Falling Under the Spell of Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine Tequila

On a frigid and damp Saturday night in November 2013, Roger Clyne, along with his band The Peacemakers, invited Tequila Aficionado Media to an intimate concert and tequila tasting at Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels, TX, to talk music, heritage, and his tequila, Mexican Moonshine.

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Hey, gringos, it could be worse…we did not get there first

Colt_Peacemaker

The Colt Single Action Army, also known as the Peacemaker, is considered a famous part of Americana.

“The Gun That Won the West” was wielded by such action-oriented historical legends of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as Buffalo Bill Cody, Theodore Roosevelt, Judge Roy Bean, Pat Garrett and General George Patton.  It has also been the selected sidearm of Hollywood movies, preferred by everyone from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood in every single Dirty Harry film.  And in 2011, it was declared the official firearm of the state of Arizona.

Arizona is also home to another piece of Americana–a guts and guitar driven, reggae and mariachi laced, roots based rock-n-roll band leyenda known as Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers.  Armed with expressive lyrics, evocative melodies and four part harmonies, these straight shooters have come to redefine the indie music landscape by being the first band to debut six consecutive albums in the Top Ten of Billboard Magazine’s Internet Sales chart.

Along the way, Clyne has gathered a burgeoning cult following that rivals that of Sammy Hagar and Jimmy Buffet–both themselves very successful tequila front men.

 

I fell under the spell when I stumbled over the line…

The full line-up of Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine.

Many aficionados roll their eyes when news of another celebrity endorsed tequila hits the liquor store shelves.  But Roger Clyne came upon his admiration for agave spirits early in life as part of his Southwestern ranching heritage, predating even his love for writing music and performing.

 

Roger was first introduced to scotch as a teenager by his grandfather who would pour him a dram to “put hair on your chest.”  The taste of “dirty socks in mud” was tough to swallow, but it was his father’s sharing of bacanora, another agave distillate, that opened him up to the wonders of Mexican spirits, and in particular, tequila.

Like most of us, Clyne cut his teeth by shooting cheap mixto tequila in college, then swearing off of it until the next opportunity to overindulge.  He was well into his studies (psychology and anthropology) at Arizona State University when he rediscovered that “bright, wonderful, elegant, lyrical taste” of tequila during an exchange program in Ensenada, Mexico, while following a troop of mariachis.

 

 

It’s surreal, sublime, manmade and divine…it’s the moonshine….

Lyrics on the shipping box of Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine.

Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine tequila was born in true outlaw fashion in 2004 during the famed Circus Mexicus music festival that takes place annually in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico (Rocky Point, for you ex-pats).

Check out the Circus Mexicus Lineup for 2014 here.

Circus Mexicus 2014.After that initial experience, Roger began scouting for factories to produce Mexican Moonshine, a journey that would even take him to the famed La Cofradía distillery (NOM 1137), the home of Casa Noble and Montejima tequilas.

He finally selected Fabrica de Tequilas Finos (NOM 1472) and forged a relationship with the distillery owner, Federico Cabo, and Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes.  Together, the team first “dropped” Mexican Moonshine reposado onto the market in 2010, even though Clyne was advised against such commercial suicide due to historically poor sales of this expression.

Soak in the silvery light spillin’ out tonight from the moonshine…

 

In this clip, Roger pours and discusses Mexican Moonshine silver…

 

We’ll get a fine flow flowin’, a good glow goin’…

 

Believing that a reposado is the more definitive expression of tequila, Clyne was surprised when Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes suggested that Mexican Moonshine be aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.  Here, Roger explains further.

 

 

I got a healin’ home-brewed remedy, a low-brow therapy…

 

Award winning Mexican Moonshine añejo.

 

 

A Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2014, Mexican Moonshine añejo  was released in 2013 and is fast becoming Roger Clyne’s favorite expression, much to his chagrin.  In the following snippet, Roger breaks down its flavor profile.

 

 

 

 

Turn your back on all the deadlines…

 

On April 29, 2014, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers unleashed their seventh studio album, The Independent.  The title fits these musical mavericks like an old pair of faded jeans worn as a statement against oppression on Casual Fridays.   Yet, as Clyne states, “There’s something about our music that celebrates what’s uniting versus what’s dividing.”

independent

Click on the image to pre-order The Independent now (Release April 29, 2014).

 

Using this “Tequila Logic,” Roger Clyne has managed to do the same with Mexican Moonshine, gently hitching the spirit’s Lowland agave heritage to the wood notes of Kentucky bourbon to create a peacemaker that rightfully belongs in any collector’s arsenal.

