Embajador Tequila Pairing at Torch Cigar Bar

[*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.]

Spark Me Up!

Across the vast Desert Ridge Marketplace on trendy High Street in Phoenix is nestled the fashionable Torch Cigar Bar.

Embajador Tequila’s freshest customer provided them an early evening time slot for a tequila and cigar pairing that did not disappoint.

Torch Cigar Bar

Torch Cigar Bar is the new gold standard in cigar bar and lounges.  A lovely, spacious lounge with a contemporary feel, plush furnishings and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

For fine cigar and spirits lovers, Torch is considered a sanctuary from hectic schedules and day-to-day concerns.

Wide Selection

Billed as having over 200 premium cigars and over 200 total spirits, shelf space at Torch is scarce, but…

There’s always room for passion and craft tequilas.

Bar Manager, Chris Cuestas, describes Torch’s growth in Phoenix, and his plans to expand the tequila and mezcal choices.  [Editor’s note:  Chris also makes a mean espresso!]

Cigar Expert Extraordinaire

Torch’s Cigar Maven, Shannon Horton, shares her options on pairing puros with each of Embajador’s expressions.

Inside the Humidor

Replete with personal lockers for members to stash their prized sticks, Torch’s state-of-art humidor is designed as a shrine to fine tobaccos.

Here, Shannon explains her recommendations for Embajador’s anejo, the Caldwell Eastern Standard Midnight Express.

Embajador Tequila and Cigars:  A Perfect Pairing

Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager for Embajador Tequila, explains his reasoning for approaching Torch in the first place, and why small batch tequilas make perfect sense in this environment.

Save Your Sanity

As Jon Harrington, co-founder of Torch, puts it–

“…save your sanity in an insane world….”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaNqBVYjMlX/?taken-by=tequilaaficionado

Visit Torch Cigar Bar and save your sanity.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Embajador Tequila: Framework for The Future

[Transportation, room and board were provided to M.A. “Mike” Morales by Embajador Tequila in order to research this article.  No monetary compensation was received and no guarantee of a favorable article was given by M.A. ‘Mike” Morales or Tequila Aficionado Media.  This article was written by, and is the opinion of, M.A. “Mike” Morales.]

Open Doors

Embajador Tequila: Framework for The Future http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4mC

Everyone in Atotonilco had heard of the Fabrica Santa Rosa’s suspension due to COFEPRIS’ (Comisión Federál para la Protección contra Reisgos Sanitarios) and SAT’s (Servicio de Admistración Tributaria) prolonged “Juntos Contra la Ilegalidad” (“Together Against Illegality”) crusade  to reduce illegally produced alcoholic beverages on the Mexican market.

Many were shocked since Embajador’s outstanding reputation for producing top notch tequilas had been stalwartly guarded–and envied–for years.

20160719_165039Collectively, the crew at Fabrica Santa Rosa was still reeling from the aftereffects of the shutdown.  A few described these agencies’ G-Men as acting arrogantly and condescendingly.

Certainly, this was no way to treat a group of professionals who had many years of extensive experience in distilling frontline tequilas to the strict adherence of the normas.

Individually, each recounted how he or she felt ambushed by the government officials and bum-rushed by the deliberate escalation of what were considered by many high ranking officials in the industry as minor—even laughable– infractions.

Despite that, neighboring tequila distilleries were shaking in their boots wondering if their stored tequila would be targeted by those government agencies’ assault that existed only to add more liters of seized juice to their latest numbers.

In fact, the concerned brand owner’s tequila who inspired my Bullying In Tequila editorial during the early stages of Embajador’s closure, is distilled just up the road from Fabrica Santa Rosa.

In this clip, we entered through the iron gates of the perimeter of Tequila Embajador.  The rows of estate grown agave and the rich, red soil of Atotonilco el Alto took center stage.

(Taken from inside our SUV, it may be too fast to watch continuously, and the sound is a bit muffled by the wind as we drove onto the grounds.)

20160719_124459

Once we parked on the property, the charm of the Fabrica Santa Rosa took over.

How the Magic Happens

Here’s where it all starts:  three autoclaves, from 40,000 KGS to 25,000 KGS in capacity, plus 2 ovens of mamposteria (brick/stone masonry).  The cook time in autoclaves is approx 10 hours; in ovens it’s 24 hours.  Embajador is a combination of both of these methods.

Behind the Iron Door

Opening the iron door of one of the masonry ovens and taking a peek inside.  As you can tell, it’s quite a chore.

Adjusting to Variables

Our tour guide, Francisco Segura Garcia, the company’s accountant and bookkeeper who, since the age of 16 has worked in the tequila industry in some form, explains–

A tahona for the boutique distillery.
A tahona for the boutique distillery.

What influences the flavor profile of a tequila?  A common question, he admits, that has a simple answer, yet, complex at the same time.  For instance…

Older agave vs. younger agave; and healthy agave vs. diseased agave.  If you put either of these through the same process, you won’t get the same results.

20160719_144545 (2)Cooking time varies with the time of year, as well.  That’s why there are master distillers with years of experience in the variations that can affect the final outcome.  Also, the seasons of the year makes a difference (summer vs. winter).

