Aqará is at the forefront of the next wave, expanding the agave category. With their own unique production techniques, rather than simply trying to imitate tequila or mezcal, we are beginning to see how producers from various agave growing regions are able to express terroir through agave. 

Born and raised in Caraz, Perú, Marco Suarez Lara grew up seeing agave plants, known there as maguey, as unwanted guests, “giant weeds, growing without permission.”But before globalization gave the region access to cheaper products, the Caral Civilization found maguey an essential tool for everyday life, crafting products from and consuming it since as far back as 5,000 years ago. 16th Century Mexican chronologist Gutiérrez de Santa Clara said, “everything that mother earth could provide to live and thrive as a human race, she put into this plant, from clothing... to eating and drinking and even for healing.” Through modernization, though, pre-colombian traditions of maguey use have been slowly lost in Peruvian culture. 

It wasn’t until a trip to Mexico in 1996 that Marco saw the agave as a treasured, sacred plant, recognizing its majesty after experiencing the exquisite distillates it produced. Until Marco brought Aqará to fruition twenty years later, the agaves of the Andean Mountains of Perú remained asleep, waiting for someone to come and wake them. Marco and his team now work to transform those same mature, wild agaves into a beautiful spirit that pays tribute to its place of origin.

Photos

1        The distillery

2        The stills

3        Harvesting the agave

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