2016 Brands of Promise Awards, Part 4

Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees for the 2016 Brands of Promise Awards!
Nominees & winners, feel free to download your medals by clicking on the appropriate images below:2016 Brands of promise awards for Ready to Drink, Mezcal, Mezcal Legacy, Legacy Gateway Mezcal, Mezcal Packaging http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lv2016 Brands of promise awards for Ready to Drink, Mezcal, Mezcal Legacy, Legacy Gateway Mezcal, Mezcal Packaging http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lv  2016 Brands of promise awards for Ready to Drink, Mezcal, Mezcal Legacy, Legacy Gateway Mezcal, Mezcal Packaging http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lv 2016 Brands of promise awards for Ready to Drink, Mezcal, Mezcal Legacy, Legacy Gateway Mezcal, Mezcal Packaging http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lv2016 Brands of promise awards for Ready to Drink, Mezcal, Mezcal Legacy, Legacy Gateway Mezcal, Mezcal Packaging http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lv

 

 

 

 

As always, there is never an entry fee for the Annual Brands of Promise competition, nor is there ever a licensing fee to use earned medal images on your products, packaging, website, social networks or point of sale materials.  To enter your brand in the 2017 Brands of Promise competition, email Mike@TequilaAficionado.com.

 

2016 Brands of Promise Awards, Part 3

Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees for the 2016 Brands of Promise Awards!
Nominees & winners, feel free to download your medals by clicking on the appropriate images below:2016 Brands of promise awards for Organic, Value, Infused tequila, Tequila Liqueur, Tequila Packaging  http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lu2016 Brands of promise awards for Organic, Value, Infused tequila, Tequila Liqueur, Tequila Packaging  http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lu  2016 Brands of promise awards for Organic, Value, Infused tequila, Tequila Liqueur, Tequila Packaging  http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lu 2016 Brands of promise awards for Organic, Value, Infused tequila, Tequila Liqueur, Tequila Packaging  http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lu2016 Brands of promise awards for Organic, Value, Infused tequila, Tequila Liqueur, Tequila Packaging  http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lu

 

 

 

 

As always, there is never an entry fee for the Annual Brands of Promise competition, nor is there ever a licensing fee to use earned medal images on your products, packaging, website, social networks or point of sale materials.  To enter your brand in the 2017 Brands of Promise competition, email Mike@TequilaAficionado.com.

 

2016 Brands of Promise Awards, Part 2

Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees for the 2016 Brands of Promise Awards!
Nominees & winners, feel free to download your medals by clicking on the appropriate images below:2016 Brands of promise awards forReposado, Reposado Reserva, Legacy Reposado, Anejo, Extra Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lt2016 Brands of promise awards for Reposado, Reposado Reserva, Legacy Reposado, Anejo, Extra Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lt  2016 Brands of promise awards for Reposado, Reposado Reserva, Legacy Reposado, Anejo, Extra Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lt 2016 Brands of promise awards for Reposado, Reposado Reserva, Legacy Reposado, Anejo, Extra Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lt2016 Brands of promise awards for Reposado, Reposado Reserva, Legacy Reposado, Anejo, Extra Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Lt

 

 

 

 

As always, there is never an entry fee for the Annual Brands of Promise competition, nor is there ever a licensing fee to use earned medal images on your products, packaging, website, social networks or point of sale materials.  To enter your brand in the 2017 Brands of Promise competition, email Mike@TequilaAficionado.com.

 

2016 Brands of Promise Awards, Part 1

Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees for the 2016 Brands of Promise Awards!
Nominees & winners, feel free to download your medals by clicking on the appropriate images below:2016 Brands of promise awards for Blanco, Legacy Blanco, Legacy High Proof and Blanco Rustico http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Ls2016 Brands of promise awards for Blanco, Legacy Blanco, Legacy High Proof and Blanco Rustico http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Ls  2016 Brands of promise awards for Blanco, Legacy Blanco, Legacy High Proof and Blanco Rustico http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Ls 2016 Brands of promise awards for Blanco, Legacy Blanco, Legacy High Proof and Blanco Rustico http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Ls2016 Brands of promise awards for Blanco, Legacy Blanco, Legacy High Proof and Blanco Rustico http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4Ls

 

 

 

 

As always, there is never an entry fee for the Annual Brands of Promise competition, nor is there ever a licensing fee to use earned medal images on your products, packaging, website, social networks or point of sale materials.  To enter your brand in the 2017 Brands of Promise competition, email Mike@TequilaAficionado.com.


 
 

 

 

 

 

Santo Diablo Mezcal King Ranch Chicken Recipe

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how you can enjoy it too!

Santo Diablo King Ranch Chicken

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

1/4 Cup Santo Diablo Mezcal

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

2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 Can Diced Tomatoes and Hatch Chilis

1 Bag Frozen Fajita Mixed Vegetables

2 Cups Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

2 Teaspoons Cumin

1 Teaspoon Red Pepper

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

Malinalli Tequila Extra Anejo German Apple Cake Recipe

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

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

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

Malinalli German Apple Cake Recipe

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

 

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

Women In The Tequila Industry: Anahí Rivera

Building Casa 1921

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Tequila Aficionado First

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hint:  Education is key.

Christmas Panettone with Embajador Tequila Recipe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rediscovering Demetrio Tequila

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

Jim of All Trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s our visit with the irrepressible Jim Driscoll.

 Tequila Wasn’t on The Radar

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

From Farm to Bottle

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

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

The Pure Essence 

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

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

The Demetrio Skinny Margarita Difference

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

Demetrio Plays Well with Others

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

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

Demetrio Issues a Challange!

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

The Perfect Marriage of Agave, Vanilla, and Oak

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

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

You Don’t Have to be A Rockefeller

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

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

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

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

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

Toasting Demetrio’s 5 Year Extra Añejo

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

In The Afterglow

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

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

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

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

The Future of Demetrio

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

Hail Cheesers!

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

Cheese and Agave Spirits?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheeses of Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

Filling A Need

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

Craft Cheeses Made by Masters

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

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

Award Winning Cheese

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

Cheese From Family Farms

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

Cheese Pairing

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

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

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

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

It’s Hard Work

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

Serving Suggestions

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

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

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

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