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Waitrose tips mezcal trend

Waitrose is set to sell a mezcal for the first time, tipping the ‘hip’ Mexican spirit as a major trend set to hit the UK  in the coming year.

QuiQuiRiQui Mezcal has launched exclusively online at Waitrose Cellar (RRP: £37.50).

The retailer said there had been a 48% increase in Google* searches for mezcal based cocktails in the last year, and tipped it as a new hit for at-home mixologists, following its growing popularity in the on-trade.

Waitrose & Partners’ spirits buyer John Vine said the UK was becoming more experimental with cocktail-making at home and customers were looking for unique flavours and the latest craft spirits. “This artisanal mezcal is perfect for making smoky versions of your favourite cocktails – it’s particularly good served simply with tonic water,’ he said.

QuiQuiRiQui Mezcal is hand-made in small batches in Oaxaca, in the south of Mexico’ using locally grown agave plants such as the Espadin variety, which take at least seven years to reach maturity,. Waitrose describes its mezcal as “rich in vegetal flavours”, with a distinct smokey flavour profile, which comes from the underground cooking process of the agave, and a smooth taste and a peppery finish that is characteristic with the Espadin agave plant.

Mezcal differs from Tequila in that it is made from a wider variety of agave plants grown all over Mexico, while Tequila is produced only from the blue agave in a few specific areas.

As reported by the drinks business’s sister publication, the spirits business, mezcal has enjoyed a boom in recent years, as evidenced by the number of producers being snapped up by larger companies. According to predicted Euromonitor figures quoted by the spirits business , Tequila and mezcal were set to grow joint global volumes by more than 10 million litres in 2017 – signifying a number of new players on the market.

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