Tequila Aficionado Media Announces the 2015 Brands Of Promise Award Winners!

Honors Bestowed During LIVE Blab Webcast

For Immediate Release!

PLATINUMFINAL2015March 14, 2016, San Antonio, TXTequila Aficionado Media’s Third Annual 2015 Brands Of Promise© Awards were broadcast LIVE on Blab in Tequila, Mezcal and other assorted agave-related categories. See the full list of medal recipients here.

Among the brilliant stand outs of 2015, Ambhar Tequila took the Judges’ Best-of-Show accolade scoring highly in several categories. Recent upstarts GOZA and Papa Bueno also made significant showings.  In a surprise return to the Brands Of Promise© Reposado class, Del Bravo Spirits unanimously took the Platinum award with Route 66 tequila.

Legacy brands Orendáin, Milagro, Tequila 1921, Centinela and Herradura were well represented in both the High-End and Value segments, while Dulce Vida and Suerte convincingly cornered the Extra Añejo tequila market.

In what proved to be the toughest bracket for the judges to date, Malinalli Tequila swept the Platinum trophy in the hard fought Blanco division, with Ambhar, El Mayor, and Mamalón tequilas close on its heels.

The surging Mezcal classification was dominated by the popular Gracias A Dios brand, while Montelobos and Amarás collected Golds in each of their groups.

Gold Medal Winner Lisa Elovich, brand owner of Organic Tequila One With Life, was ecstatic, saying, “Thank you so much! It is such an honor to get this award. I know this will help us with marketing and distribution.” She graciously added, “Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners! So happy to be part of it!”

In an equally gracious statement made over their Instagram account, medal recipient Papa Bueno Tequila wrote, “We are honored to have been among this impressive group of nominees! We love tequila and congratulate all the winners and thank Tequila Aficionado for the time, humor and love they bring! Definitely Bueno!”

About the Brands Of Promise Awards

All brands were judged by Founder, Alex Perez and CEO, M.A. “Mike” Morales, as well as by other Tequila Aficionado staff, on how they performed during Tequila Aficionado’s wildly popular Sipping Off The Cuff™ video series seen regularly on TequilaAficionado.com and viewable on its YouTube channel.

Unlike other spirits contests, The Brands Of Promise™ Awards does not require participating agave spirit brands to pay an entry fee.  It also does not charge winners additional hefty licensing tariffs for the rights to use the medal award graphics on their labels, neck tags, shelf talkers, brochures, point-of-sales materials and websites.

For a full list of Brands Of Promise© winners, click here.

 

 

To enter your tequila, mezcal, sotol, raicilla, bacanora or other agave spirit or related product in the coveted Brands Of Promise™ Awards, click here.

Tequila Aficionado Takes to The Open Road

On The Road Again

Unlike some tequilas, most of my moves have never been smooth–or without incident.

For the better part of 18 years, I lived in New Mexico.  After a year long stay in my home state of California, I moved my personal residence and headquarters to San Antonio, TX to helm the newly revamped Tequila Aficionado Media almost two years ago.  In all that time, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars in storage fees.

Lisa drives the RV.
Lisa drives the RV.

So, when my partner, Lisa Pietsch, suggested an RV road trip in late May/early June to get the rest of my possessions in Albuquerque, I was hesitant.

The plan was to rent a Cruise America RV and to take her two home schooled boys with us, along with the two cats, the dog, and turtle, on a 7-day trek through parts of west Texas and southern New Mexico.

Since Lisa would be doing all the driving, she would break up the trip to no more than 5 or 6 hours before stopping at a reputable and clean RV park for a day or two.  We would simply retrace our route on the return trip, as well.

donner_film_landingI’m not going to lie.  Visions of the ill fated Donner Party crossed my mind.

Apart from the usual concerns about cost and current gas prices (which Lisa will tackle in blog posts of her own), my more pressing questions were–

Could the cats get along with the dog?  Would the boys freak out without wifi?  Would we even survive the first night together in the close quarters of the RV?  Could we all just get along?

Añejo the Cat doesn't travel well.
Añejo the Cat doesn’t travel well.

Luckily, the good folks at Del Bravo tequila supplied us with bottles of their Peñsaco, Diva and Route 66 tequila to calm my nerves.  Brand Of Promise(TM) winner, JLP Craft Margaritas also came along for the ride.

