In late April of last year, hundreds of people filling a historic building not far from the River Clyde were in high spirits as they raised their clay cups to toast the launch of Scotland’s first tequila and mezcal festival.

Copita, which returns to the Briggait in Glasgow on Saturday, April 27, is the brainchild of co-founders Joanna Nethery, Colin Campbell, Calum Cunneen and Adam Murphy, a team of industry professionals who now say they are ‘committed to making round two even better’.

Nethery told the Herald: “It’s such a fun day.

“It’s an immersive experience where you come into this sort of three-hour ‘bubble’ that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the city and the chance to explore tequila or mezcal, share a cocktail with your friends and meet some great people.

“Almost everybody last year came in dressed normally and left wearing boots or fringed jackets, with a bottle of spirit to take away with them.”

The Herald: Pictured: Co-founders Colin Campbell and Joanna Nethery at last year's eventPictured: Co-founders Colin Campbell and Joanna Nethery at last year's event (Image: Supplied)

The chance to invest in occasion wear from the Cow People of the Barras Market undoubtedly played its part in enhancing the visitor experience, but there’s no mistaking the “deep-rooted love for all things mezcal and tequila” which inspired the festival's first edition.

Nethery, the owner of Five March, previously spent years living in Mexico where she came to appreciate the vast heritage and cultural importance of the agave-based spirit.

Sylvan owner Campbell, on the other hand, has ample experience in curating drinks festivals which allows him a unique perspective on the similarities shared by two very different countries.

He said: “There’s a story to tell with mezcal and tequila which is very similar to that of whisky in Scotland.

“It’s rooted in our cultures and intrinsic to each nation's character.

“Specifically in the way mezcal is made, in small batches and artisanally by people who have passed the craft down through generations.

“There are a lot of new distilleries in Scotland which is refreshing to see, and I feel like whisky, tequila and mezcal represent that process of handmade spirits.”

The Herald: Pictured: Co-founder Adam Murphy gets in on the actionPictured: Co-founder Adam Murphy gets in on the action (Image: Supplied)

Closer to home, as well-established figures in Glasgow’s hospitality scene, Nethery and Campbell speak of a long-standing ‘if-you-know-you-know’ type buzz surrounding the irresistibly sippable tipple.

“Mezcal especially, when you’re talking about its range of flavours, is such an interesting spirit to have in a cocktail or drink neat,” Nethery explained.

“We both opened bars when we were quite young and when you have that kind of background you come to realise it’s very much a bartender's spirit.

“You can almost tell that someone works at a bar because they’ll order a Mezcal cocktail.

“People in the spirits industry have been geeking out on it for quite a long time.”

For those who are less familiar with mezcal or tequila, there’s no need to worry.

Included in the £35 ticket price for the festival is the opportunity to responsibly sample up to 80 different agave-based spirits during a three-and-a-half-hour session, with brand ambassadors who are happy to fill you in on the basics of each bottle as they top up your souvenir Copita.

Showing off the incredible versatility of tequila and mezcal, some of the city’s best mixologists have been recruited to run the bar, serving bespoke cocktails that are best enjoyed when paired with a serving of tacos from Glasgow’s own Rafas.

There will also be the opportunity to purchase tickets for in-depth masterclasses hosted by industry experts with a full programme to be released in the weeks leading up to the event.

Asked why they decided to launch the first festival of its kind in Glasgow, Campbell replied: “Glasgow deserves events like these.

“People here love to go out whether that’s just for a drink or to something like the Comedy Festival, Celtic Connections or the Glasgow Film Festival.

“When you compare the city to Edinburgh, which has one big month in focus each year, there’s always something going on in Glasgow.”

“We want to help fill up that calendar,” Nethery concurred.

The Herald: Pictured: This year's Copita Festival will be 'better than ever'Pictured: This year's Copita Festival will be 'better than ever' (Image: Supplied)

While confident they will be able to recreate the electric atmosphere of the inaugural event in just a few weeks’ time, this year’s festival will look slightly different for Nethery, who will by then be eight months pregnant.

There are no signs of slowing down once the day is done, however, as the team looks to host their first Copita Festival outside of Scotland in Manchester, with whispers of yet another drinks event planned for Glasgow this summer.

She continued: “It’s not been an easy time for bars or restaurants and with a kid on the way we have questioned whether we should sell up or look for jobs elsewhere.

“But we’re Glaswegian. We’re wee scrappers who will work to prove our point and show that we can make something like this happen while making sure everyone is well-paid and looked after.

“That in itself links back to so many mezcal producers who have turned down huge international deals to mass market their spirits.

“It would have made them incredibly wealthy, but they’ve said no because if they can’t do it themselves, they’re just not interested.

“It’s incredible to be able to put on an event like this in the city, and this year we’re really going for it.”

Tickets for the Copita Festival at the Briggait  in Glasgow on Saturday, April 27 are priced at £35 and available to purchase online here.