Tag Archives: lisa pietsch

We Just Sit Around Drinking Tequila All Day

We don’t actually sit around drinking tequila all day, but that’s what a lot of people think we do.  There’s a lot of effort behind the scenes that goes into producing content for Tequila Aficionado.  One important thing is producing episodes of Sipping Off The Cuff.  Let me tell you a little about that.
 

 

It’s quite a process so we thought we’d share it with you:

First, we have to get the guys together.  Getting Alex and Mike together via Skype isn’t always easy.  family commitments, all the things that can go wrong with computers, and then there’s the software, both the recording software and Skype that have a part in whether or not our programs are recorded properly.

If we had roadies, we’d have them do the tech check for us.

 

 

Setup

We wash Reidel snifters, ensure we have vodka & melba toast for palate cleansing between tequila tastings, and then set up all the bottles of tequilas and other great agave spirits that must be tasted and reviewed.  It takes about an hour just to move furniture, set up the table and then bring everything down off the shelves, dust it off and then set it up nicely for photos just in case Mike & Alex decide to talk about all the brands awaiting review.  Setup time is usually when we take photos for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Vine.  It is important to us that the brands that send us samples feel it is a valuable proposition.  Providing them with social media content that adds to their electronic equity is very valuable in today’s market.
 

 

Filming At about 12-20 minutes per brand, it makes for a long night.  Mike & Alex will taste several brands in one night and usually spend about 4 hours filming together.  

 

Editing

I take the raw footage and edit it.  (Trust me, there are just some things those guys do that you just don’t want to see or hear.)  It takes about 45 minutes to review, edit, research, add facts, format, and produce each individual video.
 

 

Uploading Then we upload the videos to YouTube.  Some days it goes quickly and some days the computer is tied up all day because YouTube is running so slowly.  

 

Posting

With all that done, we’re ready to schedule and post the video on Tequila Aficionado.  We want to make each video posting as search engine friendly as possible so the tequila (and mezcal) brands get plenty of publicity.  That means digging into websites and Facebook for social media links, images, and details on each brand’s production process.  Some tequila brands turn out to be Not Safe For Work (NSFW) and that means wading through a whole lot of bikini images before finding one we can use.  (Please take a lesson from mezcal and stop marketing like it’s 1989?)

Then you, the tequila aficionados see the final product.  We hope the insights that Mike & Alex provide are worth your time.  It is always our hope that the materials we work so hard to produce are as educational as they are entertaining and everyone from the brand owner to the consumer feels it was time well spent.

Are you following us on Vine yet?

Tequila Aficionado Celebrates 15th Anniversary!

Tequila Aficionado Magazine

Tequila Aficionado Magazine began as a direct-to-consumer online magazine in 1999 and run single-handedly by founder, Alexander “Alex” Perez. The online magazine went through several incarnations and design changes over the years but what remained the same was Alex’s passion for Mexican spirits: Tequila, Mezcal and Sotol.

tequila aficionado, teuila, newsletter,

In 2000, Alex met M.A. “Mike” Morales and, while discussing their tequila tasting during a podcast for Tequila Aficionado Magazine, Mike coined the phrase Sipping Off The Cuff™. From that day forward, Alex and Mike’s podcasts would be known as Sipping Off The Cuff™. As YouTube and Skype became more user friendly, Alex and Mike moved from podcast to videocast.

As often happens with labors of love, life’s labors called Alex and Mike elsewhere and Tequila Aficionado Magazine went on a short hiatus.

During this hiatus, Mike began hosting “Intimate Tequila Tastings”, tequila tasting events that introduced new aficionados to the finer points of tequila tasting and expanded the horizons of seasoned sippers.

He was then asked to host and co-produce a television program called “Last Tequila Standing.”

last tequila w agave

Tequila Aficionado Media™

In early 2012, with Mike’s first season of Last Tequila Standing already completed, Mike and Alex were approached by a social media consultant and novelist with a taste for tequila and a desire to see Tequila Aficionado Magazine relaunch as Tequila Aficionado Media.

pina logo banner

Lisa Pietsch envisioned Tequila Aficionado Media producing and publishing podcasts, video programs, an extensive library of in-depth written reviews, books, magazines, apps, events and much, much more.

