Margaritas in Ireland

[Editor’s Note:  On this day after 2018’s International Margarita Day festivities, Tequila Jockey, Jim Johnston, shares his fond recollections of margarita making inside Ireland’s renowned Dick Mack’s Pub & Brewhouse, while visiting relatives in 2017.]

No Country for Cocktails

Ireland is not a cocktail country.

Don’t get me wrong, I had several well made drinks during my visit, but, in most pubs you’re going to find a diverse tap and a shelf stocked with whiskey.

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Such was the case at Dick Mack’s Pub & Brewhouse in Dingle, County Kerry, a wonderful coastal town on the far west of Ireland.

Historic Dick Mack’s has been serving up liquid refreshments since 1899.  It has been in the same family and built a reputation as the classic example of an Irish pub.  Besides a pristine tap, a brass fixture, polished daily with the pub’s name engraved on the front, there is a shelf from bar to ceiling full of Irish whiskeys.

In recent years, Dick Mack’s also has been awarded Munster province and Overall Irish whiskey bar of the year for 2014, 2015, and 2016.  The pub also serves a fair amount of Dingle Gin from the distillery up the road.

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I was told that most Americans drink the traditional Guinness draft, one of the light American lagers available, or they choose to taste some whiskeys from the impressive collection.

When I asked if there was any tequila in the house, Finn, grandson of Dick Mack himself, produced a bottle of what I typically keep on hand at home, Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado.

Ireland’s Cocktail Culture

What followed was a great discussion about the cocktail culture of Ireland, including the failed attempts of previous spirits brands to promote tequila on the island.  Patron’s The Patronic (Patron tequila, tonic and lime) did not take off here.

Finn’s hope is that the acquisition of Bushmills by Cuervo flagship Proximo in 2014,Margaritas in Ireland https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5wy would lead to a more modern, consumer savvy, tequila-esque promotion of the Irish whiskey label.

As we spoke I noticed a bottle of Cointreau hiding behind some whiskey, as well as some fresh lemon juice and quite a few limes waiting to be sliced.

We were staying with my two cousins in Dingle and it was they who, when they lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, introduced me to tequila and the simple art of the margarita.

The Simple Art of The Margarita

It was a particularly warm day for Ireland in late May, about 75 degrees.  Perfect for enjoying margaritas.

I offered to give the Irish crew behind the bar a quick lesson in margarita making and they went about putting together the Irish version of the first really good margarita that I had ever had, the House Traditional, at the famed Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen in Santa Fe, where lemon juice is the citrus of choice.

We made margaritas, and the boys behind the bar agreed that they were a far better effort than the last attempt at tequila marketing that they had been exposed to.

Slainte!

Margaritas in Ireland https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5wy

I would venture back to Dick Mack’s several times that week but, knowing that I had a steady stream of tequila to taste when I came home, I stuck to the perfectly poured Guinness and local whiskey.

Who knows?

When I go back to Ireland, I may have a margarita waiting for me.

Slainte!

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.  *FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Dia de Los Muertos & Heartland Tour had to be vetted as Brand of Promise Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be on the tour.]

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Kansas Is A Hotbed For Agave Spirits

[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.  Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant provided us with no payment, but the food was well worth it!  *FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Dia de Los Muertos & Heartland Tour had to be vetted as Brand of Promise Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be on the tour.] 

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Back To Felipe’s

Tequila Aficionado’s Heartland Tour started off with a bang from the get-go.

We had visited Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant in 2014, and fell in love with the food, the owners–the Lujano family–and their history as stalwart members of the Wichita business community for almost fifty years.

Once again, for the third year in a row, they have been voted Wichita’s Favorite Mexican restaurant by the Wichita Eagle newspaper.

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Working Together

This time around, we made a special whistle-stop at Felipe’s to meet with Adam Clary, Craft Spirits Specialist for Standard Beverage Corporation, and several selected staff members.

Kansas Is A Hotbed For Agave Spirits http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xcStandard Beverage Corporation, one of the more well respected distributors in Kansas, has a firm reputation of forging solid relationships with the customers they serve, including Felipe’s.

Felipe’s is known for their innovation in Mexican cuisine, and for a keen feeling for what will keep their customers coming back for more.

The Lujano family also has a deep love and affinity for all things agave, especially craft tequilas and mezcals that aren’t available in their home state.