The agave is an extraordinary organism, continues Francisco.  One of the most adaptable plants ever created.  It can exist in the desert or near the coast.  Wherever water is abundant, or in extremely arid climates.

Francisco outlines that when they harvest during the colder months, the agave defends itself with a special coating that they must adjust for.

Variables like pressure, cook time, water temperatures at shredding, and above all, fermentation and distillation.  Otherwise, the tequila produced appears cloudy and bitter even though you’ve followed the same recipe as before.

Two Important Elements

Francisco discusses the importance of fermentation and distillation, and how they are equally influential elements within the tequila making process.

The type of yeast used during fermentation is also important since some can produce more higher alcohols than others, which is in violation of the normas.

Framework surrounding a new shredder.
Framework surrounding a new shredder.

Embajador uses proprietary yeast made from their own estate grown agave.

Fermentation time also varies depending upon the time of year (warm vs. cold weather).

The Vision

We witnessed the ongoing construction on the grounds leading to its phased in expansion that would eventually include a boutique distillery within the larger Embajador distillery.  It will include a tahona, barrel room, gift shop, and an historically accurate re-creation of a vintage working tequila taberna, among other things.

The mini distillery is estimated to be completed by the end of 2016, with the remaining improvements to be finished within a year.

Eco-Friendly

Aiming to cut down on the distillery’s carbon footprint, the eco-conscious family recently modernized the fabrica by installing a boiler to heat water used in the plant.  It runs on a combination of leftover bagasse (bagazo) from shredding the agave and wood chips.

The Future Framework

The framework of Embajador’s future.  More of the buildings and what they will house on the grounds.  (Hint:  Even the bricks of the vintage distillery are made by hand.)

Positioned For Success

Licenciado Cristobal Morales Hernández, legal representative for Tequila Embajador and the Fabrica Santa Rosa, describes what he sees for the immediate future of Embajador in two to three years, including the improvements and growth projected for the distillery.

He also takes into consideration the ramping up of the volume of the plant’s production without suffering a dip in quality of its consistently exceptional juice that they have proudly maintained for 12 years.

He concludes that the buying public should continue to expect the same lofty standards of prizewinning tequila and he acknowledges that the situation concerning the mandated stoppage in production was simply a lesson learned.

See And Taste For Yourself

Lic. Morales relays what he wants consumers to know about Embajador.

He graciously extends a heartfelt invitation to the public to see their more than adequate facilities for themselves.

Shhh...Embajador is resting.
Shhh…Embajador is resting.

He ensures that Embajador is strictly adhering to Mexican and global regulations, and that when the public samples any of the tequilas produced at the fabrica that they can be assured of its propensity for high standards of excellence.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual

[Transportation, room and board were provided to M.A. “Mike” Morales by Embajador Tequila in order to research this article.  No monetary compensation was received and no guarantee of a favorable article was given by M.A. ‘Mike” Morales or Tequila Aficionado Media.  This article was written by, and is the opinion of, M.A. “Mike” Morales.]

Let’s Review…

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lfIn Part 1, Embajador Tequila:  Rectifying The Situation, we listed all the minor infractions that the distillery, Fabrica Santa Rosa, was charged with by COFEPRIS (Comisión Federál para la Protección contra Reisgos Sanitarios) and SAT (Servicio de Admistración Tributaria).

We also brought to light the fact that every breach was addressed within hours, and that the real delay of lifting the ban on the Embajador distillery’s operations was the bureaucratic read tape surrounding the method of documenting and tracking of raw materials and supplies.

Before we tackle this topic, however, a word about the yellow journalism popular with Mexican news agencies.

Scraping A Dead Horse

The phrase “beating a dead horse” is often used when the same story is repeated over and over again, until the subject matter becomes tiresome.

Scraping is a term used by copywriters when expounding on a press release Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lfthat is distributed to several news agencies at once.  It’s extracting pertinent information from the news release or website, sometimes copied word-for-word, without proper credit given to the original source material.

In essence, it’s stealing (plagiarism), but, it helps to keep the topic fresh and different from the rest of the reports seen on other news channels.

Making matters worse, name any reputable producer allegedly busted during COFEPRIS’ and SAT’s “Juntos Contra la Ilegalidad” (“Together Against Illegality”) blitzkrieg, and they are instantly guilty by association.

While there are many honorable news writers in Mexico (many having lost their lives, especially those reporting on narco trafficking activities), most Mexican newspapers are tabloids using this archaic, unethical and unprofessional style of reporting.

The more controversial the titles and the more alarming the descriptions, the more the reader feels like an actual eyewitness to the alleged crime, and, the more newspapers are sold.

It resulted in sensational headlines for the copywriters who, chances are, had never even set foot onto a tequila distillery, and high fives all around for COFEPRIS and SAT.

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lf

No one at the Fabrica Santa Rosa denies that they were guilty of the minor infractions they had been charged with, but, in reviewing the aforementioned articles in Part 1, you’d think the Untouchables had just captured Al Capone for tax evasion.

In true Elliot Ness fashion, there was a loophole.

But, it’s wasn’t what you thought.

