Santo Diablo Mezcal King Ranch Chicken Recipe

Most King Ranch Chicken recipes are pretty bland and not at all what you might expect from a Tex Mex standard. The beautiful thing about King Ranch Chicken is that everybody has a different recipe (and ours is the best).
Santo Diablo Mezcal King Ranch Chicken Recipe http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4v3Santo Diablo Mezcal King Ranch Chicken Recipe http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4v3Since we prefer our food on the spicy side, we make our King Ranch Chicken a little bit differently…

If you enjoy something spicy that you can cook up in a slow cooker for a cold winter day then this recipe is for you!

The first thing we did to liven this up is slow cook the chicken in Santo Diablo Mezcal.

(While I enjoy sipping Santo Diablo Mezcal, I have found that I really love cooking with it.)

When adding the other ingredients, we used diced tomatoes with Hatch Chiles instead of Ro-tel. Next we added cumin and red pepper. These few changes turned a bland cheesy chicken casserole into something entirely different.

Here’s how you can enjoy it too!

Santo Diablo King Ranch Chicken

Santo Diablo Mezcal King Ranch Chicken Recipe http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4v33lbs Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

1/4 Cup Santo Diablo Mezcal

Place the first two ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high until the chicken pulls apart easily with a fork.  Pull the chicken apart with a fork so you have a nice smoky pot of shredded chicken.  The add:

2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 Can Diced Tomatoes and Hatch Chilis

1 Bag Frozen Fajita Mixed Vegetables

2 Cups Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

2 Teaspoons Cumin

1 Teaspoon Red Pepper

Mix well and let it cook on high until bubbly.  Serve over steamed rice with a glass of Santo Diablo Mezcal.

Malinalli Tequila Extra Anejo German Apple Cake Recipe

I won’t lie or pretend to be unbiased here. I love Malinalli Tequila Extra Anejo. It is the little black dress of tequilas. Whether it is a drink for one with a book, a quiet night for two, or special celebration with friends, Malinalli is perfect.

But just because it is great for drinking doesn’t mean you can’t cook with it. In fact just a little goes a long way. In this recipe I discovered that the delicate spices in Malinalli Extra Anejo Tequila are the perfect accent flavors for German apple cake.

Malinalli Tequila Extra Anejo German Apple Cake Recipe http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4vtIf you are a fan of aged tequilas and enjoy a well-made apple cake then you will want to try this recipe.

Malinalli German Apple Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 can Apple Pie Filling
  • 2 cups Sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 cup Malinalli Extra Anejo
  • 2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9×13 inch cake pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  3. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cake cool on a wire rack. Once cake is cool serve with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or with a Cream Cheese Frosting and, of course, a snifter of Malinalli Tequila!

 

Malinalli Tequila Extra Anejo German Apple Cake Recipe http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4vt

Women In The Tequila Industry: Anahí Rivera

Building Casa 1921

Women In The Tequila Industry: Anahí Rivera http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4zZOne of the more prized and beloved tequila brands of the past twenty years has to be Casa 1921.

Following a series of mishaps, poor business deals, and just plain bad luck by the owners of the brand, Anahí Rivera came to work in Texas for Casa 1921.

She was a fresh-faced twenty-something marketing graduate straight out of university in Monterrey, Mexico.

Eleven years later, she is the Brand Manager and partner in the importation company, Casa 1921 LLC.  Anahí has practically single-handedly grown the venerable brand and regained its traction and following in 34 states.

Women In The Tequila Industry: Anahí Rivera http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4zZ

Here, Ms. Rivera also displays what other products she represents in her portfolio, which now includes Tequila Don Pilar.

We were proud to have had Casa 1921’s wildly popular and much sought after La Crema expression on both Tequila Aficionado’s 2015 Dia de los Muertos Tequila And Mezcal Tour, and 2016’s Heartland Tour.

A Tequila Aficionado First

Women In The Tequila Industry: Anahí Rivera http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4zZ

During a casual dinner at the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen, we asked Anahí Rivera our standard questions for the Women In The Tequila Industry collection.

And, in a Tequila Aficionado first, we present her videotaped responses to our questions, here, as read off camera by CMO, Lisa Pietsch.

