Sipping off the Cuff with Mezcal Legendario Domingo

From the Mezcal Legendario Domingo Website

domingoVenimos de una tierra llena de misticismo,donde uno se cautivacon el simple hecho de pasearseentre los callejones o ver la sonrisa de un niño.Quieres vivir una vida donde no porcasualidad exista más de un domingoque sea legendario.
Quieres creer que eres invencible, que nadaestá fuera de tu alcance. Deseas ser la versiónmás auténtica de ti mismo, donde todas lasmáscaras se caigan para revelar tu verdadero yo.Y cuando pregunten por alguienque haya marcado su vida, aparezcas encuadro. Y si tuvieran un último deseo porcumplir, digan: “volverlo a ver, volver atomarme un trago con él”.

Find Mezcal Legendario Domingo Online


Bingewatch Open Bar

vida tequila, open barUnfortunately, Lisa & John Barlow of Vida Tequila have had to reschedule their appearance on Open Bar.

Please feel free to catch up on our first 13 weeks of the 2015 season of Open Bar.  We’ll be back in June with more episodes of Open Bar featuring De La Tierre Maple Tequila, Revel Avila Agave Spirits, Vida Tequila and more!

If you’d like to schedule a future appearance on Open Bar, feel free to email

What is Open Bar?

Every Monday, Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch co-host the first tequila talk show, Tequila Aficionado’s Open Bar, where they interview movers, shakers, and up-and-comers in the Tequila, Mezcal, Sotol, and agave spirits industries.

Vida Tequila


Greatness is rarely a product of research and formula alone. True greatness comes from the passion, pride, and relentless pursuit of perfection. Our entire line of ultra-premium, award-winning tequilas is crafted in Arandas, Mexico, from a single ingredient: 100% pure, highland-grown Tequliana Weber Blue Agave. Only 60% of the distilled product ever makes it into the bottles through the process of cutting the Heads and Tails. To ensure purity of flavor, the bottles are washed in their respective style of tequila before being filled with the finished product. While the Blanco is bottled after the distillation process, the Reposado is aged in white oak barrels for six months, and the Anejo is aged in French oak barrels for 24 months. We embrace the process and strive to make the most sophisticated product; they are the keys to greatness uncommon.

De La Tierre Maple Tequila

The story is simple, It all started out with an epiphany that hit Troy Bilodeau January 31st 2010.

A then long time friend Wayne Rezunyk and Troy put their heads together and started testing that day, this was followed with a little research (tasting) okay okay a lot of research, then they agreed that they maybe on to something. Countless hours of, testing and researching and the duo came up with what is now “De la Tierre” Canadian Maple Tequila. With a lot of effort, belief, luck and unquenchable desire to make this spirit a true blend of Canadian and Mexican taste at their finest, “De la Tierre” Canadian Maple Tequila was born !

Extensive “testing and researching” later and partnering with Ralph Berezan who had the same desire and vision, we are now able to offer a unique flavored Tequila, the only Canadian Maple flavored Reposado currently on the world market. The name De la Tierre is slang in Spanish for “from the Earth or of the Earth” as both the Canadian Maple tree and the Mexican Agave plant are grown in the Earth.

No longer just for our friends and family, you are invited to enjoy this very special blend of spices, 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, mixed with a gold medal winning 100% Blue agave Reposado Tequila from Mexico. “De la Tierre” Canadian Maple Tequila will be available for the enjoyment of all.

We hope you enjoy the plethora of tastes that this flavored Tequila has to offer!

Revel Avila Agave Spirits

With the introduction of something 500 years in the making.  An agave spirit made in the Morelos region of Mexico, grounded in the purity of tradition and imagined to a new level. Timeless, tirelessly crafted, rooted in history, family and graced by the light of the setting sun.  It has taken us more time to be born than any other spirit has been alive.  And now, we are Revel, here for the rebellion against expectation.  To slake the thirst you knew you had.  And to cause another one for more.

From us.  For you, Mas Espiritu!

Women In the Mezcal Industry: Karla Amtmann

IMG_0915-4With the burgeoning mezcal trend in full bloom throughout the world, a new kind of Boss Lady has also emerged.

