Inspirations

Made in Mexico: Colorful Kitchen and Cocktail Essentials for Summer

Our latest go-to for summer entertaining? Verve Culture, a curated marketplace for housewares, kitchen tools, and foods, too, from around the world. We first posted on their hardy recycled-aluminum manual juicer a while back, and we’ve been following them ever since.

The women-owned company partners with local makers and artisans from around the globe—currently Thailand, Mexico, and Morocco— to create “beautiful, purposeful, authentic” wares, all made using traditional practices. Verve’s philosophy: “offering an inside view of how certain tools and tastes can create memorable experiences.”  They also provide a platform for small producers to grow their business, and include recipes and a history alongside to bring each product’s story and culture into your own kitchen.

We’re particularly admiring these Mexican-made tableware and cocktail essentials for the summer ahead. Take a look.

cantaritos de barros, known as traditional clay cups—“humble, wit 10
Above: Cantaritos de Barros, known as traditional clay cups—“humble, with a lot of character and history”—that are common at street fairs in Jalisco, Mexico. Verve Culture’s are made by Mexican potter Rodolfo Pila and comes as part of a Cantaritos Kit ($38) for making tequila cocktails rimmed with lime juice and chili salt.
we also like the “simple, minimalist, no fuss” handblown glasses  11
Above: We also like the “simple, minimalist, no-fuss” Handblown Glasses in Clear, sustainably made by Javier Gutierrez Esponsa and his team of glassblowers in Tonala, Mexico. They’re $42 for a set of four short and $48 for a set of four highball glasses.
what first drew us to verve culture: the artisan citrus juicer – s 12
Above: What first drew us to Verve Culture: the Artisan Citrus Juicer – Small, a common sight in markets in Mexico. Each one is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum and individually cast in sand, grinded by hand, and then hand-polished by Mexican artisan Maximo. “It extracts every drop of juice, while the strainer catches seeds and pulp,” the company says. The small size, ideal for smaller citrus fruits, is $98 and comes in gold (shown), red, green, and black; the large, perfect for grapefruits, navel oranges, and even pomegranates, is $150 and comes in rose gold, gold, and black. (For much more on the juicer, see Favorite Pandemic Discovery: The Verve Manual Juice Press, Made in Mexico.​)
the red cast iron tortilla press is made in mexico from upcycled singer sewing  13
Above: The red cast iron tortilla press is made in Mexico from upcycled Singer sewing machines and other recycled iron, then painted with an FDA-friendly lead-free paint that prevents rust and won’t flake. The cast iron gives you uniform flat tortillas every time. It comes as part of the Tortilla Press Kit ($48), which includes a servilleta towel for keeping tortillas warm, traditional recipes to try, and a history of the tool.
“the molcajete is a century old mortar and pestle used by mexican cooks, 14
Above: “The molcajete is a century-old mortar and pestle used by Mexican cooks,” Verve Culture says. It’s made of volcanic stone, which helps release flavors from spices  and will also become seasoned over time, much like cast iron. “The more you use it, the more flavor and character you get,” Verve Culture says. The Molcajete with Tortilla Basket is $65; each mortar and pestle comes packed in a colorful, one-of-a-kind woven tortilla basket.
also on offer: bright servilletas (mexican napkins), made by modern artisans ca 15
Above: Also on offer: bright Servilletas (Mexican napkins), made by modern artisans carrying on a long tradition of Mexican textiles. They can be used to keep tortillas warm, as tea towels, or as napkins on a colorful summer dinner table. A set of four Servilletas is $22 and includes a selection of six designs.
a glimpse at the making: clay cantaritos de barros in process. the traditional  16
Above: A glimpse at the making: clay cantaritos de barros in process. The traditional clay material and lead-free glaze keeps cocktails extra cold.

For much more, head to Verve Culture.