#TheDreamIsReal

Undaunted (and armed with a hashtag), Lisa pursued her dream of taking the kids and experiencing part of the Desert Southwest on the open road.

After a couple of hours outside of San Antonio, we stopped for lunch and took stock of our surroundings inside the RV.  So far, the ride was quite comfy.

The Crossroads of The Texas Mountain Trail

Route 66 and Diva Tequilas.
Route 66 and Diva Tequilas.

We arrived tired and hungry at our destination, the Good Sam campground in Van Horn, TX, just in time to catch a desert sunset.

Dinner in the RV and generous pours of Route 66 reposado tequila were on the menu after a long drive.  Later that evening, the campground’s flawless wifi kept us on top of our personal and Tequila Aficionado duties.

It wasn’t until the next morning, though, that we were able to appreciate the stark beauty of this historic west Texas location.

Tequila Road Show

A short two hours or so later, we entered the El Paso, TX city limits.  Here, Lisa Pietsch and I reveal our desires for the Tequila Aficionado Roadshow that we were planning for late summer/early fall 2015.

Old Stomping Grounds

Fun with the selfie stick.
Fun with the selfie stick.

We made great time into the Duke City area and settled into the spacious Albuquerque North KOA campground in Bernalillo, NM.

Later that evening, accompanied by a full moon rising above the Sandia Mountains and some JLP Craft Margaritas, along with a celebratory cigar for me, we hopped onto the park’s wifi for a little social media fun.

 How to Shop for Your RV

With the idea of shopping for a bigger RV still fermenting, we weren’t too keen on dealing with pesky and persistent salesmen.  Lisa and I decided to take a walk around the KOA park to see what Americans were RVing in.

That’s when we ran into this beauty–

Meanwhile, Back in Van Horn…

After a couple of days in New Mexico, we mounted into the Cruise America RV and made our way back to Van Horn, TX to spend a restful two days recuperating from driving and moving some of my possessions.

Family time.
Family time.

The outpouring of well wishes and the sharing of family vacation memories from our friends and followers on social media, made us pause and reflect on our own individual family outings.

The pros of being location independent far outweighed the cons of what the open road had in store (besides rush hour traffic).

And, had we not returned to the campground in Van Horn, we would’ve missed the opportunities to bond over these gems…

Living The Dream

Stay tuned to Tequila Aficionado later this month for a special announcement about our first ever Tequila Road Show to the Windy City of Chicago and how you can come along!

Diva Tequila Truffles Recipe

Tequila Test Kitchen

diva tequila truffles, recipeAfter judging some stupendous Suerte Tequila Truffles by Piece, Love & Chocolate for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards, I decided to take truffles to the Tequila Test Kitchen.  Since the folks at Diva Tequila were kind enough to provide us with a sample for experimenting, I decided to create Diva Tequila Truffles.  Here’s how it went:

Diva Tequila Truffle Ingredients

diva1/4 Cup Butter (Don’t skimp on this, folks.  It must be real butter.)

1 Mandarin Orange

2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

3 Tablespoons Diva Tequila

8 Ounces White Chocolate

8 Ounces Milk Chocolate (Dark Chocolate is highly recommended)

Some Assembly Required

Place the butter in a small pot and cook on high to melt.

2014-11-29 16.31.05-1

 

While the butter is melting, zest the skin of the mandarin orange into the pot with the butter.  Then slice the orange and squeeze the juice into the pot as well.

2014-11-29 16.28.57

 

 

 

Place your white chocolate in a bowl, preferably ceramic to hold the temperature, and microwave for about 30 seconds to start the softening.

Once the butter has melted and the contents of the pot are bubbling, add the heavy cream and scald.

2014-11-29 16.33.38Pour the hot contents of the pot over the chocolate in the ceramic bowl.  Allow this to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften the chocolate then whisk the contents so the chocolate is completely melted and all the contents are mixed thoroughly.

Add Diva Tequila to the contents of the bowl and whisk again.2014-11-29 16.41.12

 

 

Set the bowl in the refrigerator to begin the setting process.  Every 15 minutes, whisk the contents together again as they may separate as they cool.  After about an hour of cooling, this should have the consistency of fudge.  This is the truffle filling.

2014-11-29 18.25.00

Remove the filling from the refrigerator and prepare to work quickly.  Scooping one tablespoon of filling at a time, roll it into a ball and place it on a freezer-safe plate.  Do this with all the filling.  When you’ve finished, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid (about an hour).

