From the misty Mazateca mountains of Oaxaca comes a rum so beautifully expressive of sugar cane that it might just make people forget about agave. Paranubes is made in a high-altitude “cloud forest” about six hours by car from Oaxaca City. Four varieties of cane are harvested in the forested hills, transported out by burro, then driven to the distillery. The fresh-pressed cane juice is fermented naturally in pine vats, then moved to a copper column-still fired by spent cane fiber. The rum is distilled to proof: nothing added or removed. The result is smooth, round and sweet—not as funky as rhum agricole and more elegant than cachaça. It’s complex and smooth enough to sip neat, but the silky texture makes for an irresistibly sleek daiquiri.
Montanero Mezcal, Ophir, CO
Jordan Mackay’s writing on wine, spirits and food has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, the Art of Eating and many other publications. While Secrets of the Sommeliers, the book he wrote with Rajat Parr, won a James Beard Award in 2011, it’s certain winemakers that he credits with some of his most important tasting lessons.
This story appears in the print issue of Winter 2017.
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