2013 Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise, Best Packaging

2013 Brands of Promise for Best Packaging

The first annual Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise Awards are here! See the 2013 nominees and find out who the big winners were for their creative, classic and innovative packaging.

Thank you to all the brands who sent in their samples for reviews on Sipping Off The Cuff.

Look for Best in Show coming tomorrow!

Amor Mio

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GOLD 2013








Tequila Amor Mío was conceived from the idea of spreading this to the world, using two words and a product that consists of everything that Mexico brings about and is made of. The bottle is a blend of the art of glass blowing and pottery, two typical handcrafts recognized within the nation and worldwide, while its content is Mexico’s most popular drink: tequila, which, in turn, represents the country’s history. This is how Tequila Amor Mío was born.

And because of this Tequila Amor Mío is much more than history, art and tradition: it is a symbol of love for our country.

Our bottles are made and hand painted by skilled artisans.

Majolica Pottery was brought to Mexico by the Spanish in the sixteenth century. Since then, the mexican potters adapted it to their taste, creating a distinct style, both fresh and spontaneous. Its preparation technique, the ancient forms used, the type of decoration and, in general, the manual process itself, makes this the only craft ceramic that —once disappeared— has come to rescue with all the features that gave life to it centuries ago.

We recover our crafts and traditions.

Find Amor Mio online:




Blue Nectar


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A good tequila requires a connoisseur’s eye. A great tequila, an artist’s touch. Blue Nectar® Tequila began with a simple, driving passion to create small-batch artisan tequila products with flavors uniquely their own, yet universally renowned.

It starts with our Maestro Jimadors, who patiently walk the blue agave fields of Jalisco, Mexico, hand selecting each plant that will be cooked and pressed to release the tantalizing juices held within. It continues with our Maestro Tequilero who carefully oversees the crafting of our three 100% blue agave expressions. His efforts can be seen in each of the three distillations that ensure Blue Nectar Silver achieves clean, crisp perfection. His ingenuity can be tasted in the delicate blend of reposado and limited production extra añejo tequila that creates Blue Nectar Reposado. And his skill can be admired during the infusion of spices to a relaxed, bourbon-barrel-aged tequila to craft the rich, layered flavor of Blue Nectar Special Reserve.

This is respect for the ingredients and love of the craft. This is premium tequila honed by devout connoisseurs and interpreted by gifted artisans. This is tradition redefined.


Find Blue Nectar online:







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Find Cabeza online:






2013 Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise, Food

LimaRita Tequila Lime Sorbet

GOLD 2013, limarita

LimaRita Tequila Lime Sorbet is the only choice for a gold medal.  Nothing else compares!

We had never tasted anything like this.

The LimaRita Tequila Lime Sorbet was delicious, light but satisfying, and presented perfectly!  Read our original review of this delicious product here.


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Out in Nature, no two limes are ever alike. However, in a perfectly ripe one, the taste of the juice and tart pulp is something akin to biting into sunlight. Limes are the definition of acid and bitter, with a popping hint of sweetness and a pleading beg for sugar and salt.

Limarita sorbet brings that consistent kick of fresh lime juice to the forefront, balanced with rich, earthy brilliance of a fine tequila, a little salt and a touch of sweetness. The recipe took years to develop, but once it was perfect, they chose to package LimaRita in the most natural of forms – a simple, frozen lime shell.

LimaRita brings you a dessert experience unlike anything you’ve ever tried before. One taste brings you to summer… to a beach… a pitcher of Margaritas and a great group of friends.

Out in Nature, no two limes are ever alike. Out in Nature, nothing is perfect. Mother Nature never made sorbet.

The LimaRita Story

LimaRita founder and creator Paul Cantatore has always had a passion for Italy. Even though he was born and raised in New York City, he’s Italian by heritage – Sicilian on his mother’s side and his father’s family is from Bari. In his early 20′s Paul traveled to Milan to study the production of gelato and sorbet firsthand, from the men and women who created and perfected the art.

His studies started with a family in Milan who owned a factory just outside of the city, producing the raw ingredients for gelato – food sources like pistachio paste, tiramisu  and creme brulee. They invited Paul to join them in 1996, to learn the truly artisan way of crafting fine gelato and sorbet. This company began producing Italy’s famous frozen desserts back in 1929, and it’s still a family-run operation today. He eventually returned to America to spread this knowledge throughout his own country via consulting on ice cream, gelato and sorbet operations, sharing his own recipes with others. Over the years, Paul Cantatore advised and helped open more than 100 retail & wholesale outlets around the United States.

