Hi, I’m Kami. Born in Idaho, raised in Washington, became a grown-up in Portland, Oregon. For 13 years I was a bartender in some of Portland’s most exciting bars and restaurants. A very cool job that put me through school while getting my degree in Spanish, it also allowed me to explore my creative tendencies in the form of cocktails and have a ton of fun.
Over the course of my many travels to Mexico, I grew particularly fond of Tequila and mezcal. For me, agave spirits function as ambassadors even more than any other spirit category. A pour of Tequila or mezcal has always transported me back to Mexico – a country incredibly rich in culture, in food ways, in arts, and mind-bogglingly beautiful in its geography.
I met Clayton Szczech in Portland around 2012, and was impressed by his extensive knowledge of agave spirits and the industry itself. I quickly became a loyal client of his, attending any tastings or pairings he hosted in Portland. Lucky for me, four years later he invited me on board with Experience Tequila to lead tours.
In 2014, I won a local bar tending competition that radically changed my life path. My prize was a trip to Peru to learn about pisco, Peru’s traditional spirit. Being bilingual and having a strong affinity for Latin America, I decided I would sell everything I owned and move to South America. I now live between Cusco, Peru and Oaxaca, Mexico.
Currently, I am a distiller at Destilería Andina, a small facility high up in the Andes. I am also an owning partner of Pisco Piscología. I distill unique, high-altitude spirits including rhum (produced directly from sugar cane juice), and Peru’s first-ever whisky from the local Jora corn. I am also a master blender of an artesenal Matacuy (a traditional Andean digestif).
When I am not working on these projects in Peru, you can find me in Mexico leading tours of the Tequila Valley and of the Jalisco Highlands with Experience Tequila. With many years of service in hospitality combined with familiarity with Mexico and its language, I have your best interest at heart! Book a tour today and immerse yourself in the magical land of Tequila, Jalisco!