NORTH CENTER — First lesson of the Mezcal Master Certification program: Don't call it tequila.
Just exactly what mezcal is — a kissing cousin of tequila, made from agave in small, artisanal batches — along with how it's produced and defined, will be the subject of the first of two Master Mezcalier classes hosted by Fountainhead from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. June 24-25 at 1970 W. Montrose Ave.
The certification program to obtain mezcalier status was signed into Mexican law in 2011 and includes four ascending levels of expertise.
The Fountainhead courses will cover the basics of mezcal in Level 1 and mezcal mixology in Level 2 — all about how to use the spirit in cocktails beyond knocking back shots.
Levels 3 and 4 (mezcal and food; mezcal distilleries and agave fields) may be added in the future if there's a strong response to the initial offerings, according to a Fountainhead spokeswoman.
Douglas French, CEO of Scorpion Mezcal and a master distiller, will lead the courses at Fountainhead.
Class size is limited to 20 people. The cost is $250 per class, with a light lunch included.
The program is open to anyone with an interest in mezcal, from connoisseurs of the spirit to bartenders and restaurant owners. To sign up for the classes, register here.