With Lisa’s vision falling in line with theirs for Tequila Aficionado, Alex and Mike agreed to take her on as a partner. The three would each utilize their special skills to create a media company focused specifically on the Mexican spirits of tequila, mezcal and sotol.

Sipping Off The Cuff™

Sipping Off The Cuff™ began as an audio podcast in 2006 and is Tequila Aficionado’s first and longest running tequila review program.

Sipping Off The Cuff™ is broadcast Fridays (and occasionally Tuesdays) on YouTube and on Tequila Aficionado Media’s many social networks. If you are a Tequila, Mezcal or Sotol brand owner and would like your product(s) reviewed on an upcoming episode of Sipping Off The Cuff(TM), please contact Mike@TequilaAficionado.com.

Click here to see all of our Sipping Off The Cuff™ programming.

Monday Madness

Monday Madness was created as a blooper by-product of our production process for the Tequila Aficionado exclusive video program, Sipping Off The Cuff™.

When M.A. “Mike” Morales and Alexander “Alex” Perez get together, whether in person or via Skype, to review tequilas for Sipping Off The Cuff™, something silly is bound to happen. Rather than present these clips with their reviews, we chose to respect serious viewers’ time and get right to business with each Sipping Off The Cuff™ episode to keep them each as close to ten minutes as possible.

The outtakes are often funny and show our silly side, so we chose to share them with you for your amusement, as well as ours, in our Monday Madness video feature. Monday Madness is the evidence of how very much fun we have doing what we love here at Tequila Aficionado Media.

Women in Tequila

M.A. “Mike” Morales found the growing population of women in the tequila industry a fascinating topic and decided to interview as many as he could contact. This was the beginning of the Tequila Boss Ladies and Women in Tequila series.

In this series, his interviews cover the contributions of these women, how they see the industry as a whole and advice they care to share with others in the industry, both female and male.

Founder’s Feature

Alexander “Alex” Perez loves interviewing people in all facets of the tequila industry. Over the years, he has interviewed some tequila superstars who share their personal experiences, thoughts on the industry, commentary on products and much more.

Over time, we’ve unveiled some amazing Founder’s Features that have been locked away in the Tequila Aficionado vault for years.

Brands of Promise™ Awards

The Tequila Aficionado Brands of Promise™ Awards are annual awards granted by Tequila Aficionado based on product quality (tasting or use for tequila related items), marketing (POS), and overall appeal and value to the consumer. These awards are granted for tequila, mezcal, sotol, glassware and bar items, mixers and garnishes, books and other related products. If the product is used by tequila lovers, it is eligible for a Brands of Promise™ Award.

There is no charge to be considered for these awards. All samples we receive: tequila, tequila based liqueurs, tequila associated products/foods and every other item we review is automatically considered, but not all are nominated.

Nominees are announced as their products are reviewed and the review will contain the Brands of Promise™ Nominee seal. All nominees are welcome and encouraged to make use of the seal in their marketing and POS materials as well as the Tequila Aficionado branded QR Code that connects consumers to their review at Tequila Aficionado.

Email Mike@TequilaAficionado.com for the personnel and addresses to send your particular products for review.

GOLD 2013

Education of a Tequila Drinker™

Everyone needs to start somewhere. To become a tequila aficionado, all you need is a passion for tequila and a desire to learn about this amazing spirit of Mexico. Join Lisa Pietsch as she embraces tequila culture and learns all she can about agave spirits, documenting her journey in the Education of a Tequila Drinker™ series.

education of a tequila drinker

Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen™

Some tequilas are best sipped and yet there are others that are so versatile that they make for amazing pairings either with food or in recipes. In the Tequila Aficionado Tequila Test Kitchen™, we enjoy exploring the perfect balance to mixology – cooking and pairing with Tequilas, Mezcals and Sotols.