 

When the filling is frozen,  place your 8 ounces of milk or dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring well each time, until it is melted.  Be sure not to microwave it too long as it will burn.

2014-11-29 19.09.10Remove the balls of filling from the freezer and, using two forks, roll each ball through the melted chocolate to cover it completely.  (This can get messy if you don’t work quickly.)  Let the excess chocolate drip off and then place on a freezer-safe plastic plate or a plate covered with wax paper.

Before the chocolate shell has set, you may choose to garnish with a sprinkle of colored salt, a twist of orange, a dusting of cocoa or confectioner’s sugar.  Once the chocolate shell has set, you might also garnish with a bit of melted white chocolate, piped through a pastry bag.

diva tequila trufflesWhen all the truffles have been coated, place the plate in the freezer again for about 10 minutes or just until the chocolate coating has set completely.

Remove your truffles from the freezer and store at room temperature in an airtight container.  Serve/eat within a few days for best flavor.

Salud!

 

 

 

Cranberry & Orange Diva Tequila Scones Recipe

Cranberry & Orange Diva Tequila Scones

I’ve found Diva Tequila to be particularly versatile in drinking, pairing, and cooking.  I’ve wanted to create a tequila scone recipe for some time now and am happy to announce that I’ve finally got a keeper!  These scones may be a little darker than yours might turn out as I use a 50/50 mix of white and whole wheat flour.  Happily, I discovered that the whole wheat didn’t bring this recipe down a bit!  The Diva Tequila scones were light, fluffy and delicious!

Give the recipe a try and see for yourself!

 

scones, diva tequila, cranberry, orange, recipeIngredients:

3 Cups Flour

2 Tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Cup Splenda

½ Cup Butter

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (we used Coconut)

1 Cup Craisins

¼ Cup Diva Tequila

1.5 Cups Milk (Half & Half or light cream for a really rich scone)

Zest of 1 Orange

1 Cup Flour for kneading

1 Beaten Egg to glaze

Soak Craisins in ¼ Cup Diva Tequila Overnight, mixing often to be sure they’re all covered.

 

To Prepare:

scones, diva tequila, cranberry, orange, recipeMix Flour, Baking Powder, Salt & Splenda thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.

Add Craisins and Orange Zest, then mix until all are covered with flour mixture.

Add Vegetable Oil and Milk.  Stir until mixed but don’t over mix.

Sprinkle countertop with flour and roll dough (it should be very sticky) onto the floured surface.

Fold over/knead for about a minute and pat down (no need to roll it) to about one ince of thickness.

Cut with a biscuit/cookie cutter and place on greased baking sheet.

Brush tops with egg wash before baking.

Bake at 400 for 25 Minutes

If you haven’t seen the Diva Margarita Cupcakes yet, check them out here! 

 

Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen recipes are made with tequilas provided by the brand for review in Sipping Off The Cuff and/or use in the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.  The cost of all other ingredients, presentation pieces, kitchen facilities, and utilities  are provided solely by Tequila Aficionado.  To have your tequila, mezcal or sotol brand or other products considered for use in the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen, email Lisa@TequilaAficionado.com.

diva tequila, del bravo, test kitchen, tequila aficionado, recipe, orange, cranberry tequila, scone

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Sauza Rescues Women by Dumbing Down and Giving Them Lousy Tequila

sauza tequilaOriginally posted on April 20, 2013 at www.LisaPietsch.com

I am offended, and with good reason.

All week, Beam Global has been talking down to me as though I’m 18 and haven’t a brain in my pretty little head.  Well, I’ve had it!

“We’ve taken America’s #1 cocktail and made it even more refreshing by adding a bit of effervescence to it. It’s fresh, bubbly, and ready-to-serve – perfect for any ladies’ evening with friends.”

Personally, I haven’t had a drink with a bubble in it since the year 2000 and there isn’t anything about Sauza Tequila that is going to make me start.

“Sauza® Tequila Rescues Women With Its New “Make It” Campaign

sauza tequila firemanThe successful marketing program broke new ground in 2012 by speaking to women the way they want to be spoken to while delivering a visual delight – a Fireman, an adorable kitten and a great-tasting recipe for margaritas.”