The Loophole

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lf

Imagine driving across the state line and being immediately pulled over by a state trooper.  When he asks you for your home state’s current registration, the smokey takes one look at your paperwork and tells you that your registration is not legally recognized by his state’s laws.  He then impounds your car until you can prove that your registration is legal.

That’s exactly what happened to Tequila Embajador.

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lf

After a mound of paperwork providing and proving their procedural accurateness, converting to the more approved methods of record keeping–ninety days later–the ban on Fabrica Santa Rosa was lifted and it’s back to business as usual.

Embajador Tequila Goes On The Record

In this snippet, Licenciado Cristobal Morales Hernández introduces himself as the legal representative for Tequila Embajador and the Fabrica Santa Rosa.

Lic. Morales explains that while Embajador has never suffered infractions due to the wholesomeness and quality of their tequila (in other words, it has never produced illegal tequila), the main problem was in providing proper documentation as per the normas.

Morales goes on to describe that what the authorities actually did was to seal the distillery and the remaining tanks and barrels of tequila, but the product was never destroyed as is customary for the aforementioned government agencies to do during their “Juntos Contra la Ilegalidad” offensive.

The distillery was allowed to finish elaborating the tequila in all its various stages of production until the matter of the paperwork documentation was in compliance with the normas.

Embajador Tequila: Business As Usual http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4lf
Lic. Cristobal Morales with flagship tequilas, El General, Embajador and Jalisciense.

They were not allowed to truck out finished product, however, or to receive more harvested agave until that matter was resolved.  These same conditions were enforced on all of their contracted brands, as well.

In fact, even though the method of paperwork was not in keeping with the two agencies’ guidelines, paperwork DID exist making every step of Embajador’s tequila making process traceable to the very last agave plant and liter of tequila.

Lesson Learned

Cristobal asserts that in the 90 days of the plant’s closure, the company not only met the requirements of the agencies, but exceeded their expectations throughout the distillery, particularly concentrating in the fermentation, distillation and warehouse sections of the fabrica.

Lic. Morales admits that while the agencies’ reaction to the minor infractions were considered harsh, the situation served as a wake up call to step up their game on all levels of each department to stay on par with their indisputable high quality.

***

In the next segment, Embajador Tequila showcases its Framework for The Future.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation

[Transportation, room and board were provided to M.A. “Mike” Morales by Embajador Tequila in order to research this article.  No monetary compensation was received and no guarantee of a favorable article was given by M.A. ‘Mike” Morales or Tequila Aficionado Media.  This article was written by, and is the opinion of, M.A. “Mike” Morales.]

The Situation

Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4iZSince that morning in early April when a news report in the Chinese press first announced that the Embajador distillery (NOM 1509) had been cited by COFEPRIS (Comisión Federál para la Protección contra Reisgos Sanitarios) and SAT (Servicio de Admistración Tributaria), and shut down for various minor infractions, I’d been anxious to investigate their situation, in-depth.

Without a single citation in over 12 years, multiple improvements in the works to compete effectively in Asia and Russia, and kosher certification, it made no sense to endanger their forward movement and future plans by being seemingly underhanded and distilling tainted juice.

This family-owned distillery has a stellar reputation for producing such Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4iZexquisite fan favorites like Alma de Agave, Crótalo, Cabresto, along with its highly decorated flagship brand, Embajador.

Things Don’t Add Up

As I expressed in my editorial, Bullying In Tequila, I believed this was clearly a case of government agencies bullying an up-and-coming player poised to enter the burgeoning Chinese and Russian spirits markets, and known to Tequila Industry insiders as a formidable force firmly positioned in the private label sector.

When Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager for Embajador Tequila, called to invite me to inspect the day-to-day operations of the Fabrica Santa Rosa, I found their willingness to be transparent refreshing, especially in the wake of such damaging charges.

The “Violations”

Let’s get right down to brass tacks.

According to the initial Chinese report–

Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4iZ
New log book and safety signs.

“Mexican health authorities seized over one million liters of tequila on Friday, which belongs to a production company in flagrant breach of health norms.

“All production of tequila was immediately suspended after the investigation found “sanitary conditions far below standards for production, as well as an inability to trace supplies and a lack of legal documentation.”

“The security included seizing 980,399 liters of tequila in tanks or unmarked bottles, 34,677 liters of finished products in labelled boxes mainly from the El Embajador and El General brands, and around 55,000 liters at various stages of the production process.”

In this news release from Mexico

“The second largest seizure of alcohol in three years is carried out.”

“It concerns the second largest securing of illegal inebriating beverages….  In this operation, 1.70MM liters of irregular alcoholic beverages were seized….”

(“Realizan el segundo decomiso más grande de alcohol en tres años 

“Se trata del segundo aseguaramiento de bebidas embriagantes ilegales mas grande….En esta acción…se aseguararon 1.70MM litros de bebidas alcoholicas irregulares…”)

In this incendiary report from El Financiero

Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4iZ
New delineation of departments.

“Federal authorities confiscated one million 70 thousand liters of tequila outside the normas in the locality of Atotonilco el Alto, and it concerns the largest securing of irregular alcoholic beverages.

(“Autoridades federales incautaron un millón 70 mil litros de tequila fuera de norma, en la localidad de Atotonilco el Alto, y se trata del aseguramiento más grande de bebidas alcohólicas irregulares.)