One who is not only willing to navigate the big business of spirits brand ownership, but is also courageous enough to nurture the delicate balance between successfully marketing her own mezcal and preserving a way of life.

Karla Amtmann is one such leader.  A relative newcomer to the mezcal industry, she shares a passion for all agave spirits that began in her native Mexico City.

Believing that, “drinking mezcal evokes a deeper connection with the earth,” and “connects me with my heritage and the history of my family and culture of Mexico,” she has triumphantly spearheaded the crowdfunding of her own Santo Diablo mezcal.

Similar to our Women In the Tequila Industry articles, here, she launches ourSD karla 3 Women In the Mezcal Industry series with her thoughts on our customary handful of questions, along with additional views on the romance of mezcal.


TA:  How would you describe your experiences as a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?

KA:  There are many men in the spirits industry, but I truly haven’t really thought about it that way.

Yes, I am a woman in a man’s profession but in today’s world, I honestly don’t think it has anything to do with gender but more of one’s passion.

The women I know that are working in the industry have also been able to gain the respect of everyone in the field.  It is inspiring to see smart, capable people in fields that take charge and exhibit their passion.

Just as in any industry, loving what you do and working hard will bring success.


TA:  How have you been able to change things within the mezcal industry?

KA:  It has been hard because often I am not taken seriously.  As many women experience, there is the question of whether to play up to feminine strengths or emphasize more male associated traits.

I have strived to combine the two, which, once again, ultimately highlights the passion that I truly have about Mezcal.  There are some challenging moments, but you just work through it and keep going.

TA:  What do you see as the future of woman working within the mezcal industry?

KA:  As a woman, being the face of a spirit is powerful and intriguing.  I feel that men in the industry are starting to see how the passion of a woman really represents the sexiness of Mezcal.

I think a woman is very much how I describe mezcal.

It is up to us to keep the family and the tradition together.  It is our job to care for it–to make it grow like we grow our own children, with dedication and responsibility.

IMG_0772-6TA:  What facets of the Mezcal Industry would you like to see change?

KA:  We must put more plants into the ground than are currently being taken out, and very importantly, sharing profits of the brand to the real producers of the mezcal by helping them grow.

After all, the brand growing is them having  the secret recipe.

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

KA:  I think right now, all the new owners of Mezcal want to come to the United States and are just focused on taking over the market and I don’t think that’s the right way to go.

There needs to be some sort of united front, where we as Mezcaleros educate consumers on what Mezcal actually is, its history and its magic as opposed to just focusing on one’s own brand.

Mezcal is like wine:  different regions, different earths, different climates, different agaves which impacts the mezcal flavors.  There are an infinite number of flavors that will suit each palate.

Our responsibility comes first to Mezcal then to our brand.  If you don’t respect Mezcal, Mezcal won’t respect you.

TA:  Is there anything you’d like to say to women who may be contemplating SD karla 2entering and working in the mezcal industry in one form or another?

KA:  Go for it!!!  I am living proof that with perseverance anything is possible.  If one is passionate about Mezcal (and what’s not to be passionate about!), then any woman will be successful!

I see the future of the industry as having more heart, more passion…just like every woman has!

I think I’m proving fact that a young woman can perform on the same level as the big boys, always knowing to control what I can control and following my instincts.

Cheers to the magic of Mezcal!

Romancing Mezcal

To taste Mezcal is to taste a unique individuality with every glass and every sip. No two Mezcals are alike; the perfect Mezcal requires just the right combination of fresh agave, authentic culture, and a dash of magic.

SantoDiabloMezcal is a reflection of the beauty of the land it originates from.

You can find it hiding within the rugged mountains, living amongst the native groups who are committed to preserving its ancestral traditions while they watch others around them let the jewels of their culture fade into distant memories.

A true Mezcal is one of those jewels.

It is the hills, it is the palenques, it is the isolated villages still holding on to what brings them closer to who they know they really are.

It is the sun shining down on our face, a consistency of time, and it is the collective passion of a culture dedicated to preserving its inner spirit.

This spirit gets whispered and passed along with every sip of Mezcal.

