TEAM

JENNIFER ASPELL

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.

The bar very quickly turned into a new home for me, as I was surrounded by friends and spent most of my days there, whether I was working or not.

Before my time down the rabbit hole my experience with Tequila was very limited and, like with many, usually in the form of shots with lime and salt. Only when I was introduced to 100% Agave Tequila years later at 400 Rabbits did I realise what I had been missing out on all that time!

I immediately fell in love with the incredible diversity of agave spirits and discovered a whole world of history and traditions, of course, with the favourite being the myth behind the 400 Rabbits, who inhibit your body when inebriated.

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 drinking them.

Another hugely important thing for me is the fact that it is such an honest 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.

My mission now is to show the UK its wonders help others fall in love with it as I did.

Salud!

Jen, Owner Casa Agave

JAMES ASPELL

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

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