A Southern California Tradition
Pasadena, California’s landmark El Cholo Cafe Restaurant’s Tequila Tour has been a major community event for the past 17 years. Commemorating its 94th year serving authentic Mexican cuisine to Southern California, the October 27, 2017 edition was destined to be special.
Also in 2017, Tequila Aficionado was celebrating its 18th anniversary of the very first Sipping Off The Cuff© podcast episode taped at the family-owned eatery’s original Pasadena location.
Needless to say, it was an honor when El Cholo’s owner, Blair Salisbury, graciously asked Tequila Aficionado Media to anchor an exclusive VIP Hour during El Cholo’s Tequila Tour, and to share the fine craft agave spirits accompanying us on our 2017 Wild Wild West Tour.
Flawlessly guided by El Cholo’s point man for this shindig, consultant Alex Delgado, we were given the restaurant’s intimate West Patio to showcase the Brand of Promise(c) nominees that traveled with us throughout the month of October.
A Very Special Guest
Days before the El Cholo Tequila Tour, with help from the fine folks at PKGD Media who handle publicity for Tequila G4, we managed to convince the “Mad Scientist” of tequila, Felipe Camarena, to make an unscheduled guest appearance at El Cholo’s fiesta.
It was enlightening to discuss the state of the Tequila Industry from a long time agave grower’s point-of-view. Of great concern was the ongoing Agave Crisis, the ramifications of an agave shortage, and what Felipe considered was the real cause of the problems.
[*FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Wild Wild West 2017 Tour were vetted as Brand of Promise(c) Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be included.]
The VIP Hour
Before we knew it, employees of El Cholo’s opened the floodgates of the West Patio to the VIP Hour.
Joined by CMO Lisa Pietsch, Tequila Aficionado’s Founder, Alex Perez, and Tequila TJs Dave Dinius and Rick Levy, as well as some Brand of Promise(c) representatives, we were instantly surrounded by the smiling faces of dozens of passionate tequila aficionados.
These anxious VIPs were more than ready to sample some of the finest small batch, micro-distilled and handcrafted agave spirits that may or may not have been available, yet, in California.
Where It All Started
Mid-way through the VIP Hour, Blair, Alex, and myself took a few minutes to reminisce about that first podcast, and how each of our endeavors had grown exponentially with the demand for 100% de agave tequila, and now, mezcals.
Alex and I even took a moment to record a brief audio podcast memorializing the humble beginnings of Sipping Off the Cuff(c).
End of The Trail
El Cholo’s regularly scheduled Tequila Tour went off without a hitch, while almost everybody who had purchased VIP tickets lingered throughout the rest of the evening.
It was very gratifying to meet and greet so many fans and followers, to answer their burning questions on the participating Brands of Promise(c), and to experience the level of sophistication of the current crop of agave spirits consumers, whether newbies or seasoned sippers.
To Continue the Battle
Constant and continuing education on agave spirits is a must these days.
El Cholo’s yearly Tequila Tour is not just an event designed to savor authentic Mexican cuisine, but to also elegantly enjoy your continuing agave spirits education.
We look forward to joining forces once again with El Cholo in 2018 to, as Felipe Camarena put it, “Para darle la guerra.”
You can view more photos of El Cholo’s 2017 Tequila Tour here.