The story has been passed down in Mexico for over 24 centuries.  With Santo Diablo, we are committed to sharing it, and the spirit of Mexico, with the rest of the world.

Sipping off the Cuff with Tequila 21 Reposado

tequila 21Tequila 21

From Tequila 21:

This premium tequila is produced in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico and is bottled in food grade stainless steel bottles providing you with an authentic experience that cannot be duplicated. Take this unbreakable bottle with you anywhere without the worries of breaking or spilling. 21 Tequila has a unique smoothness with a peppery finish and sweet agave taste.


Find Tequila 21 Online


Why Now, Mezcal: The Lone Ranger Rides Again

By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.

lone-ranger-and-tontoThe branding of Kimo Sabe mezcal is brilliant.  Perhaps not since the mid 90s when Ron Cooper coined the phrase Single Village Mezcal for his Mezcal del Maguey, has anyone used a name so effectively to attract a particular demographic in the alcohol buying public. Back then it was a take-off on single malt scotches.  Now it’s addressing those of us in our sixties who recall the weekly TV show, The Lone Ranger, affectionately known by his sidekick Tonto as Kimo Sabe.  Most, however, don’t know that its literal translation is something like “trusted friend.” The name nevertheless calls us, despite the fact that when I first heard it I thought there could not have been a hokier moniker on the planet. I couldn’t have been more wrong, at least from a marketing perspective, especially after I understood what the brand owners, at least in my mind, are trying to achieve.

logoThe peace and love generation has finished raising its children and put them through college, paid off mortgages and retired other debt, all the while having forgotten about the counter-culture.  It sold out to become part of the corporate and professional western world. But there has been a significant positive: its members now have sufficient disposable income to spend as much as they want on whatever they want.

Enter mezcal, taking us back to our roots, that is our desire for something real, natural and organic, reminiscent of what back then we coveted but couldn’t afford.  Sure, there were Birkenstocks.  But unlike a bottle of $200 USD mezcal (not Kimo Sabe), they didn’t empty and then require replenishing.

Kimo-Sabe-Mezcal--241x300I’m asked at least twice monthly, why only now is there a mezcal boom, when the spirit has been around for some 450 years, if not longer.  My retort has been pretty standard, citing the hippie generation, the values of which were consistent with the production of artisanal mezcal.  But back then we couldn’t afford to put our dreams, our words and our passions into action.  Now we can, and we do. Not me literally, since I live and breathe mezcal and don’t have to pay what Americans customarily fork out. And it’s even more costly for those who live across the pond in the UK, or worse yet Australia.

And so it appears to me that the makers of Kimo Sabe are targeting my generation, though probably not the higher end purchasers since the price-point of Kimo Sabe is extremely attractive. Why else select a name that conjures that era of B & W shows on an Admiral television built into a console?

The brand recently took first place in a spirits competition, even ahead of quality tequilas. It won “Best of Class International Specialty Spirit” judged by the American Distilling Institute.  

alvin starkman, Oaxaca, mezcalBut Kimo Sabe may just be a flash in the pan.  I haven’t tried it so am not in a position to proffer an opinion.  But I’ve been around the mezcal industry long enough to know that winning a competition is at least occasionally the result of no more than building relationships, and at times payola in one form or another, definitively not suggesting that this is the case here.  Let’s just hope that would-be mezcal aficionados just don’t end up being tontos, and that Kimo Sabe ends up being a trusted friend of throngs of spirits consumers, both first time imbibers and those with a discerning palate.

Alvin Starkman operates Mezcal Educational Excursions of Oaxaca (

Sipping off the Cuff with Tequila 21 Blanco

tequila 21Tequila 21

From Tequila 21:

This premium tequila is produced in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico and is bottled in food grade stainless steel bottles providing you with an authentic experience that cannot be duplicated. Take this unbreakable bottle with you anywhere without the worries of breaking or spilling. 21 Tequila has a unique smoothness with a peppery finish and sweet agave taste.


Find Tequila 21 Online


Women In The Tequila Industry: Sarah Bowen

Divided Spirits, Sarah BowenI have many fond memories of my first meeting Sarah Bowen during the historic Ian Chadwick Blue Agave Forum tour of tequila distilleries in 2006.