[Aforementioned federal authorities] imposed seals of closure and immobilized the product and installations of Tequila Embajador, where work and services were suspended due to deficient sanitary conditions in the production process, lack of traceability of supplies and scarcity of legal documentation.”

(“…impusieron sellos de clausura e inmovilizaron el producto e instalaciones de la empresa Tequila Embajador, donde se suspendieron sus trabajos y servicios por deficientes condiciones sanitarias en procesos de producción, falta de trazabilidad de insumos y carencia de documentación legal.”)

Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4iZ
New department signs.

“Security measures applied included the seizure of 980,399 liters of product in bulk inside storage tanks and bottled without labels; 34,676.7 liters of finished product in cases and labeled primarily of the brands El Embajador and El General; as well as 55,000 estimated liters of product in various stages of production, chopped, shredded, fermented and distilled.”

(“Las medidas de seguridad aplicadas, incluyeron el aseguramiento de: 980 mil 399 litros de producto a granel dispuesto en tanques y en botellas sin etiqueta, 34 mil 676.7 litros de producto terminado en cajas y etiquetado principalmente de las marcas El Embajador y El General, así como 55 mil litros estimados de producto en proceso, troceado, molienda, fermentación y destilación.”)

“Sanitary irregularities were also detected such as tanks without protection,

Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4iZ
Protection and delineation.

[and] accumulated dirt and grime.  Additionally, there were no physical separations between the fermentation and distillation areas from the rest of the spaces of the distillery.”

(“También se detectaron irregularidades sanitarias, como tanques sin protección, y acumulación de suciedad; además que no había una separación física entre las áreas de fermentación y destilación del resto de los espacios de la empresa.”)

“In addition, there were flies present in the fermentation and distillation zones due to a lack of pest control, evident lack of order and cleanliness and there were no log books registering the carrying out of cleaning and maintenance of equipment.”

(“Además, se detectó la presencia de moscos en zonas de fermentación y destilado, debido al deficiente control de plagas, evidente falta de orden y limpieza en las instalaciones y no se contaba con bitácoras de limpieza actualizadas ni registro de mantenimiento de equipos.”)

And, from this blatant smear campaign–

Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4iZ
More coverage and delineation.

“Any person who would want to consume any of the brands of tequilas involved should know that these products were elaborated under dubious sanitary conditions.  For instance, the inspectors found a platform over the reception tanks and one over the fermentation tanks that did not have any protection.

Moreover, there were gutters without protection with an accumulation of grime, evidence of consumed foods in the processing areas and lack of cleanliness in the fermentation area with the presence of non-useful materials including a motorcycle.”

(“Cualquier persona que guste consumir alguna de las marcas de los tequilas involucrados, debe saber que estos productos fueron elaborados en condiciones sanitarias muy dudosas; por ejemplo, los inspectores encontraron una plataforma sobre las tinas de recepción de jugo y uno de los tanques de fermentación, las cuales no tienen protección; además, se encontraron canaletas sin protección y con acumulación de suciedad, evidencia de consumo de alimentos en las áreas de proceso y falta de limpieza en el área de fermentación, con presencia de materiales en desuso, incluyendo una motocicleta.”)

“Also, an open bag was identified with detergent and a bottle containing liquid with the smell of disinfectant over the barrels.  There was lack of maintenance of the walls and a presence of clearings, windows without protection [screens] in different areas.  The distillery had no physical separation between the

Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4iZ
Barrels naturally protect against…birds.

fermentation and distillation areas from the rest of the spaces.  It also had no identification and delineation of the areas such that packing material, products, chemicals and bottles were found in the same place.”

(“También identificaron la presencia de una bolsa abierta con detergente y un envase conteniendo un líquido con olor a desinfectante sobre las barricas; hay falta de mantenimiento en paredes y presencia de claros, ventanas sin protección en diferentes áreas; la empresa no cuenta con una separación física entre las áreas de fermentación y destilación del resto de los espacios del lugar, ni tiene identificación y delimitación de áreas, de tal forma que el material de empaque, productos químicos y envases se encontraban en un mismo sitio.”)

And finally, a simple English translation from the original press release by COFEPRIS and SAT by trade magazine, The Spirits Business.

The Rest of The Story

What all these news services failed to mention was that each of the above infractions, except one, was addressed within a couple of hours.

So, why was the lifting of the closure of Fabrica Santa Rosa distillery not met with equal timeliness by these government agencies?

Why allow the escalation of a situation that normally requires only a warning, and malign a distillery’s spotless reputation?

Why did it take almost 90 days to rectify the situation and to restore the Embajador family’s impeccable integrity within the industry?

Two reasons–

Embajador Tequila: Rectifying the Situation http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4iZ

COFEPRIS’ and SAT’s ongoing three year campaign (some call it a smoke screen or a witch hunt) called “Juntos Contra la Ilegalidad” (“Together Against Illegality”), to reduce illegally produced alcoholic beverages on the Mexican market, and…

Paperwork.

***

Click for Part 2, Embajador Tequila:  Business As Usual.