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Follow the links for more information on the team members

that make up Tequila Aficionado Media:

Alexander “Alex” Perez, Founder

M.A. “Mike” Morales, CEO

Lisa Pietsch, COO

 

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Monday Madness: Giving Lisa Some Love

Mike & Alex showing their C.O.O. some love:

Monday Madness

Monday Madness was created as a blooper by-product of our production process for the Tequila Aficionado exclusive video program, Sipping off the Cuff. When M.A. “Mike” Morales and Alexander “Alex” Perez get together, whether in person or via Skype, to review tequilas for Sipping off the Cuff, something silly is bound to happen.  Rather than present these clips with their reviews, we chose to respect serious viewers’ time and get right to business with each SOTC episode to keep them at ten minutes or less.  The outtakes are often funny and show our silly side, so we chose to share them with you for your amusement, as well as ours, in our Monday Madness video feature.  Monday Madness is the evidence of how very much fun we have doing what we love here at Tequila Aficionado Media.

Sipping off the Cuff

Sipping off the Cuff™ began as an audio podcast in 2006 and is Tequila Aficionado’s first and longest running tequila review program. Sipping off the Cuff is broadcast every Friday (and occasionally Tuesdays) on YouTube and TequilaAficionado.com. If you are a Tequila, Mezcal or Sotol brand owner and would like yourproduct(s) reviewed on an upcoming episode of Sipping off the Cuff, please contact Mike@TequilaAficionado.com.  Click here to see all of our Sipping off the Cuff™ programming.

 

Catch more of Tequila Aficionado’s Monday Madness outtakes on YouTube HERE.

tequila aficionado newsletter, blooper, sipping off the cuff, monday madness

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Review of Grant MacPherson’s Word of Mouth by Lisa Pietsch

grant macpherson, chef, morgan freemanOne of the benefits of working at Tequila Aficionado is that we’re often privy to tequila scuttlebutt.  When I heard whispers that Mary Clemente, boss lady of Jurado Tequila, was working on something with well-travelled celebrity Chef Grant MacPherson, I had to know more.

It isn’t just about the tequila for me.  My interest lies in all that is Tequila Culture - the people, history, places, and pairings that make up what our CEO, M.A. “Mike” Morales calls the “Anejo Lifestyle.”

The pairing of exclusive, ultra premium Jurado Tequila with world class Chef Grant MacPherson was news that definitely piqued my interest.

word of mouth, cooking, food, grant macpherson, jurado tequilaAfter a bit of Googling, I discovered Chef MacPherson had recently released a book entitled “Word of Mouth,” so I brazenly asked for a review copy.  In the publishing industry, handing out PDF versions of advance reading copies (ARCs) for review is commonplace.  What I didn’t expect was to receive a signed hardcover copy from Chef MacPherson himself.

Reading Word of Mouth, I realized the passion and care that goes into a well-crafted tequila is the same that goes into a well-crafted meal–both are art forms.

terroir, grant macpherson, chef, foodMacPherson considers the terroir of the foods he sources in the same way a Master Distiller considers the source of his or her agave.  Whether you’re distilling a fine agave spirit or preparing an herb-crusted rack of lamb, as you’ll find on page 88, the true artist ensures every ingredient is the finest available so that he can create something unlike any other.

Jurado’s tagline is “Let taste be the judge.”   Mary Clemente is taking that a step further by enlisting the talents of a top chef who regularly cooks with wine, vodka, and Scotch, and plans to let him innovate epicurean masterpieces with Jurado Tequila.

macpherson, chef, jurado tequilaI would love to be at the chef’s table the evening he premiers that menu!

Word of Mouth is an eclectic compilation that is part resume of the positions MacPherson has held at exclusive resorts, part gratitude for all the mentors and management who have had a part in his career, part who’s-who of the superstar chefs he’s butted heads and knocked elbows with, and part endorsements from the many who have had the pleasure of working with him.

Jurado Tequila will be so exclusive that it will only be available through duty free retail stores in certain countries for those with the means and sophistication to travel internationally.  One of Chef MacPherson’s dishes in Word Of Mouth is likely to be just as rare a find.

chef grant macphersonFor those of us who may not have the opportunity to dine at Chef MacPherson’s table, Word of Mouth teases us with some luxurious and artistically presented dishes such as Singapore Chili Crab, Eight-Hour Golden Pineapple, and Maine Lobster Scotch Eggs that only the most brave and adventuresome will attempt to recreate.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention presentation in my discussion of Word of Mouth.  Photographer Bill Milne has supplied each page with a stunning image related to each dish and meal creation.

