Tragedy Strikes Arta Tequila on National Tequila Day!

The luckiest day of the year, some would say, but not so for Tequila Aficionado.

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On July 24th, the FedEx man delivered a box of doom to our door. Let’s start at the beginning… Arta Tequila will soon be launching a Limited Reserve, Triple barreled, Extra Anejo:

“Meticulously aged for five years (three years in American white oak, then split between French Cognac and Spanish Sherry barrels for another two years, and ultimately reunited) this limited reserve vintage (only four batches, 1,000 Bottles produced) has pushed tequila distillation and aging to an art form.”

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The combination of chemistry and art involved in aging a great extra anejo sometimes verges on the magical.  When Arta so kindly approached us with the prospect of a sample, you can guess our mouths were watering in anticipation. As if on cue, the package arrived on National Tequila Day.

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That’s when tragedy struck. Mike Morales did the honors of opening the FedEx box.  Inside was a lovely light wooden crate. Little did we know it was a Pandora’s Box of heartbreak. Following is my letter of thanks to the wonderful people at Ground Floor Media who handle the promotion of Arta Tequila:

Thank you so much for sending the beautiful gift box with charred barrel coaster, etched glass snifter, branded metal flask, extra dark chocolate, and what smells and feels like a superb cigar.  The thought given to pairing this Arta Extra Anejo properly, the generosity of the gifts included, and the workmanship in creating a lovely gift crate have not gone unnoticed. 

But I am near tears at the tragedy that lies before me:  Broken glass, chocolate that has been melted and matted with straw, and a flask that raises too many questions about the indignities that may have befallen the painstakingly crafted spirit within. 

The heartbreaker here is the fact that we can’t possibly review what must certainly be a delightful spirit.  The liquid inside the flask has been heated and cooled innumerable times on its journey from office to aircraft, to warehouse, to truck and on and on.  We have no way of knowing whether the flask was cleaned prior to filling or even who filled it where. 

We can only assume that the spirit’s flavor has been compromised in such packaging and couldn’t, without compromising our own integrity and the reputation of the Arta brand, consider reviewing it. 

Thank you so much for all your efforts.  We’re so sorry we can’t provide a review for what reads like an amazing product.

We understand the expense involved in providing the gifts and accessories you have, so please know that we do this for the love of the agave spirit, not for the schwag. 

If you are ever disposed to send us sealed glass samples of this product, please don’t hesitate to do so.  We at Tequila Aficionado would love to taste what your master distiller has so lovingly created. 

Very Sincerely Yours, 

Lisa Pietsch,

C.O.O. Tequila Aficionado Media

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Allow me to explain, dear readers, the depth of the tragedy here:

Mike and I always pair tequilas with foods, cigars, and chocolates.

If you’ve seen any of our Tequila Test Kitchen articles, you understand that I love mixing tequilas into recipes to use for special pairings.  I have collections of pinboards on Pinterest that include hundreds of recipes I’m dying to tweak with just the right tequila.

Mike loves a good cigar and I enjoy shopping for them.  The feel of a good roll, the scent of lovingly grown tobaccos, mixed and rolled by experienced artisans are all delights for me.

And fine chocolates, the darker the better, are truly gifts from the gods.

For Arta to include a cigar and dark chocolate with their sample of Extra Anejo was sheer genius.

Did I mention we have an ever growing collection of well-used and much-loved snifters?

Arta thought of nearly everything in this amazing presentation, even including a coaster made of the barrel itself!

I did say “nearly”.

The flask.  The beautiful, and likely costly, flask.  The metal flask.  *Oh, the humanity!*

 

Ground Floor Media was quick to reply:

Lisa ~

We so appreciate your kind and gracious note below, and we feel terrible that the chocolate melted and the glass broke.

Talk about a perfect storm! 

In our excitement to provide you with an advance taste of our Extra Anejo, we neglected to explain the flask. The Arta Extra Anejo in the flask is from the company’s president’s and vice president’s private reserve, and they hand-filled them into the cleaned flasks. Unfortunately, we won’t have sealed product available until mid-September, which is why we provided this sample to you in the flask.

We have you at the top of our list to receive a sealed glass sample of Extra Anejo as soon as it’s available, and we hope that you will still consider Extra Anejo for review at that time. 

Best wishes,

Ramonna

 

Of course we’re going to taste the nectar they included in the flask, but we can’t know how the heat and metal storage might have changed it until a bottle arrives for comparison. We’ll be sending little prayers on puffs of cigar smoke to Mayahuel in hopes that this estate-grown, pesticide-free, uniquely aged extra anejo tastes every bit as delightful as the tasting notes say:

Aromas of toasted seeds, roasted cocoa, coffee and almonds with wild acorns, intense vanilla and oak developing into jasmine and intense cinnamon greet a taster’s first sip in the glass.  The sweet, silky, rich Arta ultra–‐aged taste confirms roasted seeds with its very long mouth finish.

We’ll keep you posted…

National Tequila Day is Every Day

ray liotta, tequila, tequila aficionado

It’s Margarita Madness!

Margarita madness begins today!

margarita madness

margarita madnessIn an effort to remain unbiased during National Tequila Week (here at Tequila Aficionado, every day is Tequila Day, but our nation only gives it a single holiday), Tequila Aficionado is featuring all margaritas until we run out of mixers!  It’s Margarita Madness!