Kansas:  A Hotbed For Agave Spirits

Our timing through Kansas during the Heartland Tour had the makings of an Agave Perfect Storm.Kansas Is A Hotbed For Agave Spirits http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xc

We simply wheeled in our stash of agave goodness to share between Felipe’s lunch and dinner hours, and let everyone go to town.

Almost immediately, there were oohs and ahhs from both camps.

The Lujano family and the Standard Beverage staff acted like catadores who had just spent the entire day blind judging tequilas for a serious competition, and then cut loose on their favorites during the after party.

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Knowing that Adam had a great appreciation for craft spirits in general, I still anticipated that I would need to translate some of the nuances of agave to some of the attendees.

I expected that most would gravitate to the aged expressions that we had laid out for them, especially considering we were touring through a part of the country that is heavily influenced by darker spirits, namely bourbon and whisky.

Surprise, surprise!

Such was not the case.

Kansas Is A Hotbed For Agave Spirits http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xcIn an astonishing move, the group made a beeline for every unaged expression belonging to our sponsoring brands.

Tasting the Goods

On a personal note, whenever I participate in tastings or demonstrations, I search for specific clues from the audience to alert me to whether I’m dealing with a well-informed crowd or a roomful of newbies.

Usually, it’s a cross section of both.

Unlike public tastings and dinner events we’ve conducted in the past, or staff training at restaurants or distributors, no instruction was necessary for the chosen and invited staff of Standard Beverage.Kansas Is A Hotbed For Agave Spirits http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xc

Any tequilero or mezcalero worth his or her worm salt will tell you that the character and integrity of their brand can be measured by the quality of their unaged expression.  Most will never shy away from a chance to pit just their blanco tequila or joven mezcal against any other competing brand.

The folks of Standard Beverage understood this.

Without exception, each staff member followed Adam Clary’s lead in sampling the unaged versions of our sponsoring brands, first.  Only when they were satisfied with what they were experiencing from each tequila or mezcal did they proceed in sampling the rest of the lines.

Kansas Is A Hotbed For Agave Spirits http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xc

The effort it takes to understand agave spirits, especially in a region where it is not the average go-to sip, is a quality sorely missing from small-to-medium distribution houses these days.

It’s a testament to the training received by the staff and management of Standard Beverage, and to the courage and enthusiasm displayed by the Lujano family by asking for and acquiring more and better agave spirits.

It was such a joy, and a relief, to simply share stellar agave spirits as one would do with family and friends.

Isn’t that what it’s all about, any way?

Kansas Is A Hotbed For Agave Spirits http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xc

Tequila Aficionado’s Tequila & Mezcal Road Show, Part 3

[From October 14 to October 28, 2015, Tequila Aficionado Media, accompanied by 33 expressions representing 19 brands, embarked on an epic RV road show christened, The Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour.  In these next passages, we recount the historic–and hysteric–highlights.] 

TacoGuild

Church, Tacos, and Tequila With Roger Clyne

Phoenix, Arizona

One of the highlights of Tequila Aficionado Media’s breakthrough Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour was lunch with indy rock legend Roger Clyne of Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers.

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After graciously posing for a quick photo outside our Cruise America RV with Lisa’s boys, we anxiously followed Roger and his lovely and elusive wife, Alisa, inside the historic Taco Guild gastropub, a deconsecrated Methodist church where he had recently conducted an exclusive tasting for fans of his Mexican Moonshine Tequila.

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Having spent most of my young life inside churches, my first inclination was to

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speak reverently in whispers.  Like most places of worship, the Taco Guild had its original stained glass windows and acoustically high ceilings that amplified the din of the lunch time crowd.

It didn’t take long before whispering was futile and more tequila and cocktails were needed.

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Next On Deck

After ordering and savoring some delicious taco plates, Alisa and Roger clued us in on what was ahead for Mexican Moonshine tequila.

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Not only were they planning an extensive 2015 fall tour, but they were also gearing up for 2016’s annual Circus Mexicus.  But, there was another surprise–

The exclusive Mexican Moonshine extra añejo in a ceramic, commemorative 20th anniversary collector’s bottle depicting the “Fizzy Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy” album by Roger’s then group, The Refreshments.

