Jacob Jacquez is a 6th generation Sotolero in Janos Chihuahua. His family has been making Sotol for centuries and were the first to bring the delicious spirit to the US. His proper education and family history make him the one of the most knowledgable people in the world about the economics/sustainability on Sotol. Now with travel returning to normal, he's able to share his Por Siempre Sotol with many others. Further, as Texas starts to produce a Sotol spirit, the conversation around DO's and ownership of the spirit are becoming heated. We chat about colonizing, music, love, and what was once a flourishing industry of Sotol.
Even though Baijiu is the most popular spirit, by volume consumed, in the world, Americans don't really understand the category. Bill Isler, founder of Ming River Baijiu, took an interesting turn after studying in China for law. Setting out to work on business opportunities for folks coming into China, a shift into the hospitality industry came about. First starting as a volume bartender, a shift to focus on the tastier marks of Baijiu, led to a new bar project and the eventual creation of Ming River. This episode is a great deep dive into the category, where up is down, and left is right. The production details of Baijiu are unlike those of any other category. Bill and I sip through all 4 categories of Baijiu and learn about his life along the way. We chat about Beijing, cultural invitations, and funk.