Erstwhile Mezcal Logo

Erstwhile Mezcal is a boutique importer of mezcal and agave spirits based in Brooklyn, New York.


Erstwhile’s mission: advocate for small, independent, family-owned producers who lack representation outside their local communities in Mexico; and bring their extraordinary agave spirits to mezcal enthusiasts like ourselves in international markets for the first time.

yuan Ji

Founder of Erstwhile Mezcal


The vision and commitment of Erstwhile is to keep on discovering kickass distillations by small family-owned producers who want to grow through export; build distribution, sales, and fans for these these families; and introduce them to you and other fellow agave spirit lovers all over the world.


Erstwhile believes that diversity makes their business – and industry – smarter and stronger. Erstwhile is a woman-owned, women-led business. They work closely with women master distillers who head their family businesses. They are outspoken about elevating underrepresented voices – including but not limited to those of women – in mezcal and the broader wine & spirits industry.

Yuan Li, founder of Erstwhile Mezcal

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Guests of a Private Erstwhile Mezcal Tasting

Private Mezcal Tasting

Delight and inspire your guests with an unforgettable journey to Mezcal country. Go behind the scenes and learn directly from family-run producers. Taste rare, limited edition mezcal releases, lovingly curated for you and brought to life with personal stories from our producers.

Bottle of Erstwhile Espadin Mezcal

Espadin

This award-winning Espadin is a serious sipping mezcal, but also stellar for mixing cocktails! It hits that magical sweet spot of taste, complexity, good value and versatility. Elegant. Balanced. Nuanced. Approachable but never boring.

Bottle of Erstwhile Cucharillo Sotol (2021 Limited Edition)

Cucharillo Sotol (2021 Limited Edition)

This wild Sotol from Oaxaca’s southern highlands, known as Cucharillo locally, is the most aromatic and botanical from Erstwhile Mezcal’s 2021 Limited Releases. Oregano, lemon balm, and other wild mountain herbs that grow naturally in the same hills make a delightful bouquet in this Cucharillo’s mouth feel and flavor profile.

Bottle of Erstwhile Madre Cuishe Mezcal (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

Madre Cuishe (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

A legacy of the era when Mezcal production was illegal in Oaxaca, this batch of Madrecuishe crafted by Silverio García Luis – a 2021 Ancestral Limited Release – rescues a García family tradition that had been forgotten for more than forty years. Don Lencho, Silverio’s father, used a hollowed out quiote (the flowering stalk of agave plants) instead of a copper turbante, to evade the military that would come and seize his distillation equipment by force. Now you too can partake in this unique mezcal tradition from the García family in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Oaxaca, available for the first time in the United States in partnership with Erstwhile Mezcal.

Bottle of Erstwhile Tepeztate Mezcal (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

Tepeztate (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

A legacy of the era when Mezcal production was illegal in Oaxaca, this batch of Tepeztate crafted by Silverio García Luis rescues a García family tradition that had been forgotten for more than forty years. Don Lencho, Silverio’s father, used a hollowed out quiote (the flowering stalk of agave plants) instead of a copper turbante, to evade the military that would come and seize his distillation equipment by force. Now you too can partake in this unique mezcal tradition from the García family in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Oaxaca, available for the first time in the United States in partnership with Erstwhile Mezcal.

Bottle of Erstwhile Tobalá Mezcal 375ml (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

Tobalá 375ml (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

This rare batch of Tobalá – one of Erstwhile’s 2021 Ancestral Limited Releases- marks Master Mezcalero Juan Abel Quiroz Agustín’s debut in the United States and international markets. Only 200 liters made. Natural open-vat fermentation in Santa María Sola, Oaxaca. Distilled exclusively in Filipino-style stills made with clay pots.

Bottle of Erstwhile Arroqueño-Espadin Mezcal 375ml (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

Arroqueño-Espadin 375ml (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

This rare batch of Arroqueño-Espadin Ensamble – one of Erstwhile’s 2021 Ancestral Limited Releases- marks Master Mezcalero Juan Abel Quiroz Agustín’s debut in the United States and international markets. Only 300 liters made. Natural open-vat fermentation in Santa María Sola, Oaxaca. Distilled exclusively in Filipino-style stills made with clay pots.

Bottle of Erstwhile Espadin Mezcal 375ml (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

Espadin 375ml (2021 Ancestral Limited Edition)

This rare batch of Espadin – one of Erstwhile’s 2021 Ancestral Limited Releases- marks Master Mezcalero Juan Abel Quiroz Agustín’s debut in the United States and international markets. Only 300 liters made. Natural open-vat fermentation in Santa María Sola, Oaxaca. Distilled exclusively in Filipino-style stills made with clay pots.

Bottle of Erstwhile Tepeztate-Tobalá Ensamble Mezcal (2018 Limited Edition)

Tepeztate-Tobalá Ensamble (2018 Limited Edition)

A true blend of 50% Tepeztate and 50% Tobalá, two agaves that are dramatically different in personality. This Tepeztate-Tobalá Ensamble is Tepeztate forward, meaning you will likely taste the green, vegetal, and pear notes of the Tepeztate first, before it expands into the Tobalá’s sweeter fruit notes and rounder body.