Skip to Content

Created By Bartenders, Dos Gabachos Mezcal Is Perfect For Both Cocktails and Sipping Neat

Created By Bartenders, Dos Gabachos Mezcal Is Perfect For Both Cocktails and Sipping Neat

Welcome to Add to Bar Cart, where Cool Material’s writers and editors recommend the spirits that they’re enjoying most right now.

Mezcal has become the liquor of the moment over the past couple of years. Such was not the case in 2013, however, when Downtown Los Angeles JW Marriott bartenders Richard Policastro and David Martin, along with frequent bar patron Victor Castillo, took a trip down to Mexico City. Policastro and Martin had never seen a mezcal scene quite like the one in Mexico in their combined 30-plus years in the hospitality industry. When they returned to LA, they couldn’t stop questioning why mezcal of this caliber had yet to make it stateside. What started as a fun trip ended up becoming the getaway into their now blossoming business: Dos Gabachos Mezcal.

Despite two of the three men having minimal knowledge on mezcal at first, together, they have taken a self-designed crash-course on the agave-based spirit in the nine years since. The original goal was to help bridge the gap between the historical Oaxacan spirit and the trendy Los Angeles bar scene, but Dos Gabachos has turned into even more.

ABV: 45 percent (90 proof)
Price: $70
Where it’s available: Available online through the ForTequilaLovers merchant network

How Dos Gabachos Is Made

Founders Policastro, Martin, and Castillo are hands-on in the production of their espadín mezcal, from working directly with agave in the fields all the way up to the distillation process, with their maestro mezcalero, Abel Martinez. The spirit calls Santo Domingo Albarradas home, which is an area that delivers fruity and floral flavors to the final mezcal.

Making a batch of Dos Gabachos mezcal starts with harvesting and growing the agave plant, where the key to quality mezcal is only using agave that has reached full maturity after growing for at least eight years. Once ready, the sharp outer leaves of the agave plant are hacked off, and the heavy piña (agave heart) is harvested and ready for roasting. A horno cónico is dug up out of the ground to create an underground oven that the agave hearts are piled in, with larger ones on the bottom and smaller on the top.

After three to five days (though sometimes longer) of being roasted while covered in either banana or agave leaves and petate (woven palm fiber), the agaves are ready to be mashed. The piñas are placed into a circular stone pit and a donkey or horse pulls a stone wheel called a tahona over the piñas, crushing it into smaller fibers and releasing the juice that’s fermented over several days.

Finally, it’s time for distillation, where the mash, fibers, and liquids are placed into a copper or clay still surrounded by brick and heated by a wood fire. Dos Gabachos distills its product twice.

While this process might seem to be a straightforward step-by-step, don’t get it twisted. It has taken a lot of trying and failing, and then more trying and more failing.

“The trial and error in the flavor and taste is comparable in a sense to winemaking due to the surrounding terroir,” the founders tell me. “Each year, the flavor profile can change like wine.”

What Dos Gabachos Tastes Like

Saying a mezcal is smooth seems like a cop-out way to describe a spirit, but anyone who takes even the smallest sip of Dos Gabachos is guaranteed to have the same initial reaction. As soon as Dos Gabachos hits your tongue, you’ll get an initial hint of pepper through your nose, followed by some citrus and subtle fruity notes at the finish.

Even if you’re new to sipping mezcal, Dos Gabachos is one that can be enjoyed simply on the rocks with a slice of dried orange, and if you’re feeling fancy, a rosemary garnish. However, this is a spirit that stands up well in mezcal-forward cocktails–two of the three founders were craft mixologists, after all.

Why You Should Add Dos Gabachos To Your Bar Cart

For starters, Dos Gabachos is additive-free. More importantly, it’s damn delicious.

Taste aside, the story behind how this company was built from the ground up by three hard-working men makes supporting this brand an easy decision.

“We aren’t movie stars, celebs, or paid actors looking to put our names behind a brand,” the founders say. “We are middle-class, hardworking ex-bartenders that have a love for mezcal. When this adventure started, we weren’t out there looking for mezcal. Mezcal happened to find us, and we ran with it.”

Photo Credit: Dos Gabachos Mezcal

Do Not Sell My Personal Information