The way I want to be spoken to?  Really?  This statement smacks of “Women can’t pay attention unless you show them a muscular man and a baby animal of some sort.  Then you’ll have their attention long enough to introduce your product.

Hey, I like biceps and puppies as well as the next person, but I’m quite capable of speaking on an adult level for more than 60 seconds even without my ADD medication.

sauza tequilaThis is not the way I want to be spoken to.  I outgrew the wine cooler when I was 18.  It seems to me that Beam Brands is marketing their products to 18-21 year old straight female and gay male drinkers of the U.S. who are buying their booze at mom and pop package stores that don’t check identification.

A worthy market indeed.

What adds insult to injury here is both of the above quotes are attributed to a woman, Vanessa Jenkins, Senior Marketing Director of Tequilas at Beam Inc.  Perhaps she’s biased as she spent the early part of her marketing career pushing products like Saccarin and Aspartame for Merisant (originally sprouted from the Monsanto company)?hornitos, lime shot

Honestly, I’m surprised that Beam Global and Ms. Jenkins believe the average female consumer is incapable of appreciating a finely crafted tequila without added bubbles and sugar.  But then again, nobody ever accused Sauza of being a finely crafted tequila.  I don’t believe I’m overstepping when I say not all women want to be spoken to like they’re idiots.

Don’t even get me started on Hornito’s Lime Shot…another Beam Global product that needs to be as cold as ice to be palatable.

Perhaps Sauza should consider making a better tequila instead of covering up the flavors of the ones they do make?

I’ll leave you with this last quote:

 “Sauza is what the parents of other tequila brands use as a boogeyman to scare their children into being tasty.” ~ Cracked.com

 

 

mixto tequila

 

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Cuervo Cinge (Cringe) Review

jose cuervo cringeI received a sample bottle of Cuervo Cinge just before the holidays.  The Cuervo marketing minions were hot to trot on this one and they wanted everyone’s reviews out before the holiday buying binge began.

I gave the bottle a day to rest from its travels and then tasted some.  I wasn’t expecting something that would knock my socks off.  After all, Cuervo Cinge begins with a mixto.  So I wasn’t expecting anything in the class of Peligroso Cinnamon or any of the other 100% agave flavored or infused spirits.  I thought it might still have something worth writing about considering all the money Jose Cuervo was reputed to have spent on marketing this little cinnamon roll – TEN MILLION DOLLARS.

According to Shanken News Daily: “The launch of Cinge will be supported with a $10 million media spend, which will initially launch via social media platforms, followed by a national campaign, as well as on- and off-premise promotions.”

cuervo cingeCuervo Cringe

Hopeful but without great expectations, I took a sip.

Violated.

That’s how I felt.  Violated and dirty.

So I set the bottle aside hoping maybe it would improve in time.

Then I took a shower and washed my mouth out with soap.

The next day, the marketing minions were asking me when, when, when the review would be out.

Finally, with great sadness, I had to inform the poor minion that he did NOT want me to release my review on Tequila Aficionado before people did their holiday shopping.  He appreciated my honesty and thanked me for not posting the review.

cuervo cingeObviously, it has taken me a while to write this review.  I’ve put it off long enough and now is the moment of reckoning.  I’m tasting it again, in hopes that some mighty magic has changed it completely as it sat in the bottle these many weeks.

I’ve given it every opportunity to shine.  I aerated it with a Vinturi Spirit Aerator into a Reidel tequila glass and took a thoughtful sip.

I’m afraid I have no good news for you.  It tastes like somebody crushed a box of Red Hots into a bottle of cinnamon mouthwash and added a bottle of corn syrup.  This is not tequila, my friends.  Cuervo Cinge is a way of violating America’s youth en mass.

I found myself rushing through the kitchen, wondering “What, what, what can scour my palate so I don’t have to continue tasting this heavy, syrupy, sickly-sweet, sludge?”  There was nothing.

Yesterday a review was posted on the Popsugar website and I could hold my tongue no longer.

Brave shot takers surprised themselves by how sweet, smooth, and sippable the cinnamon-y Cinge tastes — even at room temperature and without any chaser! Many considered it better tasting than Fireball Whisky, and even non-tequila-drinkers happily knocked back a shot, even two. 

I have a very simple response to this review:

THIS IS NOT TEQUILA! 

