At the end of last month, Brooklyn’s brunch hotspot, Fandi Mata, opened a Mezcaleria Bar on the second floor of the former industrial space that’s since been transformed to a biophilic, and now mezcal enthusiast, playground. Behind the plant-adorned, six-seat bar are 50 different mezcals, marking it as one of the largest portfolios of mezcal in New York.
“Mezcal is one of the most versatile spirits in the world. The trend and need for this particular spirit has surpassed the popularity of tequila in the last few years and we all know how much impact it has on consumers,” Milos Zica, partner and beverage director at Fandi Mata, told Forbes.
Zica brought his experience from his former role at the nationally renowned West Village haunt, Employees Only, to curate the current list of mezcals. Zica told Forbes, “It took more than a decade for mezcal to expand and become the spirit it is today. It is still a new spirit category to many people but it’s growing exponentially as the awareness and knowledge of this heavenly-delicious spirit is a never ending journey.”
That’s why the team decided to dedicate their second level to educating consumers on the agave-based spirit; whether that’s by sampling a mezcal flight, experiencing the spirit’s versatility in a classic cocktail, like a mezcal negroni or espresso mezcal martini, or experimenting with the bar’s speciality craft cocktails like Solé, a combination of Milagrito Abogado, St. George spiced pear liqueur, Silence tea vermouth, velvet falernum, orange bitters, and sherry essence.
“We are the only ones [in New York] to carry the Milagrito brand which is a star of the Mezcal Bar. All of our specialty cocktails are made with this mezcal,” explained Zica.
Diners at Fandi Mata don’t have to fret if they can’t score a seat at the intimate upstairs bar; they can drink their fair share of mezcal by tasting their way through Fandi Mata’s cocktail list, including brunch best-seller, Sabrosa. Zica explained this cocktail is a mix of Milagrito Enmascarado 45, homemade pineapple cinnamon syrup, Ancho Reyes verde, fresh citrus, and Sal de Gusano.
As mezcal continues to trend in its agave-based category and beyond, Zica reflected on the significance of the spirit and the importance of creating a bar and space to appreciate it. “Knowing that it takes at least seven to nine years (sometimes over 25 years) for agave to fully grow, coupled with Master Mezcaleros’ passion and expertise put into the process of making mezcal, makes this type of agave spirit one of the most popular to indulge in,” said Zica, who also advised: “Indulge, educate and appreciate this agave spirit as it might not be available to all of us in decades to come.
For those who aren’t familiar with traditional mezcal, but are perhaps fans of mezcal’s more popular offering in the form of tequila—remember as agave-based spirits all tequila is mezcal but not all mezcal is tequila—Fandi Mata dedicated the month of October to highlight a tequila brunch.
The limited-edition brunch is in partnership with premium tequila brand, El Tesoro, and available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through October 31st. The team shares there will be an ever-evolving list of programming for both the main restaurant and mezcal bar, so watch their social media for the latest offerings.