Mexican Moonshine, Mexican Moonshine…Let your heart and your cup overflow, under the glow of the moonshine!  May your heart and your cup… Overflow…under the glow of the Moonshine!

 

Watch for Part 2 of our visit with Roger Clyne coming soon!

 

 

 

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

Visit Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers online now

 

 

mex moonshine

Visit Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine online now

 

 

 

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Sipping Off The Cuff™ with Huizache Blanco

Huizache Blanco

Tequila Aficionado’s M.A. “Mike” Morales and Alexander Perez review and discuss Huizache Blanco tequila on this episode of Sipping Off The Cuff™.

“Huizache Silver is crystal clear, bold, and versatile. This perfectly balanced premium tequila has the delicate taste of sweet, cooked agave and smooth mineral overtones. It is exclusively produced with the finest Tequilana Weber blue variety, hand-picked and harvested only when they have reached their optimal maturity. It is a classic for enjoying on any occasion, either neat or mixed.”

 

 

tequila-huizache_html, tequila, tequila aficionado, huizache, blanco, sipping off the cuff

 

Find Huizache Online

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From Huizache Online:

“The source of all exceptional tequilas lies in the land. Our fields flank the Tequila Volcano, in the Valley of Amatitán, a region believed by many to be the birthplace of Mexico’s favourite beverage. The earth here is ideal for the growth of superior blue agaves.”

“The secret behind making fine tequila has been handed down to us generation after generation since 1870. We are proud to belong to one of most prestigious tequila lineages, the Romo de la Peña family, responsible for producing some of the most renowned brands in the world.”

“Huizache is an iconic shrub of the tequila landscape. It grows alongside the agave plants and is their lifelong companion. The prickly stalks contrast with their delicate yellow flowers, mirroring the complexity of the Mexican character.”

tequila, tequila aficionado, huizache, blanco, sipping off the cuff

 

 

 

Tequila Test Kitchen: Avion Espresso Cake

avion espresso, Avion Espresso Cake, tequila test kitchenTequila Test Kitchen

You may have heard about the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.  I’d like to share one of our projects with you today.

When Ken Austin was kind enough to send us a bottle of Avion’s brand new Avion Espresso, I fell so deeply in love with this rich nectar that combined my two favorite things, coffee and tequila, that I knew I had to cook with it.  Here’s how the Avion Espresso Cake panned out.

Making Avion Espresso Cake

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I have personal issues with sugar so I started with the Pillsbury Sugar-Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix.  You may want to use your favorite Devil’s Food Cake mix or mix yours from scratch.

I added the eggs, water and oil (I use extra light olive oil) according to the instructions on the box.  Then I took a left turn and added the awesome.  This wasn’t just going to be some chocolate cake with a tequila liqueur splashed on it.

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I was determined that this should be one of these most magnificent mocha desserts ever!

So based on that logic, I added 2 heaping tablespoons of Hershey’s Extra Dark Cocoa Powder.  I didn’t just want an everyday chocolate cake.  This had to be intense enough to stand up to espresso.

 

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I also wanted the cake to have some mocha punch to it, so I added 2 heaping tablespoons of instant coffee crystals.  Enough to let you know it was in there but not so much it would be overpowering.  Since this was going to be an adult dessert, I didn’t worry much about the level of sweetness in the cake.  There would be frosting to balance out the strong coffee and dark chocolate.

 

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I whisked everything together to form a smooth batter.  You may prefer to use an electric mixer.

Then I poured it all into a 9×11″ baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray and baked the now mocha cake (or “double-moo-cow-chunk-chunk” as Mike likes to call it) according to the directions on the box.  (Please don’t judge the oven.  We’re working on a budget here and it does the job.)

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When the cake had finished baking for the amount of time recommended on the box and tested done, we had a beautiful, dark mocha cake with a bit of a curve in the middle.  The center part was cut off for aesthetics (and to allow the testers to be sure the cake was good).

Avion-Espresso-bottle

 

 

 

It was important to do that while the cake was still hot because the next steps required the heat to complete.

I used a fork with long tines to poke holes through the whole cake from top to bottom.  I didn’t want to destroy the structural integrity of the cake so I kept the holes about 1/2 inch apart.

Then I carefully measured 1/4 cup of Avion Espresso and poured it (as evenly as possible) over the warm mocha cake.  I may have also had a nip or two while the bottle was uncorked.  I welcome you to try this method as you may find this makes cooking more enjoyable.

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After adding the Avion Espresso and while the cake was still hot out of the oven, I microwaved a jar of Pillsbury Sugar-Free Chocolate Frosting for 30 seconds (just enough to soften it) and then slathered half the jar over the still hot cake.  (What you do with the rest of the frosting is your business.  I don’t judge.)

