26 + Felix Hernandez Monterroza / Adriana Correa / Fred Sanchez
Agua Del Sol
Felix Hernandez Monterroza is the founder of Mezcales Cuish and Mezcaleria Cuish; he and his wife Adriana Correa are the co-founders of Agua del Sol. Fred Sanchez is the founder and managing partner of Bad Hombre Importing.
Adriana and Felix were super accommodating in speaking with us exclusively in English, sharing the story of Agua del Sol, and Felix’s family history selling and producing mezcal in Matatlan, Oaxaca.
We often use the word respect when it comes to the production and consumption of agave spirits. In this episode, Felix and Adriana give context to why the Maestros y Maestras are so respected within their communities and how their understanding of local plants and deep connection with nature make them much more than simply distillers of agave spirits. Our conversation is a window into the various roles Maestros play, making them a cornerstone in their communities and why Felix and Adriana believe it is important to keep these distillates affordable and available for local folks. Fred shares how Bad Hombre has aligned with Agua del Sol in its mission to promote traditional small-batch agave spirits while supporting social justice initiatives on both sides of the border.
This conversation offers us the opportunity to learn about the cultural history of these spirits, which goes far beyond production techniques and practices. We hope you enjoy it!
El Mago de las Montanas, by Felix Hernandez Monterroza / His poem was the inspiration for these two artworks by Oscar Laynez
1. Maestra Berta Vazquez / San Baltazar Chichicapam, Oaxaca
2. Maestra Berta Vazquez / San Baltazar Chichicapam, Oaxaca / March, 2019
3. Mtra. Berta standing beside a Tepextate agave (A. marmorata) / San Baltazar Chichicapam, Oaxaca / March, 2019
4. Mtra. Berta with freshly harvested Tobasiche agaves, a variety of A. karwinskii / March, 2019
5. Mtra. Berta standing in one of her fields of Espadin agaves (A. angustifolia)
6. Mtra. Berta by her molino, 2016
7. Mtra. Berta in her palenque, 2019
8. A hill of wild Cuishe agaves (A. karwinskii)
9. San Guillermo, Miahuatlan, Oaxaca
10. Overlooking the vast mountain landscape
11. Flowering quiote from a Tepextate (A. marmorata) / San Baltazar, Chichicapam, Oaxaca
12. A hillside of blooming quiotes
13. Mexicano agave (A. rhodacantha) / San Guillermo, Miahuatlan, Oaxaca
14. Wild Cuishe agaves (A. karwinskii) / San Guillermo, Miahuatlan, Oaxaca
15. Maestro Francisco Garcia Leon in one of his fields where maiz (corn) grows alongside agaves, such as these agave Mexicano's (a. Rhodacantha)
16. Mtro. Francisco Garcia Leon in one of his fields where maiz (corn) grows alongside agaves, such as these agave Mexicano's (A. rhodacantha) - check out the size of those Mexicanos!
17. Mtro. Francisco checking the wild Cuishes (A. karwinskii) / October, 2020
18. Mtro. standing beside a Tepextate agave (A. marmorata). Spring, 2017
19. Mtro. Francisco walking by wild Cuishes (A. karwinskii) / October, 2020
20. Garrafones at Mezcaleria Cuish
21. Custom handmade garrafones for Agua del Sol (10 liters and five liters)
+ All images courtesy of Agua del Sol and Bad Hombre Importing unless otherwise noted
Lorena Terán Ibarra is the director of Copita Project for El Buho Mezcal where she leads the regenerative agriculture and educational programs.
Initiated by the founders of El Buho, the Copita Project seeks to replenish and preserve the balance of the natural environment while planting cultivated and semi-cultivated agaves.