LimaRita launched in 2012 and it is absolutely a personal passion project – born from years of studying and teaching this classic dessert art. An entire year was devoted to sourcing raw ingredients. From Spain – which is one of the only few places in the world with factories to properly hollow and de-pulp a lime shell – to Mexico, with her traditions in the production of truly exquisite tequilas. Paul then sent samples to mixologists all over the country for their thoughts on the recipe, as well as chefs he greatly respects and admires. Behind LimaRita and at the core of Paul’s philosophy on food, there is an adamant belief in quality and fresh ingredients. He believes that food has soul and should be respected and treated properly. You will experience a dessert that is both palate-cleansing and instantly memorable – packaged in its original lime shell, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Find LimaRita Online:

limarita, sorbet, tequila, lime, paul cantatore






2013 Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise, Bar Tools

Vinturi Spirit Aerator is a Gold Medal Bar Tool

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GOLD 2013



If you take your tequila seriously, you need a Vinturi Spirit Aerator.

We don’t do a great deal of mixing here at Tequila Aficionado but the one tool we found we simply could not live without is the Vinturi Spirit Aerator.  M.A. “Mike” Morales described it as drinking in high definition.  Each of us uses it when we do our tastings and we’ve found it makes a good tequila better and shows all the flaws in a bad tequila.


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The Patron Way Wins Gold in the 2013 Brands of Promise

GOLD 2013The Patron Way may have been the only book we reviewed at Tequila Aficionado last year, but it was worthy of nomination in the Tequila Aficionado 2013 Brands of Promise awards and definitely worthy of a gold medal.  As I mentioned in my original review,

The Patron Way is the tragic story of a thirteen-year love affair between Martin Crowley and Ilana Edelstein that ended when ego, greed, and lawyers got in the way.”patron way, ilana edelstein

While some were touting it as a marketing guide, I disagree.  Ilana was the brilliance behind the original tequila girls and they cranked tequila marketing up several notches when it was just a fledgling industry in the United States.  She deserves the credit for that and much more.  Martin Crowley was a cutthroat businessman.  It is no secret that he was not widely liked, but Ilana softened his edges and J.P. Dejoria’s bank account and Hollywood connections made it possible for Patron to make as big a splash as it did.

patron way, tequila aficionado, ilana edelsteinThe Patron Way is a cautionary tale of how not to go into business with a lover and proves that love and lawyers simply don’t mix.  Ilana’s story isn’t a manual on how to run your tequila business today.  In fact, running your tequila business with a 1989 business model will have you sucking hot wind in no time.  Using tequila girls to market tequila, while still done, is going the way of the dinosaur.  Women do most of the buying now and women want substance in the bottle.  That being said, there is most definitely substance in this book.  It is more than a business memoir, more than an autobiography, and an absolute must read!  The Patron Way is a fascinating story and I look forward to seeing it on screen someday soon.

Well done and best of luck to you, Ilana!



Avion & Hornitos Have a Hearty “Sláinte!” for You!

avion, hornitosTEQUILA AVIÓN

Toast to St. Patrick this year with premium cocktails from Tequila Avión, “World’s Best Tasting Tequila.”

Website: www.TequilaAvion.com

Price: Avión Silver retails for $40.00- $50.00 for 750ml bottle, Avión Espresso retails for $24.99 for 750ml bottle (prices vary by state)


The Irish Espresso

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Bartenders call it: The Red Eye

1 part Avión Espresso

1 part Jameson Whiskey

Pour ingredients into a rocks glass over ice. Stir.

St. Patrick's Spicy Sage Margarita, avion

Spicy St. Patrick Sage Margarita

2 oz. Avión Silver

¾ oz. Jalapeño-Infused Elderflower Liqueur

½ oz. Orange Juice

¼ oz. Lemon Juice

½ oz. Lime Juice

¾ oz. Simple Syrup

3 Sage Leaves

1 Sage Leaf and Salt for garnish

Muddle sage in a shaker. Add all ingredients. Shake. Double strain. Pour over ice in salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with sage leaf.

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Hornitos® tequila put a twist on the traditional St. Patrick’s Day drink and came up with a green cocktail called – Green River Runs Through It – for the O’Hornitos® Day spin.

This tequila twist is a nod to the traditional green fanfare of St. Patty’s Day, but features the super-smooth Hornitos® Plata Tequila.

Hornitos® Plata is double distilled and made from the flesh of the Blue Agave, making it authentic and fresh while maintaining its tequila edge.

Hornitos Tequila - Green River Runs Through ItGreen River Runs Through It

2 parts Hornitos® Plata Tequila

2/3 parts Green Chartreuse

1 part fresh lime juice


Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Strain over ice.

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