May 4, 2018 / Modified may 4, 2018 1:43 p.m.

Mexico Hopes Mezcal Will Flow in Arizona for Cinco de Mayo

The Mexican government is sending producers of the agave-distilled spirit to the Southwest.

mezcal thumb Mezcal is traditionally served in shot glasses with orange slices covered in chilli powder or "sal de gusano." (PHOTO: Rodrigo Cervantes, Fronteras Desk)

MEXICO CITY — For many, Cinco de Mayo means "party," and for those who sell Mexican products, that’s a business opportunity. At celebrations this weekend in Tucson and Phoenix, the Mexican government will be promoting mezcal, an alcoholic drink experiencing a boom worldwide.

In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo celebrates a battle in the 1800s. But in the U.S., it has become a festivity filled with Mexican clichés and stereotypes. Mexico wants to seize the opportunity.

"It has been a traditional marketing event that we see positive," said Eduardo González, head of the Arizona and Nevada division of Promexico, a Mexican government agency that promotes trade.

Promexico is bringing to the state 10 producers of mezcal, the agave-distilled drink. Since 2008, Mexican spirits, including mezcal, have doubled its exports, and the main destination is the U.S.

"And there is a growing demand, yeah," González said.

Promexico and the mezcal producers will hold meetings this weekend with the service industry and distributors, while offering public tastings in both cities.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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