It’s our quinceanera and we’ll mix if we want to.

For recommendations on what Mike and Alex believe are the best tequilas for both sipping and mixing, take a look at our YouTube playlists for the Brands of Promise nominees of 2013 and 2014. All of the nominees are excellent products. Do yourself a favor and try them all!

Of course we recommend sipping, but if you must mix, we have some great margarita mixes coming up for you.

Stay tuned for our first review – and feel free to mix a few of these while you wait!

 

Follow Tequila Aficionado’s board Margaritas on Pinterest.

 

 

margarita madness

 

La Palapa Cocina Mexicana Celebrates National Tequila Day!

la palapaLa Palapa Recipes You Can Create at Home

What is more appropriate to enjoy on National Tequila Day than an authentic Mexican culinary experience you can accomplish at home with the direction of Barbara Sibley, chef-owner of New York City’s La Palapa Cocina Mexicana.  She graciously provided us with three exceptional and easy to replicate recipes that either call for tequila, or another flavor equally indigenous to Mexico, hibiscus.  Viva La Palapa!

  • Flor Chelada and “the sweet spot” (art of sipping Chelada)
  • Pepito – tequila/lime marinated skirt steak sandwich
  • La Dona – tequila-hibiscus-citrus cocktail, perfect for summer sipping

 

Flor Chelada

la palapa, flor cheladaYou will need Wild Hibiscus Flower and Syrup, hibiscus flower salt, lime juice and your favorite beer (preferably Mexican!).  

Dip the rim of your glass into wild hibiscus syrup and then into hibiscus flower salt.

la palapa, flor cheladaFill 3/4 glass with ice.

Add 3/4 oz of Wild Hibiscus syrup and the juice of ½ lime (1 tablespoon) to bottom of glass.

Carefully top with your favorite beer.

La Palapa recommends Pacifico or any Mexican lager.

Garnish with edible Wild Hibiscus Flower.

 

Watch Barbara Sibley of La Palapa create the Flor Chelada:


 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibleyBarbara Sibley explains The Chelada “Sweet Spot”

Layered Mexican beer cocktails such as Cheladas and Micheladas, are served in a tall glass rimmed with flavored salt and filled with ice. Delicious flavorings are then added.   For the Flor Chelada we use hibiscus syrup and fresh lime juice. To complete your chelada, slowly top with beer.  The sweet spot is where the syrup, juice and beer meet. To get the best mixture of ingredients, sip the beer through a straw, dipping lower or higher for a stronger or lighter flavor. Typically there’s enough flavoring to accommodate an entire 12-oz beer, so top off your chelada as needed and enjoy with that hibiscus-lime ‘sweet spot’ lingering at the bottom. Delicioso!

 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito The Pepito

is a traditional Mexican torta sandwich of grilled skirt steak that’s been marinated in a tequila and lime mixture and layered with fresh avocado, lettuce, tomato, plus pickled jalapeño and smoky chipotle crème. Here is a marinade for 3 pounds of steak.

 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipeMarinade:

Combine 1 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup tequila, the juice of 2 limes, and 1 tablespoon each of sugar and salt.

Marinate for no more than half an hour, or the tequila will make the steak too soft.

(If you prefer chicken, check out this marinade recipe using Hornito’s Lime Shot.)

Serve with Flor Chelada or La Dona cocktail.

 

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2 oz of tequila (La Palapa uses Espolon Blanco)

3/4 oz triple sec (Combier or Cointreau)

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

Splash of agave nectar

Splash of orange juice

1 oz Wild Hibiscus Syrup

 

Put all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker.

Shake vigorously and pour strained into a glass that’s rimmed with hibiscus chile piquin salt.

Garnish with a twist of lime and wild hibiscus flower.

 

Editor’s note:

Wild Hibiscus Flower Company just launched an exclusive line of all-natural, concentrated floral extracts and syrups:

  • b’Lure (ba-lure), made from the sensual blue butterfly pea flower, offering delicate sweetness and magical color-changing properties
  • Rose + Hibiscus, a fragrant blend of highly prized Bulgarian rose oil and fresh hibiscus juice
  • Hibiscus Flower, fresh hibiscus juice infused with premium dried hibiscus flowers for intensely brilliant red color and deep berry flavor

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National Tequila Day Giveaway!

– Win a complete set of Wild Hibiscus products – Original, Rose, Heart-Tee, Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes and NEW Floral Extracts, along with a signed copy of Chef Barbara Sibley’s beautifully photographed cookbook, Antojitos, Festive & Flavorful Mexican Small Plates, a collection of her restaurant La Palapa’s best-loved recipes. (Continental USA – excluding Alaska – Only).  $65 value.

Visit the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company’s Facebook page on National Tequila Day (July 24) for details!

Visit the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company’s Website today for more great recipes!

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Sipping Off The Cuff: Diva Tequila

diva, diva tequila, diva del bravoDiva Del Bravo Tequila is a citrus infused blanco tequila with distinctive packaging.  M.A. “Mike” Morales and Alexander Perez taste and discuss this infusion and explain why they feel it merits a nomination to the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards.

Follow Diva on TwitterFacebook

 

Read more about Diva Tequila in the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.

Look for Sipping Diva with Saranna DeWylde coming soon.

Read Steve Coomes’ reviews of Del Bravo’s Penasco Tequila Varietals:

BlancoReposadoAnejo 

 

 

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