 

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Open Bar #6 Andres Garcia of Embajador Tequila

Embajadores-3, EmbajadorOpen Bar #6

During Tequila Aficionado’s Open Bar #6, Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch talk to Andres Garcia of Embajador Tequila about his recent visit to the USA Trade Tasting in New York City, his Level 3 Catador class with Ana Maria Romero Mena, and how he is expanding his brand’s market footprint.

Visit Embajador Online

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From their website:

We are a family who is motivated and inspired by the idea of crafting superior quality and distinguished Tequila. Embajador is produced in small batches to focus on the brands consistency and quality principles. We produce Embajador using only 100% Blue Weber Agave that is grown on our estate located in Atotonilco in the highlands
(Los Altos) of Jalisco, Mexico. This region in the valley of the Highlands of Jalisco is distinctive with its nutrient rich soil, along with a natural spring water aquifer that runs through our land, which is the essence that gives Embajador its distinguished characteristics.

We will not sacrifice the honored value of our methods or the superiority of our Agaves for mass production. We will not cut corners to meet new demand and boost the bottom lines. Our handcrafted methodology and patience is honored and fully committed to producing superior quality Tequila.

Our goal is to craft a brand that will always be consistent in aroma, taste and quality. We want Embajador Tequila to be here for generations to come, some 200+ years. The dedicated commitment to quality measures at each step of the production of Embajador is one that will define our core strategic sales and marketing goals. We will establish Embajador for steady growth in the high-end premium category over the next 3, 5 and 10 years.

This is not a sprint race for us, but more of a marathon and we are taking the proper steps to condition ourselves to achieve a strong successful presence in the US and Global market within the High-End Premium Tequila Category.   

After all, we are the Embajador (Ambassador) of Mexico.

 

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Open Bar with Andres Garcia of Embajador

Join us for Open Bar #6 with Embajador Tequila on Monday!

Embajadores-3, embajador, tequila, andres garciaMonday evening at 7pm Central, Andres Garcia will be joining Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch for a chat about Embajador Tequila.  Andres has been hard at work at some recent big shows, just returned from a visit to Mexico to take the famed class from Maestra Ana Maria Romero Mena, and he’s also been building his team and expanding the number of markets in which his family’s tequila is available.

Join us as we discuss these and other topics with him on our weekly Open Bar show on Blab.im.

Follow Embajador Online

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About The Family

We are a family who is motivated and inspired by the idea of crafting superior quality and distinguished Tequila. Embajador is produced in small batches to focus on the brands consistency and quality principles. We produce Embajador using only 100% Blue Weber Agave that is grown on our estate located in Atotonilco in the highlands
(Los Altos) of Jalisco, Mexico. This region in the valley of the Highlands of Jalisco is distinctive with its nutrient rich soil, along with a natural spring water aquifer that runs through our land, which is the essence that gives Embajador its distinguished characteristics.

We will not sacrifice the honored value of our methods or the superiority of our Agaves for mass production. We will not cut corners to meet new demand and boost the bottom lines. Our handcrafted methodology and patience is honored and fully committed to producing superior quality Tequila.

Our goal is to craft a brand that will always be consistent in aroma, taste and quality. We want Embajador Tequila to be here for generations to come, some 200+ years. The dedicated commitment to quality measures at each step of the production of Embajador is one that will define our core strategic sales and marketing goals. We will establish Embajador for steady growth in the high-end premium category over the next 3, 5 and 10 years.

This is not a sprint race for us, but more of a marathon and we are taking the proper steps to condition ourselves to achieve a strong successful presence in the US and Global market within the High-End Premium Tequila Category.  

After all, we are the Embajador (Ambassador) of Mexico.

 

What is Blab?

Blab is a livestreaming platform that enables a public video chat among four participants at a time. If you are familiar with the likes of Periscope, Meerkat and Google Hangouts, it basically combines all three. 

Viewers come in to watch the livestream and they can participate by leaving comments on the left hand side of the desktop application or below on the mobile version. 

If one of the four seats is open, a viewer can easily request to join and it’s up to the host to accept them into the livestream.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Embajador Proclaimed Tequila Producer of the Year!

Bestowed Gold and Silver Awards at the First Annual Bar Business Spirits Competition

embajador, tequila, producer of the year, bar business magazineFor Immediate Release!

September 9, 2015, Austin, TX:  On August 16, 2015, at the First Annual Bar Biz Spirits Competition held during the Texas Bar & Nightclub Alliance Convention, Embajador Tequila was named Tequila Producer of the Year, capturing a gold medal for Embajador Premium Reposado, and garnering a silver medal for Embajador Supreme Añejo.

“We are thrilled, excited and proud to be recognized as ‘Tequila Producer of the Year’ by BarBiz Magazine,” beamed Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager and family member of Embajador.  “Our commitment as brand owners to our consumers, the industry and ourselves is that we will not cut corners or change how we produce Embajador Tequila.”

Reiterating the family’s mission of building a legacy, Garcia added, “Our goal is to have this same award winning tequila flavor profile and aroma for generations to come.”

