By Virginia Villari
During my extensive travels around Mexico I got the chance to meet two wonderful women who are based in Oaxaca, where they produce mezcal. Ellie and Adrina aka gem&bolt are the creators and founders of the homonymous brand, which is truly the best mezcal I’ve ever tasted. What distinguishes this product from the many mezcal brands made in Oaxaca is the use of an aphrodisiac herb named Damiana, originally from Mexico. The result is a super smooth taste that doesn’t burn the throat and, most importantly, the effect is rather upper and euphoric.
But gem&bolt is not just a mezcal brand; gem&bolt is a lifestyle, a philosophy, an art form. Adrina and Ellie chose a simple and genius way to brand their creations: stencils! Every bottle and object can be easily branded and become part of the magic world of gem&bolt. I say creations because the duo does a lot more than bottling mezcal: they make installations, altars, beauty products using herbs and essential oils and many more artifacts that define G&B’s minimalistic, raw and bohemian aesthetics.
Gem&Bolt’s philosophy can be summed up with the idea that “Art and Plants Heal”: in fact, it is the combination of an artistic and creative approach to life – an open minded and curious spirit – and the use of natural, ancient medicinal plants confers healing qualities to G&B’s products.
Marketing wise gem&bolt is absolutely avant-garde: they created a signature style that is recognizable in their products all the way to installations and events. Mezcal bottles come in various sizes and shapes, but my favorite is definitely the mini bottle that you can fit in your pocket or purse, perfect for parties and nights out. It’s not by chance, indeed, that the girls love electronic music parties and festivals and often “use” them as a platform to promote the brand to crowds who can definitely appreciate it along with the spirituality and feeling of connectivity conveyed by it.
Gem&Bolt fosters a lifestyle that is nomadic, anti-conformist and respectful of diverse modes of expression. Through the brand, Adrina and Elliot seek to manifest the magical aspect and the alchemic quality of our reality towards a celebration of the beauty that lies within every thing.
Who is G&B?
Elliott and Adrina were raised together by bohemians in the mountains of Virginia (US) and their fathers were best friends and outlaws together. As adults, Elliot and Adrina became an artist duo who used to throw large-scale art shows where they made modern day altars and installations. The two decided to leave the art world and pursue a commercial project that would incorporate all the things they cared about and found themselves as artists, also becoming art patrons to other artists. gem&bolt was absolutely intentional and focused – even through the chaos of creation. The brand is full of the intention to help people celebrate and connect deeply, to amuse, to share plant spirit, to share art and support artists, and to bring plant knowledge to the people – layers of inspiration. Last but definitely not least – to help change the paradigm through the implementation of a new business model: money as the energy (not the goal) that fuels creativity. If artists can learn to approach creativity and funding from new angles the paradigm shifts drastically.
You can find G&B in:
New York, Los Angeles and Austin (USA)
In Europe: Amsterdam, Ibiza, London and Berlin and at Scorpios in Mykonos (Greece)
As of April 15 you’ll be able to buy gem&bolt anywhere worldwide on www.oldtowntequila.com and you can order cases of 60 minis, flasks and 750ml bottles!