Ready to know more about San Diego?

Subscribe

IZO Joins the Tastemaker’s Club Via its Smoky Mezcal

We're talking mezcal, Tequila, sotol, and all Mexican spirits with Gaston Martinez, owner of Izo Spirits
izo-mezcal-sdm0223.jpeg

izo-mezcal-sdm0223.jpeg

All due respect to Dry January, it’s “Pinkies Up” month on HHH. And we’re starting out with a view into Mexican spirits from one of San Diego’s top minds on the matter—Gaston Martinez, owner of Izo Spirits, who makes top-notch tequila, mezcal, sotol, and bacanora. Nowadays it seems as soon as you become the lead actor in a major film, you’re granted your own tequila brand. Tequila’s come a long, long way. But tequila is just the gateway spirit into the charms of Mexico.

After launching Izo mezcal in San Diego three years ago, it made its way into the bulky hands of Costco, which gave the team the leg room needed to create other lines of spirits. Their most recent venture: a sotol that takes 15 years to harvest from the plant.

izo-mezcal-spirits-sdm0223.jpeg

izo-mezcal-spirits-sdm0223.jpeg

Gaston, originally from Durango, walks us through the process of the Mexican spirits, and how he leaned hard into sustainable old-world traditions at the distillery. For him, it’s personal.

“Durango is kind of a small town, but I want to bring it to the world,” he says.

Izo is now collaborating with Cutwater, who uses Izo mezcal in its canned cocktails distributed around the world. You can also find Izo’s sotol in the sweet and tangy “IZO Cupid” at George’s at the Cove.

The location for this recording? Pure magic. The Prestige-Magic Lounge & Showroom—the fifth of Mystique Venues’ fine dining locations bringing some of the best local and touring magicians in the country to the stage.

Leading the kitchen is executive chef Johnny Hornibrook who has been with Mystique since its first opening in Folsom, California with founder Terry Commons. The three-course menu illuminates Johnny’s experience on the road traveling around the country and Central America. While surfing couches and hitchhiking his way back to San Diego over the course of 28 days and 88 car rides, he asked, “What can I bring to the table?” to pay them back. Literally.

izo-spirits-harvesting.jpeg

izo-spirits-harvesting.jpeg

The Stockton local brought home flavors from his adventures serving his Latin American patrons and incorporates them into his seasonal menus. The chef’s pick at Prestige is the au jus prime rib with a trio of horseradish. If dinner and an enchanting show sound good to you right now, Prestige is giving out a couple of promos voiced in this week’s episode to check out.

In “Two People, Fifty Bucks,” David felt like Italian comfort food on a cold and rainy San Diego day. He visited Princess Pub in Little Italy for a cottage pie doused in a creamy gravy for the soul. Troy’s pick reminisced on a SD Mag current favorite: Izola bakery. Just anything from there. The baked goods are. All. So Mesmerizing.

By Melody Bathaee

Melody Bathaee is an editorial intern and production assistant at San Diego Magazine. She is currently studying journalism at SDSU where she acts as the social media editor for The Daily Aztec and hosts her radio show, "Beyond The Melody." If she's not climbing a rock somewhere or fueling her coffee addiction at a local cafe, you'll find her brainstorming ideas for future creative projects in media.

Share this post

LATEST EPISODES

Podcast

Lia's Lumpia Fuses Filipino Cooking with Black Soul Food

Listen now

Podcast

Little Lion’s Chef Learned Everything from Her Grandparent...

Little Lion’s Chef Learned Everything from Her Grandparents

Listen now

Podcast

Actor Martin Short Becomes Mayor of a Food-Obsessed Town

Listen now

Podcast

San Diego’s Best Beer Isn't an IPA

Listen now

Podcast

Javier Plascencia Talks Michelin Stars & Caesar Salad's ...

Javier Plascencia Talks Michelin Stars & Caesar Salad's 100th

Listen now

Podcast

All the Best Eats at the San Diego County Fair

Listen now

Podcast

Cardellino Owner Brad Wise on Truffles, Caviar & Butcher...

Cardellino Owner Brad Wise on Truffles, Caviar & Butchering

Listen now

Podcast

San Diego's King of Produce

Listen now

Podcast

Is this San Diego's Most Picturesque Rooftop Restaurant?

Listen now

Podcast

Trying Petco Park's Best Food with Don and Mud

Listen now

Podcast

SD’s Secret Sommelier Weapon is at North Park’s Black Ra...

SD’s Secret Sommelier Weapon is at North Park’s Black Radish

Listen now

Podcast

Radio Host Chris Cantore & Chef Tyler Mars Launch New Po...

Radio Host Chris Cantore & Chef Tyler Mars Launch New Pop-Up

Listen now

Podcast

Fast Food Secrets With Jordan Howlett

Listen now

Podcast

Feeding San Diego Rescues 1.2M Pounds of Food a Month 

Listen now

Podcast

Making Wishes Come True With Chef William Eick

Listen now

Podcast

The Beach Boys’ Mike Love Puts Us in a Kokomo State of Min...

The Beach Boys’ Mike Love Puts Us in a Kokomo State of Mind

Listen now

Podcast

Lighting Up the Gaslamp 

Listen now

Podcast

The Story Behind San Diego's Hottest Backyard Restaurant

Listen now

Podcast

Is This the Best Falafel in San Diego?

Listen now

Podcast

San Diego’s Legendary Tony Tee Drops By the Pod

Listen now

Podcast

Feeling Lucky with Jason Mraz

Listen now

Podcast

The Spirits Company Giving Back, One Drink At a Time

Listen now

Podcast

Let Us Eat Cake

Listen now

Podcast

Getting Real With Celebrity Chef Lauren Lawless

Listen now

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA