We sat down with Melanie, owner of Quiquiriqui Mezcal and co-founder of London Mezcal Week.
NAME: Melanie Symonds
BRAND: Quiquiriqui Mezcal and Camazotz Rum
Tell us a little about yourself...
Love Mezcal, Arsenal football club, sausages, goats, country music and walks with a pub at the end.
Tell us a little about your brand...
Quiquiriqui actually started life as a mezcal bar in east London, born from a love of mezcal which I discovered in Oaxaca in 2010. It was the UK’s first Mezcaleria and I had no idea 10 years later I would be running a brand of Mezcal thats sold all over the world.
Why did you create your brand?
When I was running the Mezcaleria Quiquiriqui pop up bar I had the idea to start a brand of mezcal because I couldn’t find anything that was great quality and affordable as my house pour and my GP was shit. I wen’t back to Oaxaca and got in touch with some of the families I had met the year before on my mezcal pilgrimage and the idea was born. I launched Quiquiriqui Mezcals in 2012 and here I am today working full time on what I thought would be a little side project that kept me stocked in mezcal into old age ;)
What are the highs and lows of owning your own brand?
Highs are getting to live in Oaxaca for a lot of time over the last 10 years, meeting, learning from and working with some amazing, hard working dedicated Mezcal producers. A limitless supply of mezcal to drink, the feeling I get when someone tells me they love drinking Quiquiriqui. Lows are the high stress levels of running your own company, the weight of responsibility if things go wrong, never really being able to not be “at work” but the highs make the lows worth it.
Any exciting brand news we need to know about?
YES watch this space in a month or so! We will be the first mezcal in the world to do this and we are super excited to share whats taken over a year of development :)
What do you love about the UK cocktail scene?
I love it when they use Quiquiriqui ;)
The level of skill and creativity I see by bars all over the UK is amazing, I have travelled all over the world and the UK bar scene is in my opinion the most diverse, exciting and forward thinking of all.
Favourite hangout spot?
Too many to mention but for cocktails Three Sheets, for a big day drinking session The Sun Tavern (honourable mention to Umbrella Project) and and then back to mine for the mezcal after party.
What’s the one item you couldn’t live without?
What are your five desert island discs?
Tenderness Parquet Courts, Atomic Bomb William Onyeabor, Welcome To The Jungle Guns N Roses , Never Fight a Man With A Perm IDLES, Dead of Night Orville Peck - this is my last 5 songs played as I cannot pick top 5, its too hard.