Partner Profile | GEM&BOLT

In prehistoric Mexico, a lightning bolt struck the gem of the agave plant creating heat and friction and a revolutionary liquid known as Mezcal was born. Gem and Bolt is a craft Mezcal company that was created in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in 1945. Their Mezcal uses traditional distillation methods but is then infused with Damiana, a traditional Mexican herb with mythological properties.

We are proud to have GEM&BOLT as one of our sponsors of the Sonic Jungle. We had the pleasure to ask from questions to the founders of GEM&BOLT, Adrina and Elliot Coon, earlier in the week. Check out the story behind their theatrical Mezcal brand below:

1. It seems that Gem and Bolt has really taken off recently. How did your company come to start in 1945?

Ohhhh -- We listed the year of 1945 when we first started our brand's Facebook page. We've always embraced a sense of humor and theatrical story-telling in our presentation. Adrina and I grew up together in the mountains of Virginia. Our parents were all party-animals and rabble-rousers and so we've always felt there was no real beginning or no end to our story; rather it can begins or ends wherever you decide to place the needle at any given moment in our history together. Formally, GEM&BOLT was conceived in 2012.

Image courtesy of GEM&BOLT

Image courtesy of GEM&BOLT

2. Your Mezcal is infused with Damiana. What kind of mythological properties does this plant have?

Damiana is known for being a rejuvenating tonic for the reproductive organs as well as the kidney & liver. It enhances circulation and flow and increases chi to create a general sense of well-being. It's also said to be a natural anti-depressant and energy-booster. We call it a heart-opener and an overall super-herb.

Image courtesy of GEM&BOLT

3. Why did you choose to infuse your Mezcal with Damiana instead of any other traditional herb?

The beginning of GEM&BOLT took form as a speakeasy 6 years ago where we experimented with all sorts of wonderful herbs. We make tinctures and our own bitters for our cocktails. When we discovered Damiana, all the pieces came together. It was like a love affair between the plant worlds, Agave and Damiana; a perfect synergy of energy, tranquility and botanical integrity. We never turned back.

Distillery - Image courtesy of GEM&BOLT

Distillery - Image courtesy of GEM&BOLT

4. How does your company use sustainability practices in its day to day operations?

GEM&BOLT is very particular about where we source each element that goes into our production. We have fortified a powerful relationship with a community of farmers that work together in a cooperative manner to protect their own interests and the interest of the plantations. We are committed to paying fair prices for agave to assure a healthy partnerships that promises longevity. It is important for us to continue to care for the community in the same way it has cared of us. Our agave is sourced sustainably from rich river-valleys and under planned re-forestation. Reforestation plans are crucial in order to keep healthy growth cycles and to allow the land to properly recuperate between those cycles.

Image courtesy of GEM&BOLT

Image courtesy of GEM&BOLT

5. Why are you most excited to be apart of The Sonic Jungle?

The Sonic Jungle embodies a similar sensibility as us at GEM&BOLT. We love to gather and celebrate in profound ways to bring together the forces of our vision and shared knowledge. Collaboration is at the heart of our brand and we are ecstatic for the opportunity of collaborating with The Sonic Jungle in this way. Also, we LOVE to dance!!

The GEM&BOLT Team - Image courtesy of GEM&BOLT

The GEM&BOLT Team -

Image courtesy of GEM&BOLT

6. As artists yourselves, what kind of art do you make, other than creating the brand that is GEM&BOLT?

EVERYTHING IS ART. We believe this comes through in the essence of GEM&BOLT. This project was born from our personal art careers in sculpture, design, and more full-spectrum installation - but it's hard to separate the two. We've always worked outside of the box and love coloring outside the lines, as individual artists and as an art duo. The energy behind our earlier collaborative installations have now taken the form of ALTAR art bars for GEM&BOLT. They are distillations of everything we care about and want to communicate to the world through this fantastical side-door.

Andrew Goldin