Mix Up a Good Time with Scorpion Mezcal and Mexican Chocolate

If there’s one thing I love pairing with mezcals, it’s chocolate.  When you find a great quality mezcal that can hold it’s own against a dark chocolate, pair it.  The flavor combinations will open your palate to a whole new world of flavorful delights.  Here are just a few suggestions for pairing with the Scorpion Mezcal Sampler Box.

Grab a sampler of Scorpion mezcals, some adventurous friends, and make a few of these Mexican Chocolate desserts:

 

MEXICAN CHOCOLATE TART WITH CINNAMON-SPICED PECANS

Mix Up a Good Time with Scorpion Mezcal and Mexican Chocolate http://wp.me/p3u1xi-59U

Marigold Cupcakes

Mix Up a Good Time with Scorpion Mezcal and Mexican Chocolate http://wp.me/p3u1xi-59U

 

Chocolate Raspberry Tamale

Mix Up a Good Time with Scorpion Mezcal and Mexican Chocolate http://wp.me/p3u1xi-59U

Frozen Mexican Chocolate Mousse

Mix Up a Good Time with Scorpion Mezcal and Mexican Chocolate http://wp.me/p3u1xi-59U

 

Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pie

Mix Up a Good Time with Scorpion Mezcal and Mexican Chocolate http://wp.me/p3u1xi-59U

 

Mexican Chocolate Brownies

Mix Up a Good Time with Scorpion Mezcal and Mexican Chocolate http://wp.me/p3u1xi-59U

 

Scorpion Mezcal 4 pack sampler

Beverage Testing Institute’s Tastings 2014 International Review of Spirits Packaging Competition has awarded Scorpion Mezcal’s Silver 4-Pack Silver Sampler Gift Box several Gold awards and runner-up status for Best Gift Box.

Gold Medal – Creativity Category

Gold Medal – Graphic Design Category

Gold Medal – Form Category

Best Gift Box Runner Up

The attractive box is decorated with rustic artwork featuring an ancient still and stylized agave, with the top of the box showing the agave plants for each varietal.

Scorpion Mezcal’s award winning sampler gift box contains four 200ml bottles of Scorpion Mezcal Silver, each bottle containing a different variety of 100% de agave Mezcal. Included in the varietal bottles are:

1) Tobala (Estate Grown)

2) Espadin

3) Barril

4) Blue Weber (grown in Oaxaca)

Among the varietals listed are two award-winning silvers:  Scorpion Mezcal Tobala which took the Platinum Award and 97points from the Beverage Testing Institute which also received Best of Show at The Spirits of Mexico competition.  Scorpion Mezcal Espadin Silver also won several awards including Gold and 96 points from The Beverage Testing Institute and Best Mezcal Food & Wine Magazine.

Watch all our reviews on the sampler:

 

Happy Valentine’s Day from Embajador Tequila

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Have you ever wondered what to pair with tequila for a Valentine’s celebration?  Embajador Tequila has put together a Pinterest board to help you with surprising your Valentine, or maybe just treating yourself and friends, to some delightful holiday pairings.

If you’ve had Embajador, you’ll know that the orange groves surrounding their estate owned agave fields show themselves in the nose and flavor profile of Embajador Tequila.  For this reason, one of the easiest pairings with Embajador is anything that includes cinnamon or cloves – like churros!  Check out this pin to make these beauties to the right.

If you’re an oak head and prefer Embajador’s anejo, aged in Bourbon barrels, then we heartily suggest pairing with chocolate and/or caramel flavors.  The combination is one you’re sure to love!

Are you looking for a quick but amazing Valentine’s Day gift you can pick up at a moment’s notice?

Try a bottle of Embajador Anejo and a box of chocolate turtles!

If you’d like to make the turtles to the left, click here.

If you prefer Reposado, then we might suggest a white chocolate mousse garnished with raspberries.  The flavors and textures in each will marry well for a delicious treat.

Click here for the recipe to the right.

For the purist who loves the fresh light flavors in Embajador Blanco or a Valentine that prefers to eat healthy or has a restrictive nutrition plan, we suggest combining Embajador Blanco with a heart shaped fruit platter.  This one comes with an orange cream recipe for dipping.

No matter which expression of Embajador you choose to pair with tonight, we’re certain your Valentine will love you for it!

 

Click on the image below to visit the Embajador Tequila Pinboard for Valentine’s Day.  There are pairing suggestions to fit every palate.  Whether you’re looking for a last minute gift or something to celebrate a special occasion, these are all winners.  While you’re there, check out their margarita pinboard for National Margarita Day next week!

Hecho Dares to Pair Tequila and Sushi in San Francisco

By Ryan Kelley | 04.28.11
Highly Recommended

The pairing of tequila and sushi is a relatively new concept, but not without precedent. It was pioneered by establishments such as Sushi-Teq in Boston, Richard Sandoval’s Zengo chain, the New York and Las Vegas Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grills and Nick-San in Los Cabos and Mexico City. The trend continues to grow in San Francisco with the opening of Hecho, restauranteur Joseph Manzare’s (part owner of Tres, formerly Tres Agaves) latest venture and the first sushi-tequila bar on the West Coast.

