Category Archives: Lisa Pietsch

Diva Tequila Truffles Recipe

Tequila Test Kitchen

diva tequila truffles, recipeAfter judging some stupendous Suerte Tequila Truffles by Piece, Love & Chocolate for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards, I decided to take truffles to the Tequila Test Kitchen.  Since the folks at Diva Tequila were kind enough to provide us with a sample for experimenting, I decided to create Diva Tequila Truffles.  Here’s how it went:

Diva Tequila Truffle Ingredients

diva1/4 Cup Butter (Don’t skimp on this, folks.  It must be real butter.)

1 Mandarin Orange

2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

3 Tablespoons Diva Tequila

8 Ounces White Chocolate

8 Ounces Milk Chocolate (Dark Chocolate is highly recommended)

Some Assembly Required

Place the butter in a small pot and cook on high to melt.

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While the butter is melting, zest the skin of the mandarin orange into the pot with the butter.  Then slice the orange and squeeze the juice into the pot as well.

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Place your white chocolate in a bowl, preferably ceramic to hold the temperature, and microwave for about 30 seconds to start the softening.

Once the butter has melted and the contents of the pot are bubbling, add the heavy cream and scald.

2014-11-29 16.33.38Pour the hot contents of the pot over the chocolate in the ceramic bowl.  Allow this to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften the chocolate then whisk the contents so the chocolate is completely melted and all the contents are mixed thoroughly.

Add Diva Tequila to the contents of the bowl and whisk again.2014-11-29 16.41.12



Set the bowl in the refrigerator to begin the setting process.  Every 15 minutes, whisk the contents together again as they may separate as they cool.  After about an hour of cooling, this should have the consistency of fudge.  This is the truffle filling.

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Remove the filling from the refrigerator and prepare to work quickly.  Scooping one tablespoon of filling at a time, roll it into a ball and place it on a freezer-safe plate.  Do this with all the filling.  When you’ve finished, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid (about an hour).


When the filling is frozen,  place your 8 ounces of milk or dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring well each time, until it is melted.  Be sure not to microwave it too long as it will burn.

2014-11-29 19.09.10Remove the balls of filling from the freezer and, using two forks, roll each ball through the melted chocolate to cover it completely.  (This can get messy if you don’t work quickly.)  Let the excess chocolate drip off and then place on a freezer-safe plastic plate or a plate covered with wax paper.

Before the chocolate shell has set, you may choose to garnish with a sprinkle of colored salt, a twist of orange, a dusting of cocoa or confectioner’s sugar.  Once the chocolate shell has set, you might also garnish with a bit of melted white chocolate, piped through a pastry bag.

diva tequila trufflesWhen all the truffles have been coated, place the plate in the freezer again for about 10 minutes or just until the chocolate coating has set completely.

Remove your truffles from the freezer and store at room temperature in an airtight container.  Serve/eat within a few days for best flavor.





Cranberry & Orange Diva Tequila Scones Recipe

Cranberry & Orange Diva Tequila Scones

I’ve found Diva Tequila to be particularly versatile in drinking, pairing, and cooking.  I’ve wanted to create a tequila scone recipe for some time now and am happy to announce that I’ve finally got a keeper!  These scones may be a little darker than yours might turn out as I use a 50/50 mix of white and whole wheat flour.  Happily, I discovered that the whole wheat didn’t bring this recipe down a bit!  The Diva Tequila scones were light, fluffy and delicious!

Give the recipe a try and see for yourself!


scones, diva tequila, cranberry, orange, recipeIngredients:

3 Cups Flour

2 Tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Cup Splenda

½ Cup Butter

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (we used Coconut)

1 Cup Craisins

¼ Cup Diva Tequila

1.5 Cups Milk (Half & Half or light cream for a really rich scone)

Zest of 1 Orange

1 Cup Flour for kneading

1 Beaten Egg to glaze

Soak Craisins in ¼ Cup Diva Tequila Overnight, mixing often to be sure they’re all covered.


To Prepare:

scones, diva tequila, cranberry, orange, recipeMix Flour, Baking Powder, Salt & Splenda thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.