This is the Anejo Lifestyle at its finest.

Word Of Mouth isn’t just a cookbook, homage, or resume.  The entire piece is an opus, packed with stunning images meant to spur discussions of world travel, meals enjoyed, and the friends one meets along the way.

It’s the sort of book we might browse and discuss while enjoying a treasure bottle of tequila with cherished friends.  Gratefully, Mary Clemente has persuaded Chef MacPherson to add premium Jurado Tequila to his artist’s palette so he might lend his talents to Tequila Culture and lead the way for other chefs to explore agave spirits and bring them into the mainstream for all to appreciate and enjoy.

Mary Clemente gets her close-up.Word of Mouth isn’t just a book; it is an experience for the senses, something tequila aficionados worldwide can certainly appreciate.      

If you’re wondering what Mary Clemente has up her sleeve, stay tuned. I’ll get it out of her eventually!

You can find Jurado Tequila at www.juradotequila.com and Chef Grant MacPherson at www.scotchmyst.com

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LimaRita Tequila Lime Sorbet Review

By Lisa Pietsch

limarita, sorbet, tequila, lime, paul cantatoreBig things DO come in small packages!

At first glance, this little, hollowed out lime stuffed with an airy, white sorbet and topped with the stem end of the lime seems like a very insignificant morsel.  One might be tempted to let something so small go unnoticed but, I’m here to tell you, do not pass on the LimaRita Tequila Lime Sorbet.

Paul Cantatore, the creator of LimaRita, must have been divinely inspired when he put this idea together.

limarita, tequila lime sorbet, paul cantatore

Just out of the freezer.  Even the spoon is smiling!

Give it a moment when you take it out of the freezer.  Give it a second moment to admire it.  This is not your average lime.  The longer this sorbet stays frozen in the lime, the more lime essence you taste in it.  Yes, like good tequila, this treat ages well.

Speaking of tequila, the spirit of Mexico really is in this creamy citrus delicacy, but I can’t tell you which one.  It is a well-kept secret, and there’s only just enough to make the sorbet taste like a carefully and lovingly constructed margarita.  There is only enough to influence your taste buds but not nearly enough to influence your judgment.  In fact, the tequila content is so minute, it is classified as a non-alcoholic treat.

After you’ve paused to admire this fresh, frosty, margarita inspired delight, you’re ready to try a taste.  The combination of the smooth, silky texture and the fresh, bright flavor each chilly spoonful delivers is a sensory celebration.

This sorbet is tart, but not too; sweet, but not syrupy; and has just a hint of saltiness to make the flavor pop.  It’s a true tequila-lover’s palate cleanser.

limarita

Click on the image to see full size

I can easily see this new product becoming a huge hit as a light dessert after a late dinner, the perfect frozen cocktail-style indulgence for a designated driver, or as a delicious 80-calorie dessert option for the dieter who doesn’t want to go another night watching their friends have fruity, calorie-laden cocktails and empanadas while they’re left to sip water.

limaritaI can also see this as something you can serve along with a blanco tequila for sipping.  If I were to introduce a girlfriend to sipping tequila, this would be a great accompaniment to ease them into it.  Think of each icy spoonful as a delicious chaser after each sip.  I guarantee any man trying to move his margarita-loving girlfriend toward sipping tequilas would be well served by presenting her with a LimaRita alongside that snifter.

limarita, tequila lime sorbet, paul cantatore

That sad moment when you realize there’s nothing left but the lime.

The first time I tried the LimaRita Tequila Lime Sorbet, I tasted, I died, and I went to heaven.  It has taken me weeks to find the words to describe what a find this is – and I’m a novelist!

Just as a master distiller puts his heart and soul into finely crafted tequila, so too did Paul Cantatore put his heart and soul into this creation.   When you taste something this special, you cannot help but admire the artisan.

As of this article’s publication, LimaRita is set to soon be found on the dessert menus of the many Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bars in Florida.  Rocco’s features authentic Mexican food and over 250 Tequilas, but the LimaRita would be reason enough for a visit!

Find more information on LimaRita Tequila Lime Sorbet online here.

Follow LimaRita and Paul Cantatore on Twitter here.

Click on the video below and watch how LimaRitas are filled.

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