***

TA:  How would you describe your experiences as a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?  (What are the challenges you face when dealing with the male dominated Tequila Industry?)

TA:  How have you been able to change things within the Tequila Industry?

TA:  What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila Industry?

TA:  What facets of the Tequila Industry would you like to see change?

TA:  Do you approve of how Tequila brands are currently marketing themselves?

TA:  Is there anything you’d like to say to women who may be contemplating entering and working in the Tequila Industry in one form or another?

TA:  (Bonus Question)–What can Tequila Aficionado do to help consumers understand the value that goes into a bottle of craft tequila?

Hint:  Education is key.

Christmas Panettone with Embajador Tequila Recipe

Christmas Panettone with Embajador Tequila Recipe http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4vlIf you’ve tasted Embajador Tequila then you know that there’s always just a hint of orange. If you’ve visited the Embajador Distillery then you’ll know why. Orange groves surround their agave fields. It is because of this unique and very intentional terroir that Embajador Tequila pairs exceptionally well with orange, cloves, cinnamon, and Christmas!

That’s exactly why I chose to create a Panettone (traditional Italian Christmas bread) with Embajador instead of brandy.  In case you’re wondering, It is delicious!

Assemble the following ingredients in a bread machine (or bowl if you prefer Old World ways):

  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Softened Butter
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Orange Peel
  • 3 Tablespoons Embajador Anejo
  • 3.5 Cups Flour
  • 3 Teaspoons Yeast
  • 1 Cup Mixed Dried Fruit (I used Cranberry, Raisin, and Date)

I ran this on the Dough cycle so I could bake in a pan in the oven, but this will bake up just as easily in the bread machine.  If you choose the machine,  run it on a regular 2lb loaf cycle.  If you choose the oven, bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Christmas Panettone with Embajador Tequila Recipe http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4vl

A cross section of the light, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness of Embajador Panettone.

 

Rediscovering Demetrio Tequila

[From September 11 to October 2, 2016, Tequila Aficionado Media, sponsored by 34 expressions representing 21 brands, embarked on a monumental RV road show dubbed, The Heartland Tour.  In these next passages, we recount the historic–and epic–highlights.]

Jim of All Trades

Rediscovering Demetrio Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x4

Jim Driscoll bubbles with excitement at the anticipation of talking about his newly retooled Demetrio tequila (NOM 1459) expressions.

A self-proclaimed type-A kind of guy, this dynamo has accomplished more than most of us will in our lifetimes–

Professional bull rider, golfer, mountain climber, sky diver, scuba diver, martial artist, (deep breath!)…

A certified small business coach, international speaker, and best selling author, with the dubious distinction of being thrown out of his Toastmasters Club for winning too often!

Jim is now the CEO of Ekeko Wine and Spirits which handles a portfolio of so many stellar award winners that they’re hard to keep track of.

Rediscovering Demetrio Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x4

We met up with Jim at Doneraki restaurant in his home town of Houston during Tequila Aficionado’s 2016 Heartland Tour.

Here’s our visit with the irrepressible Jim Driscoll.

 Tequila Wasn’t on The Radar

Jim Driscoll, CEO of Ekeko Wines & Spirits explains how he came across Demetrio tequila.  Jim relays the story of Demetrio, and why it was important to him to partner with the producer of his tequila.

From Farm to Bottle

Jim discusses how he prefers his Demetrio blanco by starting with the estate grown agave and letting the jimadores choose the plants at their perfect ripeness.

In this way, the quality of Demetrio is controlled from farm to bottle.

The Pure Essence 

Jim reveals that the Mozart Method used in fermentation is a standard procedure in the rum industry, and is also applied to Demetrio tequila.

Jim continues to expound on what makes Demetrio different from other brands which includes double distillation, and double filtration, all in small batches.

The Demetrio Skinny Margarita Difference

Jim explains his strategy to corner the Houston Skinny Margarita market using Demetrio’s specific flavor profile.

Demetrio Plays Well with Others

Jim reveals how his master distiller was able to eliminate Demetrio’s original briney notes.