The First Annual Bar Biz Spirits Competition was organized by the editorial and publishing staff of Bar Biz Magazine.  Almost 100 spirits and mixers were judged by an expert panel of trade buyers, rating the liquid by its category and actual retail price.
Within these criteria, Embajador Premium Reposado seized a gold medal while Embajador Supreme Añejo secured a silver prize.

“It is a privilege and an honor to have earned these medals,” declared Garcia.  “Quality over quantity has been our motto.  These awards symbolize what we as a family successfully accomplish–crafting quality tequila.”

 

Embajador is no stranger to brilliant accolades within the tequila category of the spirits industry.  In 2014 alone, it was voted gold and silver medallions at the famed Spirits of Mexico, as well as platinum, silver and bronze medals at the prestigious SIP Awards, both taking place in California.

The First Annual Bar Biz Spirits Competition followed a strict code for blind tastings.  The judges granted no awards to spirits that they themselves would not import, distribute, buy or sell in their own businesses and within the price categories.

“Thank you to BarBiz Magazine, and to all those involved for such amazing recognitions,” concluded Andres Gacia.

“We are striving to see Embajador Tequila reach national distribution so that we may all celebrate the arrival of the Ambassador!”

***

Add multi-award winning Embajador Tequila to your spirits portfolio, now! Contact Regional Sales Manager Andres Garcia at andres@embajadortequila.com, or call 469-216-0567.

 

embajador, tequila, producer of the year, bar business magazine

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Tequila Adventures at The Texas Restaurant Association Market Place

[On June 28 and 29, 2015, San Antonio-based Tequila Aficionado Media was invited to participate with Embajador Tequila at the Texas Restaurant Association Market Place in Dallas.]

Texas Restaurant Association Market Place

When the call came from Andres Garcia, Embajador Tequila’s sales manager, to accompany him to the state’s largest tradeshow at the Texas Restaurant Association in Dallas, we jumped at the chance for another road trip.

The Texas Restaurant Association serves, educates and supports the restaurant 0628150946bindustry in Texas.  Alternating trade shows between Houston and Dallas, this year’s event was held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center next to the luxurious Omni Hotel in the heart of downtown Dallas.

Embajador would be participating in conjunction with ProMexico, a government entity that promotes Mexican companies in order to contribute to its economic and social development and strengthens the country’s image as a strategic global business partner.

Witness the brief ribbon cutting ceremony of the ProMexico section of the Texas Restaurant Association Market Place on June 28, 2015 in Dallas.

Big D

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Aside from classic travel slogans (“We do things bigger in Texas,” and “It’s like a whole other country”), my only exposure to the city of Dallas was like everybody else’s who didn’t hail from Texas–the beloved Dallas TV show.

0629150925a~2Overlooking the sweeping downtown skyline from the window of our room on the 19th floor of the Omni Hotel, you could almost hear the show’s theme song.  The Ewing saga kept us glued to the set every Friday night.

The bigness of the city was certainly reflected in the size and scope of the Texas Restaurant Association Market Place.

 The Highlights

Inside the section reserved for venders involved with ProMexico, Embajador was awarded a commanding corner booth that Andres decorated with bottles of his tequila.

Resembling a duty free perfume counter at an international airport, Embajador wowed fellow venders and attendees for the two straight days of the Market Place.

Above, Andres Garcia samples Embajador Tequila to attendees at the Texas Restaurant Association Market Place.

Hectic as most popular trade shows are, we did manage to check out a few of the 0629151507dozens of participating businesses and products.  Among other venders at the Market Place were…

Texas Specialty Beverage–carrying an array of products like Tropics Natural Infusions, a 100% natural fruit infusions with a slew of tempting flavors as wild as 4 Berry and Ice Cream.  Catering to specialty foodservice for premium cocktails and smoothies, as well as culinary and savory applications, they even concocted a signature margarita using Embajador reposado.

Zodiac Vodka–an American-made craft potato vodka. Produced from farm to bottle using 100% locally sourced ingredients, based in Idaho (of course!).

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New Mexico Green Chile Company–a family owned company of brokers and distributors of the state’s prime crop (and a personal favorite of mine!), Hatch green chile, direct to distributors and restaurants throughout Texas.

Every product or service one could think of, from coffee service to professional barbecue grills, was featured in the Market Place.  Similar to the Sabor Latino Food Show that we had attended in California earlier this spring, the organizers also provided a separate location for all Texas-based spirits that participated in the event.

0629151104aIt was no surprise to run into Empresario, a merged entity made up of Austin-based liquor companies who aim to give global distillers like Brown-Forman a run for their money.  Among the partners are Pepe Z and Republic tequilas.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home 

Rather than make the long drive home from Dallas to San Antonio in rush hour traffic, Andres Garcia and I decided to visit one of the city’s favorite places for tacos and tequila–Tacos And Tequila!

Earlier in the day, several members of the chain’s management and 0629151912ownership had stopped by Embajador’s booth seeking new tequilas and mezcals to add to their already extensive selection.  We decided to return the favor and visit the Routh Street location for dinner.

Tableside Guacamole

Emphasizing fresh ingredients in all their menu items at Tacos And Tequila, we were treated to tableside guacamole.

Freshness Philosophy

Manager Zak Baron explains the chain’s freshness philosophy.

What’s Up With the Rebar?

