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Mexico on our Mind: What We're Reading and Sipping This Fall

We fell under Mexico’s spell at this year’s summit of the Design Leadership Network (DLN), hosted in Mexico City. At this annual gathering of architecture, interior, and landscape design innovators, we soaked up inspiration from the industry’s top design tastemakers while experiencing Mexico’s flavors, textures, and rich design heritage. Here, we reflect on the power of travel to influence perspective.

Jamaica Fresh Cocktail

Bulla Reforma's Jamaica Fresh

We enjoyed the tremendous Spanish influence of this vibrant tapas bar. Despite the name, Agua Jamaica is a popular style of Mexican iced tea which gets its ruby color from dried hibiscus flowers. “You see it everywhere," says our own Michelle Russell, Director of Business Development, “and it’s loaded with antioxidants." Mixed with vermouth and smoky mezcal, hibiscus gives this sophisticated cocktail its fruity tang.



Mezcal Union
Agua Jamaica
Vermouth Rosso
Rosemary Sprig
Simple Syrup


Mix equal parts of the first three ingredients with a splash of simple syrup and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a lime wedge. Serve on the rocks.

Agua Jamaica is easy to make. Steep dried hibiscus flowers in 3 cups of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Cool completely, then strain over ice and add sugar to taste.

Flat lay of books about Mexico with McKinnon and Harris performance fabric swatches


Travel by Design
More than 150 of America’s top architects share the inspiring power of travel in this sweeping global design survey curated by the Design Leadership Network. Along with more than 350 photographs from 60 countries—from Bhutan to Middleburg, Virginia—the book includes 40 pages featuring insider resources on where to stay, shop, dine, and visit.

The Mexican Home Kitchen
Her popular Mexico in My Kitchen website inspired Mely Martinez to gather 85 traditional home-style recipes in this wonderfully accessible cookbook. We gave a copy of the book to each of our guests at a pre-summit dinner we co-hosted with the DLN’s organizers.

Mexican: A Journey Through Design
Newell Turner is the former editorial director of ELLE Decor, House Beautiful, and Veranda, and editor-in-chief of House Beautiful. Now an American expat, Turner delivers an homage to his adopted country, tracing Mexico’s design heritage in a lush collection of photographs, many taken by the author himself. Vendome Press, 2023

Patios and Gardens of Mexico by Patricia W. O’Gorman
In her 1988 classic, Patricia W. O’Gorman documents significant garden spaces by Mexico’s legends, including architect Manuel Parra (“El Caco”). In black and white photographs, the book reveals the influences of Indian and Spanish design on Mexico’s iconic private gardens and outdoor living spaces.

Living in Mexico
A breathtaking look at Mexico’s most remarkable homes, from Costa Careyes to the Yucatán Peninsula. This photographic journey by Barbara and Rene Stoeltie joins Angelika Taschen’s series documenting global design. Taschen Books.

My Abuela’s Table
A richly illustrated journey into authentic Mexican cooking, this magical book weaves family stories and recipes over three generations. Author Daniella Gemain, an illustrator and graphic designer based in Melbourne, captures her Mexican grandmother’s authentic recipes, lovingly translated by her mother, and rendered in her own whimsical step-by-step illustrations.

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