Add Craisins and Orange Zest, then mix until all are covered with flour mixture.

Add Vegetable Oil and Milk.  Stir until mixed but don’t over mix.

Sprinkle countertop with flour and roll dough (it should be very sticky) onto the floured surface.

Fold over/knead for about a minute and pat down (no need to roll it) to about one ince of thickness.

Cut with a biscuit/cookie cutter and place on greased baking sheet.

Brush tops with egg wash before baking.

Bake at 400 for 25 Minutes

If you haven’t seen the Diva Margarita Cupcakes yet, check them out here! 


Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen recipes are made with tequilas provided by the brand for review in Sipping Off The Cuff and/or use in the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.  The cost of all other ingredients, presentation pieces, kitchen facilities, and utilities  are provided solely by Tequila Aficionado.  To have your tequila, mezcal or sotol brand or other products considered for use in the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen, email

diva tequila, del bravo, test kitchen, tequila aficionado, recipe, orange, cranberry tequila, scone


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Sauza Rescues Women by Dumbing Down and Giving Them Lousy Tequila

sauza tequilaOriginally posted on April 20, 2013 at

I am offended, and with good reason.

All week, Beam Global has been talking down to me as though I’m 18 and haven’t a brain in my pretty little head.  Well, I’ve had it!

“We’ve taken America’s #1 cocktail and made it even more refreshing by adding a bit of effervescence to it. It’s fresh, bubbly, and ready-to-serve – perfect for any ladies’ evening with friends.”

Personally, I haven’t had a drink with a bubble in it since the year 2000 and there isn’t anything about Sauza Tequila that is going to make me start.

“Sauza® Tequila Rescues Women With Its New “Make It” Campaign

sauza tequila firemanThe successful marketing program broke new ground in 2012 by speaking to women the way they want to be spoken to while delivering a visual delight – a Fireman, an adorable kitten and a great-tasting recipe for margaritas.”

The way I want to be spoken to?  Really?  This statement smacks of “Women can’t pay attention unless you show them a muscular man and a baby animal of some sort.  Then you’ll have their attention long enough to introduce your product.

Hey, I like biceps and puppies as well as the next person, but I’m quite capable of speaking on an adult level for more than 60 seconds even without my ADD medication.

sauza tequilaThis is not the way I want to be spoken to.  I outgrew the wine cooler when I was 18.  It seems to me that Beam Brands is marketing their products to 18-21 year old straight female and gay male drinkers of the U.S. who are buying their booze at mom and pop package stores that don’t check identification.

A worthy market indeed.

What adds insult to injury here is both of the above quotes are attributed to a woman, Vanessa Jenkins, Senior Marketing Director of Tequilas at Beam Inc.  Perhaps she’s biased as she spent the early part of her marketing career pushing products like Saccarin and Aspartame for Merisant (originally sprouted from the Monsanto company)?hornitos, lime shot

Honestly, I’m surprised that Beam Global and Ms. Jenkins believe the average female consumer is incapable of appreciating a finely crafted tequila without added bubbles and sugar.  But then again, nobody ever accused Sauza of being a finely crafted tequila.  I don’t believe I’m overstepping when I say not all women want to be spoken to like they’re idiots.

Don’t even get me started on Hornito’s Lime Shot…another Beam Global product that needs to be as cold as ice to be palatable.

Perhaps Sauza should consider making a better tequila instead of covering up the flavors of the ones they do make?

I’ll leave you with this last quote:

 “Sauza is what the parents of other tequila brands use as a boogeyman to scare their children into being tasty.” ~



mixto tequila


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Cuervo Cinge (Cringe) Review

jose cuervo cringeI received a sample bottle of Cuervo Cinge just before the holidays.  The Cuervo marketing minions were hot to trot on this one and they wanted everyone’s reviews out before the holiday buying binge began.