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The band financed the effort so successfully via an Indiegogo campaign that the extra funds enabled them to parlay Mexican Moonshine as a featured tequila in twenty locations–including their own branded cantinas– throughout Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball club for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

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Tequila Tasting With Roger Clyne

A staunch reposado enthusiast, Roger was making it his personal journey to research extra añejos in order to help him define his preferred flavor profile

2015-10-21 12.39.43for Moonshine’s upcoming XA offering.

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Known for their varied and extensive tequila menu,

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naturally, an impromptu tequila tasting ensued courtesy of the Taco Guild’s gracious bar manager.

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After selecting and sampling a variety of tequilas from other producers with varying production methods,

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including some exclusive ultra añejos from behind the Taco Guild’s sacred bar for over an hour, it was time to say goodbye to Roger and Alisa.

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After supplying the Clynes with a bottle of blanco tequila and an añejo mezcal (for educational purposes, of course!), we hefted our bulging bag of leftovers onto the Cruise America RV.

Playing Catch Up

On the way back to our RV park, we stopped at the local supermarket to stock up on supplies for the what we expected would be the crown jewel of our tour–

The Grand Canyon.

After catching up on our required social media chores, a light dinner was in order along with sips of Mestizo Mezcal to chase away the creeping chill of the Arizona evening.

Tequila Aficionado’s Tequila & Mezcal Road Show, Part 2

[From October 14 to October 28, 2015, Tequila Aficionado Media, accompanied by 33 expressions representing 19 brands, embarked on an epic RV road show christened, The Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour.  In these next passages, we recount the historic–and hysteric–highlights.]

Inspired In Albuquerque

With the help of Mezcal Legendario Domingo, Lisa and I brainstormed about our black water tank problem.

We would contact Cruise America RV’s headquarters in Mesa, AZ via their Facebook page, and make an appointment with their service department.  Since we were already fans, this impromptu visit would also serve as more content for Tequila Aficionado and Lisa’s personal blog.

Brilliant!

Get Your Kicks

Get your kicks

Having trekked from Albuquerque to Phoenix a few times before,  both Lisa and myself were aware that portions of Interstate 40 coursed along the Mother Road, historic Route 66.

Mother Road

And having lived in New Mexico for many years, I knew that a stop at Route 66 Casino for more photo ops was a must, especially because Route 66 Tequila had come on the tour, as well.

Route 66 CasinoIt was a memorable pit stop for us.  We made a few new friends and had fun doing it!  Check out this video highlight.Route 66 Casino Arrow

 

 

 

 

By The Time I Get to Phoenix

Once we left New Mexico in the rear view mirror and entered Arizona, the scenery changed and so did our mood.

Looking forward to our lunch date with Roger Clyne of Mexican Moonshine in the next couple of days, we decided to enjoy his latest CD, The Independent, and sing along–with hand puppets.

Don’t judge.  It was a long drive!

After a mid-evening check-in at the Desert Shadows RV park in Phoenix, coupled with a late dinner, a snifter of Route 66 tequila for a nightcap seemed appropriate.  But, not too many.

Our appointment with Cruise America’s service department to address our black water tank problem loomed early the next morning.

Cruise America Headquarters

Things-RVers-Say

An impressive fleet of RVs greeted us at Cruise America’s headquarters in Mesa.  Its size and depth was deceiving with ample showrooms inside.  No matter which department we dealt with, though, the company’s dedication to customer service was first rate.

While the service department examined our damaged RV, we spent time speaking with Vice President, Michael Smalley, on several topics concerning Cruise America’s long history and company philosophy.

You can watch the interview here.

Thank You, Cruise America! 

An hour later, the head of the service department conferred with Mr. Smalley.  Knowing that we were pressed for time, Michael advised that the quickest way to get us back enjoying the road and working on our tour was to switch us to a newer RV rather than to have us wait any longer for repairs on the black water tank.

After unloading clothes and supplies from our old RV and reloading the new one, we waved goodbye to our friends at Cruise America and shuttled back to our RV park in Phoenix.

That afternoon, Lisa was expecting her longtime friends and members of her writer’s group, and she was bound and determined to introduce them to fine sipping tequila from Casa 1921.

 The Butterscotch Martini Girls

Once we were safely back at Desert Shadows with a brand new RV, Lisa regaled her friends with 1921 La Crema.  You can view their official introduction to this tequila gem here, and their rave review here.

