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Jolgorios are local festivals that take place in remote mountain villages throughout Oaxaca. El Jolgorio translates to “the revelry”, and the festivals often celebrate births, deaths, weddings, and Saint’s days. For centuries, mezcal has played an important role in these festivities, and in 2010 the Cortés family began establishing a group of Oaxaca’s top mezcal producers. Called El Jolgorio, this collective now represents sixteen individual families from ten different regions of Oaxaca. Each bottle is hand-marked with the details of each batch to connect the drinker to the family who produced it. Certain varieties of agave are so limited that they can only be made once a year at most, so in 2017, El Jolgorio began packaging these rare releases in special black bottles. Todos Santos (All Saints) is a three-day celebration of departed family members, friends, and loved ones. Altars are built for the visiting spirits, and include favorite foods, special objects, and often a glass of mezcal. With Todos Santos festivities cancelled because of the pandemic, Casa Cortés has released two special bottles in 2020 to pay tribute to Crispina Hernandez Romero, mother of Rolando Cortés, and a maestra mezcalera in her own right. In the words of Rolando, “My mother taught me the meaning of Dixeebe, a Zapotec word that embodies gratitude, love and thankfulness in a way that is difficult to explain. When we toast mezcal with our friends and family, we say Dixeebe to show them we are thankful to be with them. It was a tradition that was very important to my mother. These Todo Santos mezcales symbolize the most important connection between life and death, between today and tomorrow, between two hearts and between families. They are an opportunity for us to pay tribute to my mother and toast with her when she is here from the spirit world.”
El Jolgorio 'Todos Santos' Mezcaleros Arroqueño was distilled by Maestro Mezcalero “Tio” Pedro Vasquez, often referred to as the King of Arroqueño, and the only mezcalero to distill arroqueño under the El Jolgorio label. This batch was distilled in 2015 and rested in glass for five years, before bottling at a traditional 55% ABV.