This New York City Mezcal Festival Returns — & It’s One You Can’t Miss

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Nothing says summer is in full swing, like going out on a school night, and in case you need some inspiration on what to do or where to go, we’ve got an event in mind. New York’s Panorama Mezcal Festival returns this Wednesday, June 21. Debuting last year, the festival is back, promising more tasting notes than René Redzepi. With over 100 renowned agave brands, immersive tastings, expert seminars, and enough space for 500 people, the festival is set to be a unique appreciation of the mezcal renaissance — all taking place on a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty.

Currently, mezcal is experiencing a watershed moment. With its popularity soaring to new heights, mezcal now surpasses tequila sales in the U.S. and outperforms vodka and American whiskey. This means it’s the perfect time to celebrate this intricate spirit’s new popularity, diversity, and complexity. With 40+ agave varietals used to make mezcal, its flavors range from herbaceous and vegetal to floral to woody, debunking the myth that all mezcal is smokey. Many are, but that’s just the very tip of the iceberg (some mezcal tastes like mole with strong hints of ripe banana!). As this continued surge calls for more profound respect and appreciation, let’s dive into why this festival is a must-attend for the mezcal-curious and the agave-pilled.

Honoring the Mezcal GOATs

Panorama is not just about letting the mezcal pour (although the pours are generous); it’s an educational journey led by leading figures in the agave industry. Renowned tequila connoisseur David Suro-Piñera returns to shed light on the culture and tradition of tequila making. Lupita Leyva, a professional chemist, and Mezcal de Leyendas Brand Ambassador, will delve into the intricate art of mezcal distillation and the vibrant communities that nurture it. Asís Cortés, a sixth-generation mezcalero, will share the cultural and spiritual essence of agave spirits and heritage brands. These educational seminars offer a unique opportunity to gain insights directly from the experts and deepen your appreciation for Mayahuel and her four hundred rabbits.

The Vision Behind the Festival

Curated under the guidance of José Maria “Chema” Dondé Rangel, the founder of Panorama Mezcal and former Beverage Director of Michelin-starred restaurants Cosme and Claro, the festival aims to emphasize sustainable education and pay homage to the communities that form the heart and soul of the mezcal industry. With Chema’s extensive expertise and passion for mezcal, Panorama brings an immersive experience showcasing this beloved spirit’s rich heritage and craftsmanship.

Courtesy of William Sapienta.


  1. If you want a full extra hour of tastings, splurge on the VIP admission and grab some all-you-can-eat appetizers from the La Barca Cantina Kitchen before making the rounds. 
  2. Focus on wild (silvestre) mezcal varietals with low batch numbers,
    as these are harder to find in stores than espadín bottles.
  3. Ask the vendors/produces/mezcaleros as many questions as you can.
  4. Once you find a bottle you love — see who else makes a similar style (i.e. tepeztate en barro). You’ll be surprised how unique each will taste.
  5. Lastly, make sure to check out all three levels!

Immersing in Mezcal's Rich History

Panorama offers an array of over 300 agave spirits to sample, ranging from well-known brands to hidden gems — from arroqueños to tobalas. Discover mezcal’s distinct flavors and nuances from producers like El Jolgorio, Mal Bien, Mezonte, Don Mateo, Real Minero, and many more. This opportunity to explore the variety that mezcal offers and broaden your palate doesn’t come around every day. 

Embrace the Scene

It’s always beautiful to attend events in the city that are a magnet for Mexicanos en Nueva York. A place to be surrounded by a familiar culture but also see a whole new wave of appreciation for traditions that have endured centuries, if not millennia, of refinement and ceremonial rituals, reminding us that we come from this earth. And no matter what is happening across headlines, the old mezcalero adage remains true: Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también. (Mezcal for the bad times, and also for the good times). 

See tickets here.