As for me, I took the time to sit underneath one of the many fruit trees near our space, lit a cigar, and enjoyed the rolling clouds that signaled a cooling monsoon shower just before sunset.

Arizona Plate

Tomorrow, we’d have some Mexican Moonshine in the forecast, courtesy of Roger Clyne.

Tequila Aficionado Heartland Tour

Heartland Tour

HeartlandTour sidebar, heartland, tequila aficionadoWe’re planning to hit the road again this fall and we’re taking this trip in a whole new direction.  Our last trip was all about the great Southwest and the photo ops available there for Tequilas and mezcals, but this tour will be different – we’re going straight for the Heartland.

What We’ll Do

On this tour, we’ll be traveling north from Texas to the Twin Cities to share some agave love in those states in between.  From there, we’ll explore pairing with Wisconsin Cheeses and Michigan apples.

All along the way, we expect to have plenty of pairing and photo ops for agave spirit brands that want to come along and we’re fine tuning all our networks to share as much of the experience as we can through live Facebook video, YouTube video, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and more.  This means epic, out-of-the-box content for the brands who choose to come with us.

How To Get In On It

If we’ve reviewed your brand and nominated it for or awarded it with a Brands of Promise Award, we’d love to have it on board for this tour that promises the best the American Heartland has to offer.

For details on the social content packages that we plan to provide for brands during this tour, contact Lisa@TequilaAficionado.com.

To get your brand on the tour, simply fill out the form below:

Tequila Aficionado’s Tequila & Mezcal Road Show, Part I

[From October 14 to October 28, 2015, Tequila Aficionado Media, accompanied by 33 expressions representing 19 brands, embarked on an epic RV road show christened, The Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour.  In these next passages, we recount the historic–and hysteric–highlights.

You can also view a complete video playlist of our adventures on our YouTube channel here…]

On A Dark Desert Highway

Somewhere outside Carlsbad, New Mexico

 

On a dark stretch of highway in southeastern New Mexico, a road weary Lisa Pietsch guided the Cruise America RV that Tequila Aficionado Media had rented for the historic Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour.

Avoiding oncoming eighteen wheelers hauling oil and speeding two-ton diesel  trucks, she counted the minutes until she reached her destination for the night, the Carlsbad KOA campground.

Suddenly, she gasped as a huge piece of truck tire appeared in the high beam headlights ahead of her.

With no way to avoid the giant twisted remnant on the two lane highway without swerving and fishtailing the thirty foot RV, she gritted her teeth, straddled the rubber and hoped for the best.

A resounding ka-thunk ka-thunk let her know that she had successfully survived what could have been a perilous situation.  It wasn’t until the next morning that Lisa discovered what had actually happened.

Uncomplicated Sipping

Feeling like the castaways from Gilligan’s Island, what was supposed to have been a leisurely six hour drive from San Antonio, Texas to Carlsbad, New Mexico turned into a 9 hour ordeal that began with early morning packing and stocking the RV.

Once we parked and hooked up the water and electricity at the campground for the night, Lisa announced that all she wanted was something uncomplicated to sip on for a late evening nightcap.

Malinalli blanco fit the bill perfectly.

Black Water

After a sluggish morning, we decided to drive for Carlsbad Caverns in the early afternoon.

Unhooking the RV, Lisa noticed the damage to the black water tank.  The coiled tire we had straddled the night before had poked a sizeable hole.  If any of us needed to use the bathroom while we were on the road, it would spell disaster, especially for those following behind us.

With fingers crossed, we headed to Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

To The Bat Cave!

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After struggling with our selfie stick trying to capture a family photo outside the park sign, we hustled into the visitor’s area for a mid-afternoon tour of the caverns.

Once inside, we were met with this alarming notice–1016151439a

Bats are dying!

While we weren’t able to manage a tour of the Caverns’ famed bat exhibit that featured the Mexican free tail bats, there was enough important information to post in the above article.

Attack of The 10 Foot Martians 

1016151716 1016151717aOn our way back from Carlsbad Caverns just before nightfall, we were able to do a bit of souvenir shopping and picture taking with carved bears and aliens.

We had no idea that the alien culture was so prominent in Carlsbad, but we were sure that Roswell, our next day’s whistle stop, would have more than enough little green men to spare.