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Tacos and Tequila has a unique way of expanding their bar and displaying even more agave spirits.  Zak explains…

The Secret to A Successful Menu

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Pinning down the secret to Tacos and Tequilas’ agave forward menu.

One Thing

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Zak and bartender Nadine reveal the one thing you should know about Tacos and Tequila.

 Into The Sunset

All in all, a more than worthy trade show in the Texas Restaurant Association Market Place, topped off with a memorable celebratory dinner at Tacos And Tequila–

Dallas really does do things bigger and better!

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

The Sabor Latino Food Show

 

[The second annual Sabor Latino Food Show took place on May 12-13, 2015 at the Pasadena Convention Center.  Tequila Aficionado Media was asked to tag along with Embajador tequila as its importer/brand owner attempts to break into the competitive Southern California spirits market.]

Show Prep

emb1It’s no secret that trying to jockey for position into the competitive California spirits market is as tough as winning the Triple Crown in horseracing.  This is doubly true if you’re a fledging tequila brand trying to distinguish yourself from the rest of the field.

That’s where trade shows like Sabor Latino can help.

Opening Ceremonies

Lilly Rocha, founder of Sabor Latino Food Show.
Lilly Rocha, founder of Sabor Latino Food Show.

Created and organized by CEO, Lilly Rocha, a well connected and solidly certified event planner with 17 years of experience and with both national and international clients.

The Sabor Latino Food show recognizes the growing power of the Latino consumer in the US by helping to “Define the Tastes of the New Majority,” which also happened to be this year’s show theme.

After graciously introducing her team, and acknowledging troops of culinary students whom she affords the opportunity for internships with companies that prepare them for college or careers, Lilly cuts the ribbon and unleashes the mariachis.

 

 

Workin’ It

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As with most trade shows, an intense 5 or 6 hours is usually spent educating potential customers on the virtues of your product.

Here, Andres Garcia, regional sales manager and family member of Embajador, samples his tequila to approving Spanish speaking attendees.

 

 


In this cut, Andres explains the differences of Embajador reposado and añejo to an employee of the LA Times.

 What’s New

At the Sabor Latino Food Show, Tequila Aficionado got to try new products, old favorites, and get surprising scoops, for instance…

NewOrendain
New from Orendain. What’s NOT on the label?

Maricela Martinez of Frank-Lin Distillers showcased her tequilas Puerto Vallarta, Ollitas, and Gran Orendain.

188Pulque

Brand Manager, Daniel Del Razo carries the only canned pulque in the US, Hacienda 1881.


For tequila aficionados interested in exploring the roots of tequila and mezcal, you certainly need to try it.

Guest Stars

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Several importers and brand owners stopped by to tell Tequila Aficionado about their upcoming offerings for Summer 2015.

Ernesto Aguirre of Aguirre Imports discusses his brands and his strategic alliance with Alvaro Molina’s Dos Artes tequila, a 2014 Brand Of Promise(TM) winner.

 


Another 2014 Brand Of Promise(TM) winner in the ready-to-drink category (RTD), Jean-Paul Rojo of JLP Craft Margaritas visited with us and gave us a rundown of its new packaging and project for Costco.

Not everyone who came by was exhibiting at the Sabor Latino Food Show.  Some, like Miguel De Los Rios and Tatiana Vallejo, owners of Aguila Real tequila, just came to size up the field of newcomers.

Look for Aguila Real, one of the hottest brands to hit the tequila market in a long time, all over SoCal.

Even our founder, Alex Perez, stopped in to say hello.

AlexP
Alexander Perez, Founder of Tequila Aficionado Media

 

What’s New, Day 2

On day two, we met Daniel Villaneda of Global Spirits Imports who sampled a full array of  Pochteca Liqueurs along with an upcoming tequila from Chef Martín San Román whose own restaurant, La Terrasse, is in the heart of Baja California’s burgeoning wine country, the Valle de Guadalupe.

Speaking of the Valle de Guadalupe, Volubilis Imports displayed a series of wines from that emerging region.  Vice President of Sales, Marcus Salvemini, gives us some background on his company.

Hugo D'Acosta, the Mondavi of Baja CA.
Hugo D’Acosta, the Mondavi of Baja CA.

 

 

Marcus explained that vintner, Hugo D’Acosta, is considered the Mexican Robert Mondavi and primarily responsible for the region’s current wine boom.

In this snippet, he imparts the area’s history and the varietals that are carried by Volubilis Imports.

 

 

 

Dessert Pairing with Embajador Tequila

Mama Cheesecake story.
Mama Cheesecake story.

 

One of the more exciting vendors at the Sabor Latino Food Show, was Marian Lopez, owner of Mama Cheesecake in Pasadena, CA.

A one time single mom, Marian began baking her original cheesecake recipes about twenty-five years ago as a way to raise money for her children’s extra-curricular school activities.

Marian explains more about her background and baking methods.


After discovering what her baking methods had in common with some tequila producers, Marian approached the Embajador tequila booth to try all three expressions and to select the ones she wanted to pair with her latest creation, the Spicy Mama chocolate cheesecake.

Marian reveals what her inspiration was for her Spicy Mama chocolate cheesecake recipe.