She was a young student then, relentlessly recording every interview with master distillers and jimadores on a digital voice recorder, in flawless Spanish.

Who knew that ten years later she would be a wife, mother, and an Associate Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University?

No doubt, she did.

Her years of intricate research into the tequila–and the now booming mezcal–industry led her in 2015 to publish Divided Spirits:  Tequila, Mezcal and the Politics of Production.

A vital voice that every potential Tequila Boss Lady should heed, here are Sarah’s responses to our handful of questions.


Bowen_headshot, Sarah BowenTA:  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/Mezcal Industries?)

SB:  I am a researcher, not a part of the tequila or mezcal industries, so I think that matters.  I have thought a lot, however, about how being a woman mattered for my research.

For my book, I did over 100 interviews, and most of these were with men, who still hold most positions of power in the industry.  I think that in some cases, being a woman gave me an advantage.

Many of the men I interviewed did not perceive me, a young woman and a student at the time, as a threat or even as someone with a lot of knowledge of the industry.

This meant they were often willing to share politically controversial perspectives or details about their companies that I don’t know they would have shared with someone they saw as more of a contemporary.

TA:  How have you been able to change things within the Tequila/Mezcal Industries?

SB:  In my book and in some of my other writing, I have tried to communicate the important issues facing the tequila and mezcal industries and show how consumers in the U.S. can advocate on behalf of small producers, farmers, and workers.

Consumers in the U.S. and Mexico helped defeat NOM 186 several years ago, and I hope we will be able to defeat NOM 199, the absurd proposal that would force many small mezcal producers to use the word “komil” to sell their spirits.

In a certain sense, I have more hope for the future of mezcal, in particular, than I have [tequila] in the ten years since I started studying these industries.

Consumers are increasingly knowledgeable about issues related to sustainability, quality, and fairness in these industries, and I hope that I might have played some small part in that.  But I also realize that it’s an uphill battle.

The rules that define tequila and mezcal have evolved in one direction for the last 60 years, and almost every decision has favored the big companies over small producers and workers.  Changing that trajectory is difficult, but I think we’re starting to see some positive changes.

TA:  What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila/Mezcal Industries?

SB:  I think that women are going to become more visible in the tequila and mezcal industries in the next few years.

Sarita Gaytán and Ana Valenzuela’s research on women in the tequila industry has shown that women are represented in increasingly diverse positions in the tequila industry:  from tequila companies to the CRT.

GracielaAngeles, Sarah BowenThe diversity and amount of mezcal being sold in the U.S. has grown so much in the last few years, and women are an important part of that growth as well.

For example, we see women like Graciela Angeles heading up Real Minero, one of the most interesting mezcal brands, and also being an influential and important voice about many current debates related to mezcal.

I think that these trends are going to continue, and that this is really important for the future of these industries.

TA:  What facets of the Tequila/Mezcal Industries would you like to see change?

SB:  We need more transparency about how profits are being distributed.

As I said above, savvy American consumers and bartenders are increasingly knowledgeable about the practices used to make their tequila and mezcal, and in the case of mezcal, about the type of agave that goes into it.  I think this has had positive effects.

But consumers know very little about how the people who make tequila and mezcal are compensated.

We live far away from the communities where [mezcal] is being produced, and it’s easy to romanticize these producers and their traditions.

We need to ask questions about how their mezcal is being produced—and perhaps most importantly, about how the small producers, farmers, and workers are being paid.

We also need to question a mezcal Denomination of Origin [DO] that excludes so many people and regions with long histories of making mezcal.

The rules of the DO excludes many people by setting standards that are more appropriate for large, industrial producers.  Even more egregiously, the geographical boundaries of the DO exclude people in many regions of Mexico where people have been making mezcal for multiple generations.

And NOM 199 threatens to make this even worse, by now making these people call their products “komil.”

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

SB:  I hope that they will continue, and I hope that they will support each other.


Diversifying the voices we hear from regarding the future of these industries–in terms of gender, but also in terms of geography, size, and ethnicity—is the best way to preserve the quality of tequila and mezcal and also support all of the people that make them.

