Fortuna Mezcal made a splash in Toronto last week by organizing Fortuna Week, giving Torontonians passports to allow them to check out one or all nightly parties that surrounded the very special mezcal. The events of Fortuna Week debuted on Monday February 25th at Weslodge, and continued through the week at hot spots like Ursa, Reposado, Toronto Temperance Society, The Spoke Club, Cold Tea, Milagro Cantina, and ended on Sunday March 3rd for brunch at La Carnita. Having heard only great things about the week’s Fortuna fun, and also the new La Carnita brunch menu, I grabbed my bestie Sam and we headed over to College Street to check out what Fortuna Mezcal is all about.
The Fortuna Mezcal story is a touching one, as I discovered on Sunday while brunching with the three owners Michael Martin, Walter Meyenberg, and the master Mezcalero himself, Ignacio Martinez. First off, what is Fortuna Mezcal? It is a 100% artisan product made from the agave plant whose process is headed up by Martinez in his town of Ocotepec, San Dionisio. Similar to tequila, yet also so different, it has a much smoother and smokier taste. It is best served neat and sipped on with a slice of worm dusted orange, however, it’s also a great base for margaritas, Caesars, or any other favourite cocktail.
It was only a few years ago, when co-owner Meyenberg was cured of a stomach illness after his doctor prescribed him this particular mezcal, that Fortuna came to be. He looked high and low for the person that was creating this amazing liquor that cured him, and he soon found Martinez. And the rest, as they say, is history. Love of the mezcal product is truly what shines through with these owners. While Martinez doesn’t speak English, I saw the purity of his love for Fortuna in his eyes. He has been making mezcal since the age of seven and his passion is very much evident.
In terms of the La Carnita brunch, you ask? OMGDELICIOUS is all I can say. I’ve had tacos from La Carnita before, but this was my first time trying their brunch. It was fabulous, packed with flavour and served in small portions – my personal favourite way to eat. The stand-out dish was definitely the one created just for Fortuna Mezcal: French toast with macerated bananas, blueberries, and bacon topped with a Fortuna Mezcal syrup. The two-bite wonder dish was packed with flavour yet small enough that we were able to enjoy other items on the menu. We also tried a pulled pork taquito with a fried egg, and a roasted pork sope. All three dishes were punchy in their own way – it is obvious that bland is not a word in the La Carnita vocabulary…
So all in all the Fortuna Week was a huge success and I quite enjoyed discovering the taste of mezcal and how to appropriately drink it. Fortuna Mezcal is available in Toronto at the following establishments: 1602, 25 Liberty, 416 Snack Bar, The Ace, Acadia, Bar Chef, The Beaconsfield, Bloordale Pantry, Boehmer, Cold Tea, College Street Bar, The Communist’s Daughter, Czehoski, The Federal, Fynn’s of Temple Bar, Get Well Bar, Gusto 101, Harbord Room, Hawker Bar, Kanji Sushi, La Carnita, La Palette, Milagro, Museum Tavern, Origin, Playa Cabana, Porzia, Reposado, Riverside Public House, Rose and Sons, Salt Wine Bar, Spin Toronto, SPIRITHOUSE, Tequila Bookworm, The County General, The Drake Hotel, The Miller Tavern, The Saint, The Spoke Club, The Yukon, This End Up, The Three Speed, Toronto Temperance Society, Union, URSA, The Wallflower, Weslodge, and The Whippoorwill.
Fortuna Mezcal is not yet available at the LCBO – To purchase, contact:
Chris Papple – On The Case Distribution