Driscoll then divulges why he pursued the allspice flavor in Demetrio reposado to pair perfectly with Cointreau in a margarita.

Demetrio Issues a Challange!

Jim discloses why Demetrio was resubmitted to Sipping Off The Cuff(c), and issues a challenge to other brands who have restructured their formulations.

The Perfect Marriage of Agave, Vanilla, and Oak

Quoting our founder, Alex Perez, Jim exposes the secrets behind Demetrio añejo.

Driscoll admits that he has the perfect tequilas for any occasion and summarizes the qualities of each of Demetrio’s expressions.

You Don’t Have to be A Rockefeller

Jim shares his philosophy on providing quality wines and spirits at affordable prices.

Rediscovering Demetrio Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x4

Driscoll preaches that you don’t have to pay exorbitant prices for fine tequilas, let alone extra añejos.

Then, he introduces Demetrio’s 5 year Extra Añejo for the first time.

Jim stresses that at Ekeko Wine & Spirits, they’re “Committed to bringing you ultra premium products without the ultra premium price.”

Toasting Demetrio’s 5 Year Extra Añejo

Jim Driscoll leads us in a toast to Demetrio’s 5 Year Extra Añejo.

In The Afterglow

Tequila Aficionado’s CMO, Lisa Pietsch, Jim Driscoll and myself are wowed by Demetrio’s Extra Añejo.

Jim concedes that his sample of the Demetrio Extra Añejo is in actuality a 4 year and a few months expression.

Rediscovering Demetrio Tequila http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4x4

He then announces that the 5 year version will be launched on January 7, 2017.

The Future of Demetrio

Jim conveys his plans for Demetrio’s expansion into other markets scheduled in 2017.

Hail Cheesers!

[From September 11 to October 2, 2016, Tequila Aficionado Media, sponsored by 34 expressions representing 21 brands, embarked on a monumental RV road show dubbed, The Heartland Tour.  In these next passages, we recount the historic–and epic–highlights.]

Cheese and Agave Spirits?

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xaWhen Lisa Pietsch, CMO of Tequila Aficionado, first pitched the idea of an Agave Spirits Tour through America’s Heartland, I had my doubts.

Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, several points in between, then, back home to Texas.

“Why don’t we call it the Control State Tour?” I asked, facetiously. “Or, ‘Escape from the Bourbon Belt?'”

After she punched me in the arm, she declared, “I want to do cheese pairings with agave spirits and Wisconsin cheeses.”

I rolled my eyes, but then she explained that the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s official website had listed ideal cheese pairings with wine, dark spirits and beer.

Tequila, mezcal and agave spirits were nowhere to be found!

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xa

Cheeses of Mexico

“Imagine what pairings we could suggest to our readers with our sponsor’s agave spirits,” she urged.

It occurred to me that Mexico is a prolific cheese producing country and that many of their regional cheeses are made within the same states as some mezcals.

Surely, I thought, there are bars and restaurants in Mexico that serve some of the very best cheeses recognized worldwide with prize winning mezcals and tequilas?

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xa

“Why not?” I said to Lisa. “Let’s do it.”

What follows is our enlightening and palate pleasing visit to Cheesers in the charming and picturesque hamlet of Stoughton, WI with proprietress, Peg Schuett.

Filling A Need

Lisa Pietsch explains to Peg Schuett, owner of Cheesers, what compelled us to seek her store out during our Heartland Tour.

Craft Cheeses Made by Masters

Peg Schuett, owner of Cheesers, describes her method of selecting the craft cheeses she carries.

She also explains the stringent regulations that it takes to become a Master Cheese Maker in the state of Wisconsin.

Award Winning Cheese

Peg goes on to list the award winning cheeses she proudly provides in her main display case.

Cheese From Family Farms

Peg continues to walk us through her prize winning cheeses produced at family farms.

Cheese Pairing

Lisa and I sample several of Peg’s suggestions while we try to decide which sponsored agave spirits brands would pair nicely with them.

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xa

Together, we determine that Soltado, Route 66, and Santo Diablo Mezcal would pair deliciously with this group of cheeses.