Fireball Whiskey?  Who drinks that?  How old are these reviewers?  I’m sure 16-year-olds think it’s rockin’, but is that the intended target market?

Drink Spirits says:

I say: Bless you, Geoff Kleinman, for writing this professional review rather than being distracted, like I was, with how to remove the awful taste from my person!

In parting, right before I go wash my mouth out with soap and take a scalding hot shower a la The Crying Game, I feel it is my responsibility to tell you this:

Do not buy this product.  Do not let your friends buy this product.  Don’t even look at this product.  Just run away!

 

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Holiday Recipe: Maple Liqueur Tequila Pumpkin Pie

 

de la tierre maple cinnamon liqueur

 

de la tierre maple cinnamon liqueurWhen I tried De La Tierre Maple Liqueur Tequila, I was impressed with the natural maple flavor that took me back to my childhood and tapping maple trees in Maine.  (Click on the QR code to the right to read my review.)

Ever since then, I’ve been anxious to try cooking some favorite desserts with it, like Pumpkin Pie and Crepes Suzette.  I recently tried the Pumpkin Pie and it was amazing.  In case you’re looking for a good gluten-free, sugar-free recipe for Thanksgiving or just a tasty winter treat, give this one a try.  You won’t be disappointed!

De La Tierre Maple Liqueur Tequila Pumpkin Pie

2013-11-03 20.26.59

Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:
1 Cup nonfat dry milk powder

1.5 cups Splenda

2 teaspoons Saigon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Ginger

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/4 Cup De La Tierre Maple Cinnamon Liqueur

2 Cups water

4 Eggs

1 (28 ounce) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
2013-11-04 21.15.37

 

Spray an 11″x7″ glass baking dish with non-stick spray.

Pour mixture into baking dish.

Bake 15 min at 425 and then 50 min longer at 350.
Cool to room temperature, then cover and place in refrigerator to set overnight.

Serving suggestion: We cut it into squares and served it with Vanilla Cool Whip and a glass of De La Tierre Maple Liqueur Tequila on the side.

Bon appetit!

 

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Lisa Pietsch Spices it Up with Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila

I sat down the other evening to taste Peligroso Cinnamon.  I knew Peligroso was good to begin with so I aerated it with the Vinturi Spirit Aerator to allow it to show me what it had.  As it happens, Peligroso Cinnamon has all the right stuff.  This isn’t some girly bottle of silliness with all sorts of additives. This is 84 proof Peligroso 100% Blue Weber Agave Silver Tequila with 100% natural cinnamon extract.

peligroso cinnamon tequila

From its rich golden color to its sweet nose of natural cinnamon, we were pleased with the pour.  I found the nose somewhat reminiscent of the Big Red gum I remember chewing as a child.  Like De La Tierre Maple Tequila, I was pleasantly surprised by the very natural flavor.  It wasn’t an overpowering, over-the-top syrupy infusion but a bright spicy beverage with a warm, medium finish.

This is something I’d drink by the fire at the lodge after a day of downhill skiing.  If you want something for a liquid dessert that hits the spot without being overly sweet or heavy, this is it.  This is a sipper, a mixer, and a great juice to cook with.  In fact, it felt so much like dessert to me that I was inspired to use it in an apple crisp.

The Peligroso Cinnamon Apple Crisp made for a deliciously light dessert, not your grandmother’s apple crisp.  If you’re looking for a little something sugar free and diet friendly after your holiday ham, give this recipe a try:

Peligroso Cinnamon Apple Crisp

Ingredients:

2 Cans Light Apple Pie Filling

1/2 C Cranberries (dried or fresh)

1/4 C Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila

1T + 1t Saigon Cinnamon

1 C Oats

1 C Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 C Butter

1t Baking Soda

1 C Splenda

tequila, apple crisp, peligroso, cinnamon, apple crisp

Empty 2 Cans Light Apple Pie Filling (made with Splenda) into a crock pot.  Mix in 1/2 cup cranberries (I used Low Sugar Craisins, but you could easily use fresh), 1/4 cup Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila and 1 teaspoon Saigon Cinnamon.

Top with a mixture of 1 cup oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour,1/2 cup butter, 1 Tablespoon Saigon Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 cup Splenda.

Cover and cook on high until the syrup bubbles up from below, then leave on warm for about an hour.  Serves eight.

Whether you have it for dessert or breakfast, this is a guilt free recipe made extra tasty with Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila.

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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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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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