Open Bar – Getting Your Brand Noticed


Get Noticed! Tequila Aficionado as influencer

You’re busy trying to get your brand out there to consumers.  We get that.
But did you know that we have lots of FREE ways for you to get your brand in front of our audience?  You can check them out here, or just tune in to our next Monday evening Open Bar where we’ll be discussing all the ways Tequila Aficionado can help you grow your brand.



 *Please Note*

This is not a telephone call-in show. We will not answer our phones during the show.
If you would like to participate in this show, please click here.


get noticedGET NOTICED!

As the premier source in agave spirit education and entertainment, Tequila Aficionado can offer your brand a wide variety of products and services by our experts who are each influencers in their respective fields.  In keeping with our philosophy of transparency, we’ve included a list of options available in every price range.

Click here to learn about all the options available.

Como la principal fuente de agave espíritu educación y entretenimiento, Tequila Aficionado puede ofrecer su marca de fábrica una amplia variedad de productos y servicios de nuestros expertos cada influenciadores en sus respectivos campos. En consonancia con nuestra filosofía de transparencia, hemos incluido una lista de opciones disponibles en cada gama de precio.

Haga clic en para ver todas las posibilidades de conseguir su marca, notada por los aficionados al tequila en todo el mundo.

Sipping off the Cuff with Herradura Directo de Alambique

Herradura Directo de Alambique


At 110 proof without barrel aging, “Directo” is a crystal-clear tequila with robust notes of sweet agave, green pepper, citrus, and a hint of herbs and spice. Taken together, these notes provide a smooth, complex, and prolonged presence. A bold tequila expression for true tequila lovers.

This small-batch tequila is produced using only the finest blue agave plants, harvested at the peak of perfection. It is then fermented with natural yeast amid the warm breeze and citrus trees of Casa Herradura, a process entirely unique in the industry. Finally, it is bottled direct from the still at 110 proof, preserving the fresh, youthful flavor of Herradura’s beautiful tequila, a taste unchanged since 1870. The result is a crystal-clear tequila with robust notes of sweet agave, green pepper, citrus, and a hint of herbs and spice. Taken together, these notes provide a smooth, complex, and prolonged presence. A bold tequila expression for true tequila lovers.

Sipping off the Cuff with Herradura Directo de Alambique“We are delighted to introduce Coleccion de la Casa, Reserva 2015 – Directo de Alambique to our Tequila enthusiasts in the United States just in time for the holidays,” said Liz Edwards, Senior Brand Manager for Tequila Herradura. “The fourth edition in Tequila Herradura’s small-batch tequila series is 110 proof and straight from the still. It’s an ideal expression for discerning tequila drinkers looking to enjoy the crisp, vibrant flavor of Herradura.”

Tequila Herradura has a strong reputation as an industry innovator and is credited with introducing the first-ever Reposado in 1974 and Extra Anejo tequila in 1995. Coleccion de la Casa is a great example in the industry of how four of the primary sources of flavor– agave, water, fermentation, and distillation, absent of maturation impacts the character of the final product creating a totally new flavor profile. As with the other three editions, Master Distiller Maria Teresa Lara, one of the only female Master Distillers in the tequila industry, was the force behind Directo de Alambique.

“I am excited to share Coleccion de la Casa, Reserva 2015 – Directo de Alambique with consumers throughout the United States,” said Ruben Aceves, International Director for Brand Development and Tequila Herradura’s Master Taster. “Directo is personally one of my favorite expressions of Tequila Herradura – straight from the pot still with no aging.”

Find Herradura Directo de Alambique Online:


Sipping off the Cuff with Santo Diablo Mezcal

From the Santo Diablo Mezcal Website:

Santo Diablo MezcalEndlessly Intriguing. Purely Sensuous. Unequivocally the world’s best and arguably the only Mezcal that your lips will ever crave again. Santo Diablo is heating up L.A.’s trendiest nightclubs and bars this July and then, taking the U.S. by storm this Fall, one sip at a time. Join the  revolution. What will Santo Diablo Mezcal awaken in you? Santo or Diablo. Saint or Devil.

Find Santo Diablo Mezcal Online


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