SpicyMama

Marian and her business partner, Acacia, pair their Spicy Mama chocolate cheesecake with Embajador Premium Reposado and Supreme Añejo.


These, and many other exciting Latino based food and beverage products premiered at the second annual Sabor Latino Food Show.

Embajador Body Slams Latino Taste Buds!

SL_Takedown

An estimated 900-1000 attendees passed through the doors of the Pasadena Convention Center and several hundred were floored by Embajador tequila’s aromas and flavors.

A few days after the show, Embajador was notified that it had won the Sabor Latino Tequila Take Down competition held among the tequila brands participating in the event, as the crowd favorite.

The Southern California Latino community has taken serious notice of Embajador tequila as a promising brand worthy of their attention.

A Brand Of Promise

187TAWith the tortilla chip–and arguably, Mexican wine and spirits–among other Latin influenced foods becoming a staple of the American culinary experience, there’s no reason to believe that Lilly Rocha and the Sabor Latino Food Show won’t become a major player to look up to for all Latino food and beverage products eager to debut in the challenging Southern California market.

Watch for The Sabor Latino Food Show coming to Chicago, June 8-11, 2015.

 

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Embajador Tequila Conquers California At Spirits of Mexico!

Captures gold and silver medals across contest categories…

Embajador, reposado, spirits of mexico, tequila, tequila aficionado, anejoSeptember 29, 2014, Del Mar, CAEmbajador Tequila Supreme añejo was awarded a gold medal from the longest running Mexican spirits competition in North America, the Spirits of Mexico.  A panel of judges with over 300 years of experience between them also voted both Embajador Tequila Platinum Blanco and Embajador Premium Reposado coveted silver medals.  The blind tasting took place on August 25-26, 2014 at the popular Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego with the results announced yesterday during a special ceremony at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Hailing from the famed blue agave growing region of Atotonilco in the highlands of Jalisco, the family owned Embajador Tequila stunned the Spirits of Mexico competition by capturing the gold medal in the añejo category.

“We feel like sweepstakes winners!” exclaimed an overjoyed Andres Garcia, Embajador’s Regional Sales Manager.  “Taking the gold medal for our anejo at the Spirits of Mexico tasting competition is breathtaking.”

And just like their global brand ambassadors, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, one of the hottest mariachi troops in Mexico, Embajador tequila swaggered into the blanco and reposado segments of the competition and claimed twin silver honors.

“We are ecstatic over winning two silver medals for our reposado and blanco, too,” added Garcia.  “We’re extremely proud of the consistency in Embajador’s flavor profile and quality.”

The Embajador family is adamant about crafting superlative and distinguished tequila.

Embajador, reposado, spirits of mexico, tequila, tequila aficionado, platinum, blancoIt uses only its own estate grown 100% blue weber agave that is carefully tended for 8-10 years.  Baked in an adobe oven, the piñas are shredded using water from the distillery’s own aquifer, and then fermented from 3-5 days.  After double distillation, the luminous Platinum expression is rested 40 days in stainless steel vats to ensure a complete balance of character.

The captivating Embajador Premium Reposado is rested for a period of eight months in American and French Oak barrels, while the gold medal winning Supreme Añejo is aged with devotion for one year and six months in American and French Oak barrels.

This has been a year filled with accolades for the small batched Embajador tequila.  In April, it racked up a glimmering platinum title at the prestigious SIP Awards, while their other expressions garnered silver and bronze prizes, as well.

Embajador, reposado, spirits of mexico, tequila, tequila aficionado“Getting these esteemed awards is a symbol of our family’s determination, commitment and dedication to producing high caliber tequila,” said Garcia, “and that’s the better part of winning.”

Entering tasting competitions and gaining recognition for accumulating awards is only part of Embajador’s strategy to grow the brand.

“Acquiring the gold and silver medals provides us and our distributor sales team with a tequila that we can be proud to stand behind and be assured it’s top-notch juice,” explained Garcia.

“These trophies are great sales and marketing tools that give us the opportunity to present Embajador to any retail buyer and be confident that it will add value to their premium tequila shelf selection,” he described.

“We plan on celebrating these awards with a big ‘Thank You’ to all the people behind the scenes that made Embajador Tequila what it is today,” continued Andres.  “We value their hard work, long hours and integrity.”SOM-logo

Gratefully, he added, “Thank you Spirits of Mexico for celebrating and acknowledging this noble spirit.”

Not accustomed to sitting on their laurels, Andres Garcia admitted, “We plan on commemorating this triumph by popping a few bottles of Embajador Tequila.  Salúd!”

***

Distributors/Vendors:  Contact Andres Garcia, Regional Sales Manager, to discuss the benefits of adding Spirits of Mexico gold medal winner Embajador Tequila to your portfolio at andres@embajadortequila.com.  More details on Embajador Tequila on their website here.  To learn more about the Spirits of Mexico, click here.  Spirits Writers:  For an in-depth interview with Andres Garcia, call 469-216-0567.  Hurry–slots are filling up fast!

 

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

How to Get Paid to Drink Tequila:

How you can turn your passion into profits and get paid to drink tequila as a blogger, vlogger, podcaster or author

 

Salud!!