In the meantime, we appropriately eased into the  gray, stormy evening with Tromba tequila.

The Truth Is Out There

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From the moment that Alien Tequila hopped aboard our Tequila & Mezcal Tour, I knew that a stop in Roswell, NM at the UFO Museum was a must.

Walking through this charmingly quirky city with a bottle of Alien Tequila hidden in a bag made these photos even more delightful.

1017151250aAfter more souvenir shopping, it was off to our stop for the next two nights at my old stomping grounds in Albuquerque.

R & R

Having stayed at this particular KOA campground during our first family RV outing earlier in the Spring of 2015, we were familiar with the amenities and felt comfortable enough to enjoy some down time.  The driving had taken its toll on Lisa, so a two-day respite was just what she needed.

JLP Margaritas were the order of the evening.  After catching up on emails and drafting blogs, Senda Real made an appearance, as well.

Finding Photo Ops

When you’re stuck behind a computer from 5 to 8 hours a day like Lisa and I usually are working to make Tequila Aficionado Media even more interesting, compelling and educational for you, finding ways to create more inspirational photo and video opportunities is challenging.

Stepping away from the home office and being on the road really lends itself to “outside-the-box” creativity.  If you remain open to possibilities, even the simplest things can serve to generate epic social media content and articles.

Which is exactly what we needed since we were still faced with the dilemma of the damaged black water tank.

Have You Seen Our Dia de los Muertos Magazine?

cover jpg, dia de los muertos, tequila, mezcal, social mediaOur Dia de los Muertos Magazine

Have you seen the Tequila Aficionado Dia de los Muertos Magazine?

We’d like to extend a very special “Thank You” to the tequila and mezcal brands who took a chance on our outside-the-box idea of social media content creation for agave spirits brands.

We enjoyed every opportunity to sip and share these brands through our travels and found no shortage of inspiration for content creation throughout the trip and beyond.

We’re looking forward to a 2015 Tequila tour from Texas to the Great Lakes in September and hope they’ll consider coming along with us again.

The images and captions included in the Dia de los Muertos Magazine are samples of the content we created during the 2015 Dia de los Muertos Tour. For more, please visit the Tequila Aficionado Wiki where each of these brands is featured in depth.

Click on the image to view/download the PDF magazine.

Get On The Next Tour!

1200_Wisconsin-CheeseapplesIf you’d like more information on how your brand can get involved in the 2016 Tequila Aficionado Tour, please email Tours@TequilaAficionado.com and we’ll send you all the juicy details.  In the meantime, we can tell you there will be lots of heartland goodness involved like Wisconsin cheeses for pairing with tequilas and mezcals, Michigan apples for cooking with tequila, fall foliage and much more!

 

*FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Dia de Los Muertos & Heartland Tour had to be vetted as Brand of Promise Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be on the tour.

 

Corner Restaurant Fuels the Fire of Austin’s Craft Tequila Scene

[In mid-February 2016, at the suggestion of Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager of award winning Embajador tequila, Tequila Aficionado Media met with Brian Jaymont, General Manager of the Corner Restaurant, inside the JW Marriott in the heart of Austin, Texas.

We were first exposed to the fine hospitality of the JW Marriott on our second visit to the Texas Nightclub & Bar Alliance Convention.  The JW Marriott will again be the host hotel for the 2016 edition of TBNA, with the tasting event taking place at the famed Brazos Hall.]

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Local Flavor at Corner Restaurant

“Their braised short rib street tacos are to die for!” exclaimed Andres Garcia of Embajador tequila.

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Biting into the first of my three tacos, I wholeheartedly agreed.

Boasting a menu devised by celebrated Executive Chef Jennifer Etzkin, Corner’s fare is billed as “modern Texas cuisine served with an urban flair.”

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Featuring regional ingredients, coupled with stunning views and an inviting atmosphere, our lunch couldn’t have been better paired than with two Glencairn glasses of Embajador Platinum blanco.

In The Beginning…

20160211_140943Brian Jaymont, General Manager of Corner Restaurant, is a true tequila aficionado and student of agave spirits.  He is also well-versed in Texas micro-brewed beers, wines, whiskies and bourbons.

