Tag Archives: alexander perez

Founder’s Feature: Tequila Aficionado’s 1st Podcast, 7 Years Later

The preceding podcast was recorded by Tequila Aficionado’s Founder, Alexander Perez, on March 21, 2006.

Sadly, many brands still persist in the Tequila Girl marketing that Alex mentioned over seven years ago.  Some brands believe they’ve evolved and took it a step further with Tequila Boy marketing.  I believe the true aficionado finds both of these offensive.

True aficionados don’t buy their tequila based upon how attractive an ad model is.  It saddens me that so many brand marketers are stuck in the 1990s and won’t let go of this old advertising paradigm.

When all you put out there is co-ed bimbos doing shots, drinking from red Solo cups, or worse, from the bottle, you’re telling the world you don’t want your brand to be taken seriously.  I love a shirtless hunk as much as the next straight woman but don’t try to dazzle me with him while you pour cherry soda and light beer into a blender to hide the taste of your mass produced tequila.

Show me a brand owner, male or female, who is smart, savvy, self assured and passionate about their tequila and I’ll stop what I’m doing to listen.

Alex said “Tequila companies need to rethink their marketing tactics” and they still do.  The big boys are still marketing their swill with expensive distractions, but the little guys…we love the little guys here at Tequila Aficionado.  The little guys are slowly changing the tequila marketing landscape.

People like Alex Viecco at Montalvo who is also involved in programs to create biofuels from tequila production waste products; people like Sergio Olmos of Nuestro Orgullo who take up the banner for a family business and knock themselves out trying to create the best product possible, not for the money, but for family pride and love of agave spirits; people like Laurence Spiewak and Lance Sokol of Suerte who put thought and meaning into a logo rather than attempting to dazzle us with tits and ass.

Yes, there are still small brands that believe they can grow by emulating the big brands with sponsored DJs, rock bands, edgy artists, and girls with great plastic surgeons but they rarely make it past that crucial five-year threshold.  Superficiality attracts superficiality.  When your marketing involves pretty girls in club attire giving shots to partygoers who will quickly forget what they drank, then you must realize that your tequila will last only about as long as their buzz does.

I think we’re on the cusp of something, though.  It makes me very happy to see tequila brands that are finally letting the tequila do the talking.

As brands take themselves and their products more seriously, so too does the consumer.  People like Mary Clemente of Jurado Tequila are partnering with great chefs like Grant MacPherson.  Pairing dinners are becoming popular ways to market good tequilas and I hope they’ll soon take the place of trays of shot glasses.

People are beginning to appreciate what great tequila and tequila culture can bring to their lifestyle through books by authors like Lucinda Hutson.  Lucinda was well ahead of her time when she first began this journey, but perhaps tequila drinkers have grown up enough to become aficionados and truly appreciate the treasures she pens.

We welcome these changes at Tequila Aficionado.  Alex’s vision was that Tequila Aficionado become a resource for all things agave including mezcal, sotol and other agave spirits.  He wanted to interview people in the industry, people with a passion for fine tequilas, people breaking the old paradigms.  He wanted to provide honest discussions about the merits of particular spirits over tastings, not just a simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” He envisioned an online resource that would bring depth to tequila culture.  He hoped to create in a magazine what a master distiller creates in a small batch, something that pleases the senses, enhances, informs, and provides the perfect finish that brings you back time and time again.

Something was missing in the mix all these years, but we believe we’ve finally found the right combination to bring that dream to fruition.

We have new Sipping off the Cuff episodes airing every week so you can taste along with us; bloopers and outtakes so you can laugh with us; Founder’s Features that are interviews and articles of significance to tequila history; Portraits in Tequila taking you beyond the label to see the story of the people behind the tequila; reviews of books on all aspects of tequila from dirt to drink and beyond; reviews on tequila related products like glassware and the foods, treats and cigars that can be paired with tequilas; articles on agave related industries; features on distilleries; and reviews of hotels and restaurants in Mexico’s tequila region.

We will always have a focus on the finished tequila product, but we’re deeper than that.  We’re no longer focusing simply on the finished tequila; we’re expanding to encompass all of tequila culture because, after all, it isn’t about just a quick shot –

It’s about the whole experience.

We look forward to sharing that experience with you.

Lisa Pietsch, COO


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What’s So Special About Tequila?

tequila, agave, alexander perezBy Alexander Perez | 11.18.10

I recently had a friend ask me, so what makes tequila so special?

Other then being one of the most versatile spirits for mixing a variety of drinks (Google tequila drink recipes and you’ll see what I mean); it is also an exceptional sipping spirit. Sipping? You might say. Yes sipping.

For many, their first experience with tequila is in a Margarita. Who doesn’t love a good nice cold Margarita? My personal favorite: on the rocks. That’s why its Americas favorite mixed drink. For others it was shots at the bar or in the dorm room that made you swear the next morning you would never touch that stuff again.

Well let me say most of you were cheated. You were served up the least expensive tequila in the restaurant or bar (typically a mixto – a non – 100 % agave tequila which is inferior tequila) and that started your aversion to tequila.

I highly recommend you give this another chance, another try. Yes you might say “I don’t like tequila”. But are you basing this on those bad experiences from the past when you didn’t know what you were ordering or what they where serving you?

I have a good friend who will typically tell me she doesn’t like something (food or drink) just by the way it sounds or looks. I’ll ask her if she has tried it before and of course she says no. I encourage her to at least taste and you know what? She usually ends up liking it.

Never knock it till you try it, they say. And it’s true.

Have you ever sipped fine 100% agave, handcrafted tequila? If you have you know what I’m talking about, it is life changing. If not, you don’t know what you are missing.

Tequila (and not to forget the other spirits of Mexico – Mezcal, Sotol and Bacanora) is a refined spirit that takes such effort to manufacture it’s surprising to me how it doesn’t receive more respect.

Did you know that unlike wine that has a harvest every year, the plant from where the tequila is produced takes 7 to 12 years to cultivate? How about the distillation process (which started back in America in the 1500-1600’s) and aging? Yes just as elaborate and painstaking as rum, brandy, and vodka.

To the Tequila Aficionado, sipping tequila is heaven. By sipping you have an opportunity to really taste the artistry of the Master Distiller. By sipping you can appreciate how complex this spirit really is and how it rivals the top bourbons and cognacs.

If you are sipping a Blanco or Silver, you will smell and taste sweet citrus and fruit notes, roasted agave, floral or herbal notes just to mention a few.

With Reposados, since they are aged from 2-12 months in oak barrels, they take on flavors of wood, vanilla, caramel, etc.

Añejo tequilas are aged from 1 to 3 years. They take on the character of a cognac or bourbon and have aromas and taste of caramel, wood, chocolate and butterscotch to name a few.

Thanks to the educational efforts of Tequila Aficionados everywhere, the resurgence of cocktails and the newfound respect for the professional bartender/mixologist/liquid chefs, Tequila is starting to come into its own. It is finally getting the respect it deserves. Yes it is a special spirit, the Spirit of Mexico.

Now it’s up to you. Go explore, and by all means please don’t shoot it, sip it. It took a long time to get that beautiful liquid in that bottle.

Now sip and enjoy.

Alexander Perez is the founder of Tequila Aficionado.com having thought of the idea of a premium tequila and mezcal online magazine back in the early 1999. With an extensive background in wine and spirits, having been in the industries for many years, Alex fell in love with the under appreciated spirits of Mexico, Tequila and Mezcal. His mission: to educate the public on these fine spirits.

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