I gave the bottle a day to rest from its travels and then tasted some.  I wasn’t expecting something that would knock my socks off.  After all, Cuervo Cinge begins with a mixto.  So I wasn’t expecting anything in the class of Peligroso Cinnamon or any of the other 100% agave flavored or infused spirits.  I thought it might still have something worth writing about considering all the money Jose Cuervo was reputed to have spent on marketing this little cinnamon roll – TEN MILLION DOLLARS.

According to Shanken News Daily: “The launch of Cinge will be supported with a $10 million media spend, which will initially launch via social media platforms, followed by a national campaign, as well as on- and off-premise promotions.”

cuervo cingeCuervo Cringe

Hopeful but without great expectations, I took a sip.


That’s how I felt.  Violated and dirty.

So I set the bottle aside hoping maybe it would improve in time.

Then I took a shower and washed my mouth out with soap.

The next day, the marketing minions were asking me when, when, when the review would be out.

Finally, with great sadness, I had to inform the poor minion that he did NOT want me to release my review on Tequila Aficionado before people did their holiday shopping.  He appreciated my honesty and thanked me for not posting the review.

cuervo cingeObviously, it has taken me a while to write this review.  I’ve put it off long enough and now is the moment of reckoning.  I’m tasting it again, in hopes that some mighty magic has changed it completely as it sat in the bottle these many weeks.

I’ve given it every opportunity to shine.  I aerated it with a Vinturi Spirit Aerator into a Reidel tequila glass and took a thoughtful sip.

I’m afraid I have no good news for you.  It tastes like somebody crushed a box of Red Hots into a bottle of cinnamon mouthwash and added a bottle of corn syrup.  This is not tequila, my friends.  Cuervo Cinge is a way of violating America’s youth en mass.

I found myself rushing through the kitchen, wondering “What, what, what can scour my palate so I don’t have to continue tasting this heavy, syrupy, sickly-sweet, sludge?”  There was nothing.

Yesterday a review was posted on the Popsugar website and I could hold my tongue no longer.

Brave shot takers surprised themselves by how sweet, smooth, and sippable the cinnamon-y Cinge tastes — even at room temperature and without any chaser! Many considered it better tasting than Fireball Whisky, and even non-tequila-drinkers happily knocked back a shot, even two. 

I have a very simple response to this review:


Fireball Whiskey?  Who drinks that?  How old are these reviewers?  I’m sure 16-year-olds think it’s rockin’, but is that the intended target market?

Drink Spirits says:

I say: Bless you, Geoff Kleinman, for writing this professional review rather than being distracted, like I was, with how to remove the awful taste from my person!

In parting, right before I go wash my mouth out with soap and take a scalding hot shower a la The Crying Game, I feel it is my responsibility to tell you this:

Do not buy this product.  Do not let your friends buy this product.  Don’t even look at this product.  Just run away!


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Holiday Recipe: Maple Liqueur Tequila Pumpkin Pie


de la tierre maple cinnamon liqueur


de la tierre maple cinnamon liqueurWhen I tried De La Tierre Maple Liqueur Tequila, I was impressed with the natural maple flavor that took me back to my childhood and tapping maple trees in Maine.  (Click on the QR code to the right to read my review.)

Ever since then, I’ve been anxious to try cooking some favorite desserts with it, like Pumpkin Pie and Crepes Suzette.  I recently tried the Pumpkin Pie and it was amazing.  In case you’re looking for a good gluten-free, sugar-free recipe for Thanksgiving or just a tasty winter treat, give this one a try.  You won’t be disappointed!

De La Tierre Maple Liqueur Tequila Pumpkin Pie

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Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:
1 Cup nonfat dry milk powder

1.5 cups Splenda

2 teaspoons Saigon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Ginger

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/4 Cup De La Tierre Maple Cinnamon Liqueur

2 Cups water

4 Eggs

1 (28 ounce) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
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Spray an 11″x7″ glass baking dish with non-stick spray.

Pour mixture into baking dish.

Bake 15 min at 425 and then 50 min longer at 350.
Cool to room temperature, then cover and place in refrigerator to set overnight.

Serving suggestion: We cut it into squares and served it with Vanilla Cool Whip and a glass of De La Tierre Maple Liqueur Tequila on the side.

Bon appetit!


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