 

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With the cake properly doused with Avion Espresso and the tequila goodness sealed in with a generous layer of melted chocolate frosting, it was time to take a break.  The cake went into the refrigerator (uncovered) for several hours in order for it to cool and allow the frosting to set into a dark ganache (like fudge).

 

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Four hours later, we pulled the cake out of the refrigerator and it had set beautifully.  We cut it into 12 pieces and served it up.

Notice the dark line near the bottom of the cake – that’s where the Avion Espresso Tequila Liqueur settled after filtering through from the top of the cake.  (We also found the corners to be rich with the liqueur.)

It was delicious!

We’ll share our thoughts during the actual tasting of this cake, as well as a comparison with a chocolate cake made commercially with Patron XO Cafe, in our Tequila Test Kitchen tasting session coming soon.

Check out our Recipes Page to stay up to date on what’s going on in the Tequila Test Kitchen.

The opinions expressed here are those of Lisa Pietsch and not necessarily those of Mike Morales, Alex Perez, or any other contributors at Tequila Aficionado Media.  Tequila Aficionado and its representatives never accept payment for Test Kitchen features.  If we like your juice, we’ll play with it.  If we make something great, we’ll share it, and we welcome you to share it as well.  The Avion Espresso used in this recipe was received as a free sample courtesy of Avion Tequila.  Thanks, Ken!

 

 

 

Welcome to the Tequila Test Kitchen!

Great recipes for tequila cocktails, cooking with tequila, and pairing with tequila are always welcome here at Tequila Aficionado.  We’ll share them with our readers in our articles and on our Pinterest boards.

Click on any of the images below to explore our Pinterest Recipe Boards:

margaritas, tequila test kitchen tequila drinks

Click on any of the images below to explore recipes we’re working on in the Tequila Test Kitchen:

Some tequilas are perfection when sipped, others need a cocktail to shine, still others long to become part of a delicious dish. Here at Tequila Aficionado, we love sipping, but when a tequila begs to be prepared in a recipe or paired with something special, we enjoy exploring those options too. As our Tequila Test Kitchen efforts grow, we’ll share our boards here for your enjoyment.
Whether you prefer to sip, mix a cocktail or pair perfectly with foods, we’ve got something for you.

While we love sipping tequila, we understand that every agave deserves a place at the table.  We hope you’ll enjoy these recipes and pairing suggestions as much as we’ve enjoyed developing them.

avion espresso, recipes, tequila test kitchen

de la tierre, recipes, tequila test kitchen

hornitos lime shot, recipes

peligroso cinnamon, recipes

 

dulce dorado, recipes

Want us to use YOUR tequila or liqueur?  We’ll create a Pinterest Board just for your product while we develop some great recipes for you and your customers to use and share.  Just send us your sample and we’ll start cooking!  Email Kitchen@TequilaAficionado.com to get started!

 

Watch our Recipes Page and Pinterest Boards for updates coming soon!

 

 

 

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Are You Watching the Mad Men Premiere Tonight?

don draper sips, mad men

Suit?

Check.

Sexy Secretary?

Check.

An Old Fashioned?

Check!

 

don draper sips, mad menThat might be Don Draper’s checklist for the final season of Mad Men… knowing the twists, turns and cliffhangers awaiting viewers; Hornitos hoped to offer our readers a taste of Draper’s favorite cocktail – this time with a twist of their own. A Black Barrel® Old Fashioned uses the NEW Hornitos® Black Barrel® – this inventive spirit starts as 100% blue agave tequila, which is aged three distinct times to impart flavorful whiskey notes!

HRLGO_10, hornitos, mad men

 

They suggest this recipe for a sexy twist on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail: Old Fashioned, hornitos, mad men, old fashioned

 

 

 

Black Barrel® Old Fashioned

  • 1 part simple syrup
  • 1 ½ parts Hornitos® Black Barrel® Tequila
  • 0.5 part amaro
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 2 dashes Orange bitters
  • Orange peel

Preparation:

  • Add simple syrup, Hornitos® Black Barrel® Tequila, amaro and bitters together and stir, adding in ice. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with an orange peel.

 

Old Fashioned, hornitos, mad men, old fashionedHornitos® Black Barrel® Tequila is redefining the traditional tequila experience.  Triple aged to create a unique Añejo tequila with whiskey characteristics, Hornitos® tequila is aged for 12 months in new toasted American Oak barrels.  Then, it is carefully placed into deep charred American Oak barrels for four months.  In the final aging process, the liquid is transferred to specially toasted American Oak barrels for two months to enhance the whiskey-like notes.

 

 

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