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xa

It’s Hard Work

Peg assures us that cheese making is hard work. Lisa admonishes me for not nosing my cheese properly like I do with agave spirits.

Serving Suggestions

Peg instructs us as to what optimal temperature cheeses should be served.

Just as each expression of agave spirits should be served at room temperature, serving sliced cheese follows the same rules.

Try cheese pairing with your agave spirits, and give Cheesers a call.  They ship everywhere!

2016-09-19-11-40-28

Tequila PR Platinum Package – One Stop Awesome for 2017


Tequila PR & Marketing
, specializing in agave spirits marketing, has put a great deal of thought and study into creating high value packages that will promote agave spirits brands to Tequila Aficionado’s worldwide following.  Several packages were created, but the Platinum Plan is One Stop Awesome!

The Platinum Plan is literally a year’s worth of content that Tequila PR will create for you and then work with you (or your agency) to strategically schedule throughout the year to provide the perfect complement to your marketing efforts.

Tequila PR Platinum Package – One Stop Awesome for 2017 http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4I2

 

The Platinum Plan Includes:

  • 800 Word Brand Story or 60-minute video interview with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO)
  • 1 Food/Recipe Pairing Article featuring your spirit brand
  • tequilaaficionado-free-ebook1 Profile Article or Written Interview
  • 4 300-Word Product Features with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO)
  • 1 Pinboard on Tequila Aficionado’s Pinterest network, and shared with you so it will appear on your Pinterest network, with at least 20 Search Engine Optimized (SEO’d) and Social Media Optimized (SMO’d) pins
  • 2 Newsletter inclusions to over 800 subscribers
  • 2 Newsletter banner ads to over 800 subscribers
  • Social exposure (x7) across our Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Google+ social networks
  • 72-Hour Site Takeover featuring your brand in our background
  • 10% Of fee invested into social media advertising to a targeted audience for enhanced exposure
  • Inclusion of 3 expressions of your brand on the next Tequila Aficionado tour (additional expressions negotiable at a nominal fee)

Additional content created for you during the tour:

  • 3 Facebook Native Videos
  • 3 Instagram Videos
  • 1 Blog Feature
  • Inclusion in the Tequila Aficionado Wiki
  • 3 YouTube Videos

Tequila PR Platinum Package – One Stop Awesome for 2017 http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4I2

Get ready to take your brand to the next level in 2017!

For more information on the Tequila PR & Marketing Platinum Package or other influencer marketing packages available to accommodate any budget, please visit the Tequila PR website.

Platinum Packages are limited so reserve yours now to hit the ground running in 2017!

Tequila Aficionado’s Sipping Superstars

Who will be the next sipping superstar?

Cast your vote and tell your friends!

who-will-be-the-nextIn October, we did an open call for tequila aficionados who were willing to work for tequila by becoming official tasters for Tequila Aficionado’s Sipping Off the Cuff and other upcoming programs. We spread the word far and wide and several bold souls took us up on the offer to audition with a tasting of the agave spirit of their choosing.

These are their auditions.

Now it is up to you, our faithful viewers to help us choose the new members of the Tequila Aficionado team by telling us which sippers you enjoy watching.

Share their audition videos on your social networks and campaign for them!

To vote: Click on their YouTube video and be sure to give them a thumb up if you liked them.

thumbs-up-and-down

We’ll be following the votes for each through the end of 2016 and offering the best ones the opportunity to work for tequila in 2017.  Please share each video with your friends and be sure to give them a thumbs up on YouTube!

 

 

 

 

 

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience

[From September 11 to October 2, 2016, Tequila Aficionado Media, sponsored by 34 expressions representing 21 brands, embarked on a monumental RV road show dubbed, The Heartland Tour.  In these next passages, we recount the historic–and epic–highlights.]

Minnesota Loves Agave Spirits, Part Deux

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

As we mentioned in the article, Los Osuna’s Dream Maker, Minnesota has the unique distinction of being the only state to have two blue agave spirits from outside Tequila’s and Mezcal’s Denominations of Origin based within its borders.

