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.
Before my time there my experience with tequila was, like with many others, usually in the form of shots with lime and salt. Only when I was introduced to 100% agave tequila at 400 Rabbits did I realise what I had been missing out on all that time!
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 drove me to launch Casa Agave.
After starting the business, I received a ‘certificate of achievement’ by the CRT (council who regulate tequila) and was nominated for New Business of the Year by Nottingham’s ‘Women in Business’ awards. I have since been published in numerous magazines including The Spirits Business and Drinks International and online sites including BBC Good Food.
My mission now is to help others fall in love with the magic of tequila and mezcal as I did.
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