Ron Cooper Will be at Stage Left Steak Sunday, June 10
Ron, more than any living person, is responsible for bringing true quality mezcal to The United States and beyond. The good stuff 'el mejor' is, and has always been, produced by Zapotec or Mixe or Mixteca people, who speak their own ancient dialects that have nothing to do with Spanish. These peoples live in isolated areas of Oaxaca. They feel it is bad luck to wander farther than the next village and so their pure mezcals wouldn't even make it as far as the Oaxacan capital of Oaxaca de Juárez without being severely adulterated.
Ron forged a relationship and friendship with these folks in the 1970s and in 1995, began a partnership with them to export their amazing, single-village mezcals to the world. Ron is what started the boom in quality mezcal awareness and consumption in the U.S. What's more, Ron truly partnered with these folks, making sure they get their share of the profits from their labor. With the profits from their stake in Del Maguey, the first schools were built and the lives of the people have been vastly improved and their ability to continue their way of life (and their mezcalero traditions) are protected. I'm proud to say we were Ron's first customers in NJ and have had Del Maguey mezcal on our bars ever since. It's a friendship that goes back 23 years.