No Snifters.

San Antonio Cocktail Conference Media Party

Media party invite.

Media party invite.

[The fourth annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference was held from January 15 to January 18, 2015 here in San Antonio, Texas.  Tequila Aficionado Media attended with particular interest in all events surrounding agave spirits.]

Wednesday Night Media Party #SACC2015

As most of San Antonio’s cocktail culture creatures were safely at home in their jammies on the eve of the opening of the Fourth Annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference, every foodie, cocktail and spirits blogger, writer, photographer or pretender from all major cities in Texas, hobnobbed, photographed hors d’oeuvres for future food porn, and took selfies while collecting their official press credentials and tickets for their requested seminars from the organizers’ public relations company.

The St. Anthony Hotel, considered the Grand Dame of hotels in

Ornate brass ram.

Ornate brass ram.

downtown San Antonio, was the site of this evening’s sedate affair for the thin press corps.

The Venue

Having hosted such dignitaries as Eleanor Roosevelt and Princess Grace of Monaco during its illustrious history, this early 20th century monumental inn was San Antonio’s first luxury hotel.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its importance to this city’s nightlife can’t be denied.

Eagle above doorway.

Eagle above doorway.

With a recent renovation under its belt, the lobby’s grandeur alone was impressive.  The St. Anthony’s timeless elegance would also be the site of the Waldorf on the Prairie soiree later that week.

Edwardian-era furnishings, high ceilings and crystal chandeliers made most of us feel underdressed, and the DJ spinning hip hop for the millennials in the group, seemed anachronistic.

After a greasy and unappetizing crab cake morsel, it was time to

Griffin.

Griffin.

hit the bar.

The Roca Patrón Roadshow Rides Again

The Roca Patrón roadshow finally hit San Antonio, and the response was unimpressive and underwhelming.

In sharp contrast to the all-out event that Tequila Aficionado Media attended in Austin, Texas at the Brazos Hall in late summer 2014, the San Antonio media’s introduction to Roca Patrón and Patrón’s other lines, was hardly noticed.

No Snifters.

No Snifters.

And, even though this was a major cocktail conference, only a small crew of four bartenders took orders from a prepared menu of Patrón signature drinks that included a build-your-own Old Fashioned using each of Roca Patrón’s expressions.  It left no room for imagination, and a lot to be desired.  But, hey, it was an open bar.

We preferred to sip the Roca Patrón reposado neat since we had determined it to be the star of the line up.  Our bartender that evening agreed, but, sadly, only rocks glasses were available to sip from.

In the end, the juice’s nose and flavor unceremoniously dissipated into the hip hop’s baseline.

Not the average photo booth.

Not the average photo booth.

Ready to call it an uninspired night with no reason to linger, we were again distracted by Patrón.

…But First, A Selfie

With an unusual take on the traditional photo booth, Patrón hired a photographer who encouraged willing souls to pose for black and white photos with, or without, their Patrón signature cocktails in hand.

A separate printer would instantly spit out the Patrón branded selfies where another assistant would graciously frame them for you.  You could even text the photos to your own cell phone.

Lisa and Mike representing Tequila Aficionado Media.

Lisa and Mike representing Tequila Aficionado Media.

Never missing a chance to educate their audience on its products (and to mine more followers on all its social media platforms) the back of the frames shared Patrón production factoids (“Did you know the high quality agave used to produce Patrón is slow baked in small brick ovens for 79 hours?”) while the inside flap invited us to share our photos on their social media accounts with specific hashtags.

Well played, Patrón, well played.

Sipping Off The Cuff: Caos Tequila Blanco

Nominated as a 2014 Brand of Promise, this beautiful blanco was considered an “old style tequila” and their only complaint was “you can’t just have one sip”.

Sipping Off The Cuff: Alma de Agave Tequila Reposado

Mike and Alex highly recommend this reposado. It coats your palate, but not in a bad way, according to them. Give this beefy reposado a try.

Sipping Off The Cuff: Rancho La Joya Tequila Reposado

rancho la joyaRancho La Joya Tequila

35 years ago the Garcia family acquired a land known as “Rancho La Joya” in the heart of the Mexican highlands. The red soil was rich in nutrients, vital to the growth and smooth taste of the world’s most flavorful agave plants. With hard work and dedication, the family turned their land into the most beautiful and productive agave farm in the State of Jalisco – with over 8 MILLION plants.
The family invested a small fortune in research & development to create the most advanced, unique and sanitary tequila distillery in the world.

The Garcia family has grown and harvested the Blue Agave Tequilana Weber variety across three generations. Their vast agave fields are considered the richest in the region, due to the care and effort placed on each plant. Rancho La Joya’s agave has been sold to many of the most popular tequila companies around the world for decades. After years of effort dedicated to creating the richest tasting premium tequila in the world, from the heart of their best plants, the Garcia’s are proud to launch the La Joya brand – designed to deliver the “Pure Feeling” of enjoying the best tasting tequila that Mexico has to offer.

Mike Morales and Alex Perez of Tequila Aficionado Media taste and discuss Rancho La Joya reposado tequila, proclaiming it a “great flavor explosion in your mouth”, an “improvement on the blanco” and were generally impressed.

Sipping Off The Cuff: Rancho La Joya Blanco

rancho la joyaRancho La Joya Tequila

35 years ago the Garcia family acquired a land known as “Rancho La Joya” in the heart of the Mexican highlands. The red soil was rich in nutrients, vital to the growth and smooth taste of the world’s most flavorful agave plants. With hard work and dedication, the family turned their land into the most beautiful and productive agave farm in the State of Jalisco – with over 8 MILLION plants.
The family invested a small fortune in research & development to create the most advanced, unique and sanitary tequila distillery in the world.

The Garcia family has grown and harvested the Blue Agave Tequilana Weber variety across three generations. Their vast agave fields are considered the richest in the region, due to the care and effort placed on each plant. Rancho La Joya’s agave has been sold to many of the most popular tequila companies around the world for decades. After years of effort dedicated to creating the richest tasting premium tequila in the world, from the heart of their best plants, the Garcia’s are proud to launch the La Joya brand – designed to deliver the “Pure Feeling” of enjoying the best tasting tequila that Mexico has to offer.

Mike Morales and Alex Perez of Tequila Aficionado Media taste and discuss Rancho La Joya blanco tequila, deeming it “a very good everyday tequila” but “not a traditional Los Altos tequila”.

Rancho La Joya Tequila