An oddity, for sure, but perfectly understandable when you discover the ardent foodie and cocktail culture that also exists within the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

For instance…

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

One of the highlights of Tequila Aficionado’s Heartland Tour was an exclusive tasting of Revel Avila Blue Agave Spirit at the fashionable and trendy 6 Smith Restaurant.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

It’s a bold, fresh and modern artisan inspired restaurant situated on the shores of Lake Minnetonka (Yes, THAT Lake Minnetonka!) in the city of Wayzeta.

6 Smith

A private room was reserved for the event with a lovely view of 6 Smith’s outdoor patio which overlooked the lake’s marina.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

On this gorgeous late summer afternoon, we would be hosting many friends of the brand, as well as various VIPs.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

Arranged by Revel’s COO Jacqui Thompson, we were joined by her brother Justin Thompson, Senior Vice President and National Sales Manager, Larry Fioretti, Director of Finance James O’Neill, and several members of Team Revel Spirits.

First Impressions

First impressions were important since this event would also celebrate the The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xeunveiling of Revel Avila Spirits’ handsome new look.

Champagne flutes were carefully filled with modest pours of Revel’s triple distilled blanco, American oak aged reposado, and French oak rested añejo.

Because of its distinctive aroma and flavor, each glass was topped with a Revel Spirits coaster to prevent its diverse aromas from mingling.

This would perhaps be the very first time any of the attendees had tasted agave spirits of any kind, let alone a unique hybrid like Revel Avila.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

To the rear of the room, a delicious spread of finger foods and appetizers was laid out by the 6 Smith staff which included duck confit won-tons, heirloom tomato crostini, and stuffed portobello mushrooms.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

Each delightful side dish was designed to complement Revel’s awe inspiring expressions.

After photos, live check ins on social media and online videos, we were ready to begin.

Armed with a wireless mic and powerful speakers, Jacqui introduced yours truly, and we were off on a Revel Avila Spirits tasting adventure.

Experiencing Revel Spirits

We began with Revel Avila triple distilled blanco, the root of the entire line.

Every attendee was individually served a flute of the exquisite blanco while still covered.  Once each glass was handed over, the Revel coaster was removed to reveal its heady fragrance.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xeMade from blue agave, it is grown and harvested by Revel Spirits’ partner, agave grower Hector Ruiz and family.

His agave groves sit at the foot of Popocatépetl volcano outside of the Denominations of Origin of both Tequila and Mezcal in the state of Morelos, Mexico.

Due to the mineral rich land having only been farmed between 10 to 20 years, the region’s terroir is extremely prominent in Revel’s aroma and flavor.

Revel Avila is a blend of pit roasted and autoclave steam cooked piñas, then triple distilled in large column stills.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

The attendees understood that what they were sniffing, swirling and sipping was a unique experience because currently, no other agave spirits from Morelos are on the market.

Revel Avila Reposado

Next, we discovered the nuances of the 12 month old Revel Avila reposado.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

The women in the crowd picked out hints of toasted almond, butter, and spices while the men were enamored by the oak and caramel notes added by the once used American oak bourbon whisky barrels.

Revel Avila Añejo

Lastly, the two year añejo was introduced to a rousing reception.

The men in the group who had been enchanted by the reposado were wowed by the addition of the extra layers of complexity courtesy of the virgin French oak.

The women were keen on the añejo’s boldness and notes of anise and sweet chocolate.

As a final coups de grace, and, in an attempt at full disclosure, I revealed that The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xeunlike the previous renditions of Revel Avila that they had sampled at 80 proof, the French oak añejo was bottled at 48% ABV, or 96 proof.

Surprised and awed, the entire room nodded in approval.

While many tequilas are sometimes rested in barrels to mask the identity of their unaged blancos, Revel’s character remained intact.

In fact, the wood only served to enhance the intricacies found throughout all of its expressions.

Desperately Seeking Signal

After some parting words from Jacqui thanking those in attendance, we lingered for an hour answering more of the crowd’s questions, in-depth.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

Then, it was off on another 3 hour drive to Wisconsin, desperately seeking wifi signal.

2016 Brands of Promise Nominee Playlist

ta-2016-bop-nominee-rgbSee all the reviews of the 2016 Brands of Promise Nominees in all categories!