By Sacha Delfosse
Australia has the potential to become the second biggest market in the world for mezcal brand Del Maguey, according to founder Ron Cooper.
Cooper, considered the godfather of mezcal, has been visiting the country the past two weeks as a guest of Think Spirits, who took over the distribution of the Del Maguey range at the start of the year.
"I think that Think Spirits is really professional and well organised, more so than most distributors I've had experience with. So now there's a real opportunity and from what I can see, Australia can be our second biggest market," said Cooper.
"I actually had a dream before I came here where you guys were digging it [Del Maguey] so much; you drank all of our mezcal!" Cooper joked. [continues below]
(L-R): Andrew Kerrsmith, Ron Cooper, John Gakuru and Phil Bayly
During his visit, Cooper has been hosting tasting sessions for bartenders across the country, where he walked them through the entire Del Maguey range including Vida, Crema de Mezcal, San Luis del Rio, Chichicapa, Tobala, Pechuga, Santa Catarina Minas and Santo Domingo Albarradas.
Apart from explaining the production processes and distinct flavour profiles of each of the mezcals, Cooper has also kept capacity crowds entertained and enthralled with his countless anecdotes and stories behind the creation of the artisanal products.
Cooper sees bars as a crucial platform to introducing mezcal to consumers and has been blown away by the knowledge and passion local bartenders have for the Del Maguey range.
"It's not like I have to educate anybody here, everybody is already doing it… I'm finding everybody knows how to mix very well with mezcal."
Once the Del Maguey range has had time to develop in Australia, Cooper said he will be looking at launching Del Maguey's new Vino de Mezcal Series, a selection of limited edition mezcal expressions hand picked by Cooper.