In a space adjacent – and connected to – the Galleria Park Hotel in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, Hecho serves up a variety of small plates, sushi rolls, nigiri sushi, grilled meat and vegetable skewers, as well as a few other seafood and meat dishes alongside a wide selection of tequila and sake. Hecho’s interior is beautiful, dominated by light woods accented by colors from Japanese posters and other images. At first glance it looks like your typical, casual but high-quality sushi joint. And then you notice the tequila bar, where Gilberto Mendoza is ready to greet you and pour you a glass of one of the 80+ tequilas displayed prominently on the back wall. It’s a modest collection compared with the Bay Area’s Mexican-centric tequila bars, but what Hecho lacks in volume is made up for by the well-thought-out represenation characterized by a diversity of terroir and flavor. Most of the popular 100% agave brands have a space on the wall: Herradura, Partida, Siete Leguas, Patron, Corralejo, Casa Noble, and a handful of others. They share shelf space with a few lesser-known brands, like Tres Agaves and Pueblo Viejo, the restaurant’s house tequila.

Mendoza comes to Hecho by way of Tres Agaves, where he worked for four years prior. His passion for tequila is infectious, and he loves to share his knowledge and experience with guests in between pours. It’s strictly the basics when it comes to cocktails. Hecho makes a well-balanced margarita that’s made with tequila, agave nectar, and fresh lime juice, as well as traditional interpretations of the paloma and the tequila sunrise.

The tequila bar flows seamlessly into the sushi bar, which sports a several foot long clear glass case filled with bright-colored pieces of fish. It took me a moment to wrap my head around this juxtaposition, and makes it clear that Hecho will be destroying boundaries and redefining traditional food and spirit pairing. There are also redefined boundaries for patrons; seats are available at the tequila bar,the sushi bar, at tables downstairs as well as upstairs. There’s a private room for groups and meetings, and you can even sit at a bar in the kitchen, overlooking the activity on the first floor and at the tequila and sushi bars.

The sushi offerings reflect a traditional, simple Tokyo-style menu with nigiri sushi (small clump of rice with a piece of fish on top) and makimono rolls (filling of rice and fish rolled into dried seaweed). We sampled the tuna roll, a roll with chopped yellowtail and scallion, and the sea bass nigiri. All were simple and attractive, and the taste was exquisite and remarkably fresh, as if the fish just jumped onto the table.

There are no fancy, western-style rolls at Hecho. California, Philadelphia, Dynamite, or similar rolls filled with cream cheese, tempura, smoked salmon, etc. are nowhere to be found. The Hecho roll is a notable exception, a truly inspired, original “inside-out roll” (rice and toasted sesame seeds are on the outside, with the seaweed and fish on the inside) created by Executive Chef Masaki Sasaki. It is just as beautiful on the palate as it is on the plate. Do not visit Hecho without giving it a try.

For those who shy away from sushi, there are the Yakimono (grilled) items that include a variety of meat (chicken, beef, pork), vegetable (asparagus, mushroom, okra, yam), and seafood (scallop, yellowtail, tuna) skewers. The meats we sampled were tender, flavorful and fully-cooked, and the vegetables maintain a fresh crunch while still benefiting from the few minutes on the hot grill.

Tequila paired surprisingly well with everything, but only after  we decided upon the right combination. Nigiri and makimono rolls paired best with blanco tequila – the house blanco (Pueblo Viejo) is a solid choice, but the variety of flavors offered on the sushi menu beg for exploring other brands. We tried reposado tequila with the sushi, but it had a tendency to overpower the subtlely of flavor inherent in sushi. Instead, the reposados are best reserved for the grilled items. A good guideline is that the whiter the meat/vegetable, the younger the tequila.

Prices at Hecho are affordable but not cheap – you’re in Downtown San Francisco and you pay for that. Fortunately, the quality of food is extremely good. Hecho has some of the best, most fresh-tasting sushi you will ever experience. The service was also incredibly strong, especially for a restaurant that has only been open for a few weeks. Our server, Maile (pronounced Miley), provided top-notch, friendly service and she was knowledgeable about the food and tequila selections, although her specialty happens to be sake.

The diverse tequila selection, unique and high-quality food, and superb service all add up to a strong recommendation. Hecho is an innovative addition to the ever-expanding world of tequila bars, and it will be exciting to see this one thrive and grow.

Hecho
185 Sutter St. (at Kearny St.)
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 835-6400
Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Yelp | Google Maps
Menu: No official menu is available online, but here’s a complete overview of the food menu as of April 2011 from Grub Street San Francisco.
Items sampled (April 16, 2011):

Tequila and Cocktails

Hecho Margarita (Pueblo Viejo blanco, agave nectar, lime juice) – $10 /cocktail
Pueblo Viejo blanco – $8 /glass
Pueblo Viejo reposado – $10 /glass

Sushi (Nigiri and Makimono rolls)

Tekka (tuna roll) – $7 /roll
Suzuki (sea bass) – $3 /piece
Negi Hamachi (Chopped Yellowtail and scallion roll) – $7 /roll

Yakimono (Grilled items)

Shishito (Japanese peppers) – $3 /plate of 6 peppers
Maguro maki (Hecho roll) – $8 /roll
Momo (Chicken thigh skewer) – $6 /skewer
Wagyu (Beef skewer) – market price

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