New Worlder
New Worlder
Episode #89: Matthias Ingelmann
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Episode #89: Matthias Ingelmann

The bar manager of Kol Mezcaleria and Kol Restaurant in London, England.
Matthias Ingelmann of Kol. Photo: Eleonora Boscarelli.

Matthias Ingelmann is the bar manager of Kol Mezcaleria and Kol Restaurant in London England. Matthias is German born and has worked in a lot of great bars around Europe, but once he started drinking mezcal he went down the rabbit hole with agave spirits, as many of us do. He has now built one of the UK's largest mezcal collections at Kol Mezcaleria and is continually expanding that collection as Kol expands. They just announced another restaurant with a cocktail heavy menu, called Fonda, which will open later in the year.

Like at Kol the restaurant, there is a strict policy of only importing a few basic ingredients like corn, chocolate and dried chiles. So there are no limes to use in cocktails. No grapefruit juice for palomas. He talks about how he started importing verjus, unfermented grape juice, as one of the ingredients to provide the acidity in some drinks. And how he uses seasonal herbs like pineapple weed to bring tropical flavors into the bar. We also talk about Kol’s partnership with the Sin Gusano project in Mexico, which is allowing them to work directly with several small producers for their own line of 6 different agave spirits from different parts of Mexico, to be used in the bar and sold at the bar but not commercially.

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There is a lot going on with mezcal as it becomes more mainstream that you, the consumer, should be aware about. Commercial brands are coming in and locking small distillers into contracts, they are monocropping espadin all over Oaxaca and they are putting pressure to try to produce more and more mezcal in unsustainable ways. It’s not at tequila levels yet. There are no Kardashians selling mezcal. At the rate mezcal is increasing in popularity we are not that far off. That’s why it’s extremely important if you are a bartender to buy mezcal from sources that champion small producers and educate your clientele.

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New Worlder
New Worlder
The New Worlder podcast explores the world of food and travel in the Americas and beyond. Hosted by James Beard nominated writer Nicholas Gill and anthropologist Juliana Duque, each episode features a long form interview with chefs, conservationists, scientists, farmers, writers, foragers, and more.