Salud Mexico

By Jo Phillips

When we think of Mexico we may initially think of tacos, chocolate, and mescal.  It is a country that is both thoroughly modern yet steeped in traditions that go back as far as pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cultures, including the Aztec and Maya.  Yet as much as it’s in touch with its ancient heritage is also a country of modernity.   For example, Pujol in Mexico City is a multi-award-winning restaurant where the chef Enrique Olvera explores the country’s deep-rooted cuisine through a contemporary lens. Or the Museo Tamayo, home to the private art collection of important Mexican painter and muralist Rufino Tamayo, the museum’s building was built in 1981 by Teodoro González de León and Abraham Zabludovsky and has a boxy geometry that gives the space both grandeur and intimacy. The mix of old and new runs through the country like tributaries from a lake feeding the culture for all. Important as it is to keep culture alive and fresh in peoples minds it can be conquered by what is made from an idea into a 3D object. find out more in Salud Mexico 

Another great example of where modernity meets history via culture is a project created between the tequila brand, Maestro DOBEL®, and the architecture Studio Pedro y Juana, (winners of the 2019 MoMA and MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program). Together they have re-imaged the Molinillo and Molcajete to create the ultimate in Tequilla drinking, ultimately a bespoke cocktail creation tool.

The Molinillo (pestle) and the Molcajete (the mortar) and are as old as the Mexican landscape, as deep as the culture, and is rooted in the hearts of all Mexicans.

So how on earth as designers do you start a project as consequential as this? Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo and Mecky Reuss, the designers in this collaboration starting point was looking into their own country’s heritage and that of tequilla.

The inspiration point was the Los Guachimontones, a prehistoric archaeological site in Jalisco, home to Maestro DOBEL Tequila. The Molcajete in the collaboration is a tiered inverted circular pyramid representing one of the ‘jewels of Mexico’s archaeological history’ at Los Guachimontones. Like a Mexican ‘circular pyramid’ that was formed by the Teuchitlán culture, the site is known for its curious “round pyramid” structures. Constructed approximately 2,000 years ago by the Teuchitlán culture that had thrived in the Tequila Valley region between 300 BC and 900 AD. At one time this area was home to more than 40,000 people. Very little is known about this society except that the word Teuchitlán means, “a place for the divine,” and the community was dedicated to agriculture and finishing.

So the Molcajete from this project is crafted from the same volcanic rock from the region, the Basalt volcanic rock whilst the Molinillo, whether it be utilised for squeezing fruit juices from one end, and grind ingredients with the other end, is crafted from wood.

But like all great creative projects, this was also a meeting of design and craft. The team worked with specialists in order to bring their historically referenced designs to life.

Echoing the craft of the Tequilla and of the historic design of the country the designers collaborated with specialists, starting with the eminent stonemason, Juan Fraga. A master in his field, Fraga learned stonemasonry from his father and grandfather. Today he is internationally recognised; his work has appeared at such eminent places as Art Basel.

For the Molinillo, Pedro y Juana worked with Francisco Santander as well crafting a composition of walnut and volcanic rock, the Mexican carpenter, also handcrafted bespoke wooden gift boxes to hold each Limited Edition Tejolote. He is renowned for his traditional woodworking and cutting-edge techniques.

Maestro DOBEL® Tequila continues to celebrate its commitment to pushing boundaries in artistry and craftsmanship via its ‘Celebrating Brilliance’ series of limited editions. The bottle featured here is Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila A handsome premium white tequila. The world’s first multi-aged Tequila, blended from reposado, anejo and extra anejo 100% blue agave tequilas, and then filtered to remove the colour, whilst retaining a beautiful creamy flavour. This bottle is an ultra-premium tequila and is the best-selling ultra-premium tequila in Mexico.

This project sums up so much of what Mexico as a country stands for. Its heritage, its most famous architecture, and alcohol all brought together with the most modern of twists and a true collaboration of craft and creativity.

Find out more about Maestro DOBEL Here

Pedro y Juana x Maestro DOBEL Tejolote Limited Edition is available as an exclusive edition of six, from luxury department store Harvey Nichols, from the 19th July 2021. For more information on Pedro Y Juana visit their website Here

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