What I tried that day was as far removed from that as was possible.
I made it my mission to hunt out and try every delicious Tequila and Mezcal that was out there and tell anyone who would listen why they should do the same!
In 2015 we opened 400 Rabbits, Nottingham’s first and only dedicated mezcaleria, up a little alleyway just off the Market Square. Our mission was to bring agave spirits to the people of Nottingham and they embraced us with open arms! Our mission with Casa Agave is to help keep spreading that love for agave spirits across the UK!
James, Owner Casa Agave & 400 Rabbits