Along with the stellar tequila selection of the Corner, Brian’s also been responsible for the enviable tequila array at the JW Marriott’s San Antonio property, the Hill Country Resort & Spa’s Cibolo Moon tequila bar.

Below, Brian discusses how his passion for tequila and agave spirits began and eventually led him to do more in-depth research.  He also reveals how he’s been able to infuse that passion into the properties he’s worked in.

To date, Cibolo Moon is the only bar in Texas that is certified by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) with a “Distintivo T.”  The entire staff has undergone thorough training, tasting and testing to achieve this certification.

Brian beams with pride as he describes the enthusiasm with which the entire staff at the JW Marriott’s Hill Country Resort & Spa’s Cibolo Moon embraced their Distintivo T training.

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At Brian’s insistence, plans are in the works for the staff at Corner Restaurant to also be “T” certified.

During his tenure, Jaymont was also involved in the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa’s famed Salúd tequila bar.

 Who Has the Best Toys?

Here, Jaymont describes the dynamics of Austin’s craft beverage scene and how he, the Corner Restaurant and Marriott are fueling the fire.

Geeking Out With Brian Jaymont

Brian shares his routine before choosing a new tequila and admits to personally using the NOM List as a way to find other tequilas to try.

What Bourbon, Wine and Tequila Have In Common

Brian asserts that there are hidden similarities to tequila that both bourbon and wine share.

A Blanco Guy

Brian Jaymont explains his personal preference for unaged, blanco tequilas.

Move Over, Bourbon!

Jaymont dissects the steady transformation of Austin’s bourbon-centric palates that are now drawn to Texas-based aged tequilas.

Micro-Local Focus

Brian defines Marriott’s “micro-local” focus highlighting Texas craft beers, wines, spirits, including tequilas.

The Corner proudly pours Austin-based tequilas, Embajador, Dulce Vida, Tequila 512, and more to come.

Glencairn–The Preferred Glass

Brian reveals why he chose Glencairn glasses to serve Corner’s tequilas.  No lime or salt needed–ever!

From Education to Enjoyment

How General Manager, Brian Jaymont motivates his staff to make sure the customer has a pleasant experience with the tequila’s available at the Corner Restaurant.

Supporting Local Businesses

Supporting Austin’s local micro-brewers, distillers, and brand owners to give the visiting tourist a memorable experience, and to keep Austinites coming back for more.

It’s refreshing to find a global hotel chain like the Marriott offer its guests a more local approach to their dining and drinking experience.

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Deciding where to spend your next Taco–or Tequila–Tuesday should be a cinch!

For Sale by Owner: Tequila

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Most of the requests we receive from tequila brand owners and importers here at Tequila Aficionado Media are for our current ad rates and special promotions.

Their goal is to achieve maximum coverage over several of our powerful social media networks in order to gain worldwide exposure for their agave spirits, whether it’s tequila, mezcal, sotol, raicilla or bacanora.

It’s not often that we’re confronted with a reverse situation, however.

In a rare turn of events, one particular tequila brand owner has asked us to help peddle one of the most exclusive tequilas we’ve ever encountered.

Exclusivity Breeds Demand

Following the path of one of the infamous co-creators of Patrón tequila, and brazenly emulated by such standard brands like Partida, the Black Swan of Tequilas has it all and more.

Adorned with a wearable engraved symbol, this beveled sleek and sexy bottle is crowned with a unique and patented locking cap.

Extensively photographed by a Grammy award winning art director, its image exudes elegance, naughtiness, high fashion and luxury all at once.

This platinum blanco tequila comes equipped with a cult following among the elite.  Sipped and lauded by a who’s-who of economic, political, financial, and international leaders and celebrities.

Hell, it even has its own sultry theme song!

A statistical anomaly in the spirits industry, every minute detail was carefully crafted and painstakingly devised to entice the global traveler.

What About The Juice?

It’s got the goods!

Distilled by a well-known maestra tequilera at one of the most trusted distilleries in Mexico, its flavor is bright, yet, traditional.  Strong enough for a man, but made by a woman.

Your Next Step

Seriously interested in doubling down on the fast growing and far reaching Luxury Spirits category with a turnkey approach?

Good!

What’s next?

Glad you asked.

Contact me at mike.tequilaaficionado@gmail.com and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.  But…

Only if you’re all in.