Dezeen Magazine

Pedro & Juana's pestle and mortar for Maestro Dobel references the birthplace of tequila

Mexican architecture studio Pedro & Juana explains how its bar tool for Maestro Dobel is influenced by Mexico's culinary culture and geographies, in this talk produced by Dezeen for the tequila brand.

Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo and Mecky Reuss, the founders of the Mexico City-based architecture practice, spoke to Dezeen's editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs about their design for a pestle and mortar used for the making and serving of tequila-based cocktails.

Called Tejolote, the sculptural object is made up of a pestle and a volcanic rock mortar, which together are used to juice, grind and crush ingredients for cocktails.

Tejolote by Pedro & Juana for Maestro Dobel
Mexican architecture studio Pedro & Juana has designed a new limited edition bar tool for tequila brand Maestro Dobel

The architects designed the object as a nod to Mexican culinary traditions and the geography of the Mexican state of Jalisco, where tequila originates from.

"There's a history to kind of all these objects that interests us," the architects explained in the video.

"What drives our work is the history and materiality of objects," Galindo said.

"We like to fold stories into our work, the history of the object, the history of the material or even the context that all of these things take place on."

Tejolote by Pedro & Juana for Maestro Dobel
Called Tejolote, the tool is a pestle and mortar used to grind spices and juice lemons for the preparation of tequila-based cocktails

Made out of volcanic rock from Jalisco, the tiered mortar references the circular pyramids found in Los Guachimontones, a pre-historic archeological site also in Jalisco.

"The inspiration for this object came from these very early pre-Aztec pyramids," Reuss said.

"It was something that inspired us to think of how we could use that form," Galindo added.

To shape the material, the architects worked with the late Mexican stonemason Juan Fraga, who also collaborated with Frida Escobedo for her collection of tequila drinking vessels for Maestro Dobel.

The mortar was influenced by a tool used in Mexican cuisine known as the Molcajete, a stone vessel used to grind ingredients as well as functioning as a serving plate.

"The roughness of the volcanic rock is very conducive to squeezing out chiles, tomatillos and tomatoes, and actually also serves as a serving container," Reuss explained.

"The alchemy of the mixing ingredients and kind of fusing them in the analogue of the distillation of tequila interested us."

Tejolote by Pedro & Juana for Maestro Dobel
The tool's shape was influenced by Mexican culinary traditions

The pestle, known in Mexican cuisine as the Tejolote, is influenced by a traditional wooden whisk used to whip chocolate called the Molinillo.

Made from local walnut wood, one end of the tool acts as a citrus reamer for juicing limes, while its handle is topped with volcanic rock for grinding spices like a traditional pestle.

Tejolote by Pedro & Juana for Maestro Dobel
The object is made from volcanic rock from Jalisco in Mexico and local walnut wood

An important consideration for the architects was the significance of tequila in Mexican culture and cuisine.

"Tequila is a social actor, a binder, the interaction between people and a good time that lasts a long time," Reuss said.

Pedro & Juana
Mecky Reuss and Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo are the founders of Mexican architecture studio Pedro & Juana

Pedro & Juana is an architecture studio based in Mexico City.

In 2019, the duo won the MoMA and MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program and installed a temporary scaffolding pavilion that hosted the museum's summer music series.

Available for purchase at Harvey Nichols, the limited-edition object is the second iteration of Maestro Dobel's Celebrating Brilliance series, where the brand collaborates with architects, artists or designers on objects to elevate the drinking experience.

The first featured a collection of drinking vessels made from obsidian stone designed by architect Frida Escobedo.

Partnership content

This talk was produced by Dezeen for Maestro Dobel as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen's partnership content here.