What is Mesh & Bone and why do they have an RV?

Chicago Scene

With Mother’s Day this weekend, maybe shake things up a bit with some arakku instead of champagne? 

Wait, what is arakku?

It’s distilled in Sri Lanka from the nectar of a coconut flower and aged for 15 years in halmilla wood barrels. Arakku bears a similar taste of a mellow bourbon or run.  It’s encouraged to be served on the rocks due to its distinctive taste. If it sounds exotic, it is.

Mesh & Bone, a Chicago-based spirits company is the only source to bring this and other remote spirits to the United States.

Scott Crist is its founder.

“We’re all about discovery,” he said. “I got to live in Mexico, Japan, France and I just drank what the locals drank. I would bring bottles back to my friends and they would ask me to bring more of it.  So I made a company to introduce people to these drinks.”

With a background in corporate marketing, Crist realized he might have something special.  He started Mesh & Bone with the bare essentials. He stocked a backpack full of his newly imported spirits and rendered his best pitch, hit the streets of Chicago and knocked on the door of every grocery and beverage store in Chicago. 

Crist on set at a Japanese documentary on shochu

The reception was overwhelming positive, it connected with store providers. Providing feedback that Mesh & Bone to be “authentic and new,” seemingly to be a good fit in the Chicago area.

“I wanted to help Americans and people here in Chicago to discover something new.” I put my life savings in this and it was a big risk going against big spirits brands. I knew no one else would do it, as it’s very risky to bring in unknown products from Sir Lanka,” said Crist.

Crist at the sotol harvest in Sri Lanka

Featured in the segment:

Cidre pomme & poire from Frane
“It’s really fancy for apple and pear cider. “A third of France, especially in the North of Fance drink cider. It drinks more like a champagne,” he said.

Pamplemousse from France
“This is a pink grapefruit and apple blend, I have it with pizza, hot dogs anything,” Crist said. 

Arakku from Sir Lanka
The national drink of Sir Lanka.  “It’ snot a whiskey, not a rum, it’s somewhere in between,” he said.

Sotol from Mexico
From Northern Mexico, from the sotol plant. “It’s not tequila, it’s not mezcal, it’s a cousin of the agave plant.  “What makes it really interesting is that it takes 15 years to mature and it’s a very delicate plant and hard to find,” said Crist. 

Shochu from Japan
“It’s the #1 drink in Japan, this is made from barley and it drinks more like a vodka. What the Japanese love about it is that insanely smooth and it goes so well with their food,” he said.

To find more information about the items, visit meshandbone.com.

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