Mansplaining Revel Spirits Avila

You thought you knew everything there was to know about the main Mexican agave spirits–

Pulque, Tequila, Mezcal, Sotol and Bacanora.

Then, along comes another one you’ve never heard of…

Avila.

What the hell is it?

Glad you asked.

Get Acquainted with Avila

You first heard about Revel Spirits’ Avila on Sipping Off the Cuff(c).

In 2016, during our very successful Heartland Tour, we led the Revel Avila Spirits Experience.  It was a delightful sampling of its three expressions to a packed house of VIPs at 6 Smith restaurant on the shores of Lake Minnetonka.

And, for the agave geek in all of us, Revel Avila Agave Spirit Facts explains away the mysteries and misconceptions of Revel Spirits Avila.

Why Haven’t We Heard of Avila Before?

Simply put, it doesn’t have a Denomination of Origin–yet.

This magnifies what the good folks at Revel Spirits are trying to accomplish.

Rather than being accepted and lumped into the Tequila or Mezcal designations, Revel Spirits has undertaken the herculean task of starting a whole new spirits category.

Not only are they importing a luscious distillate, but they are working closely with the government of Morelos to establish its own Denomination of Origin (DO).

Giving Back at The Ranch

One of the basic pillars that Revel Spirits is based on is philanthropy. So, in the meantime, the company has pledged to act just like a proper Geographic Indicator.

Revel Spirits is helping to lay the groundwork that will support the farmers’ and jimadores’ livelihoods, preserve Morelos’ unique environment, and safeguard the supply of blue weber agave for generations to come.

This last phase is accomplished by allowing bats to pollinate the blue agave, an ancient technique that is nearly lost in the Tequila Industry.

All this will aid the growth of the economy of the Mexican state of Morelos.

Favorite Pairing

Revel Spirits Avila anejo, aged for 24 months in French oak barrels and bottled at 48% ABV, or 96 proof, is a rare gem.

It can be paired equally as well with a rich dessert, or a fine after dinner cigar.  Notes of bitter chocolate or cacao, and coffee beans, along with wood and tobacco undertones, makes it a versatile expression.

Enjoy!

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!

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:

 

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!

Avion Espresso Flourless Mocha Mug Cake

avion espresso, chocolate, cup cake, flourlessIt all started when I checked in to Pinterest to make some updates.  I found this recipe for Four Ingredient Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake.  It’s been pinned over 10,000 times for good reason.

How can I add Avion Espresso to this recipe?

Of course, my first thought, as it is for every chocolate recipe is How can I add Avion Espresso to this recipe?
As it turned out, it was pretty easy.

Avion Espresso Flourless Mocha Mug Cake Recipe

Add to a large microwaveable mug:

1/4 Cup Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips

1 Tablespoon Tequila Avion Espresso

Microwave for 30 seconds and mix until smooth.

Add:

1/2 Tablespoon Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder

1 Tablespoon Splenda (Optional, but there was a lot of dark cocoa)

1 Large Egg

Mix until smooth.
Microwave 1 minute.

Let cool as long as you can stand (the original cake recipe said 20 minutes but, PFFT! There was dark chocolate and Avion Espresso that needed rescuing from my mug!)
Enjoy!

Avion Espresso Flourless Mocha Mug Cake http://wp.me/p4hGmz-22SMy photos aren’t as glamorous but here’s how the process worked for me:

Being a big fan of dark chocolate, I had everything in my kitchen cupboard already.

The chocolate chips and Avion Espresso mixed up smooth with a fork in just a few seconds.

I microwaved it for exactly one minute and, as the original recipe said, it looked a bit wet around the edges.  That’s OK.  It’s just that the microwave doesn’t bake like a conventional oven.

I only waited about a minute or two before checking the texture.  As you can see from the piece on the fork, it was light and fluffy.

When I tasted it, it was light, fluffy, and rich!  All the flavor of the Avion Tequila was still there but the espresso and dark chocolate made for outstanding complements.

You could make this just as easily with semi-sweet or milk chocolate.  It really is a matter of preference.  The important thing to know is the espresso wasn’t lost in the dark chocolate.

Take 2 minutes and try this.  Everybody needs this in their life!

 

Special thanks to Ken Austin of Tequila Avion for providing the signed, treasured, bottle of Tequila Avion Espresso that sits in a special place of prominence on my tequila shelf.

Avión Espresso is a harmonious balance of Avión Silver, voted World’s Best Tasting Tequila, with fine Italian espresso.

Age: Unaged
Color: Rich espresso
Aroma: Roasted Italian espresso beans
Taste: Delicious combination of roasted Italian espresso and Avion Silver, voted “world’s Best Tasting Tequila.” A touch of sweetness and a clean dry finish.

35% Alc. by Volume

 

 

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!

Tears Of Llorona–Tequila’s Higher Octave

“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”–Ludwig van Beethoven

Germán González lingers over Tears of Llorona tequila.
Germán González lingers over Tears of Llorona tequila.

In music, an octave is the difference in sound between the first and eighth note on a musical scale.

In astrology, the planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are commonly considered the higher octaves of Mercury, Venus, and Mars, which are closer to the sun.

After savoring Tears of Llorona, the word octave comes to mind–something eight times greater than its tequila origin.

Barrel Blends

In this snippet, Germán González, distiller of T1 Tequila Uno and Tears of Llorana, explains the secret barrel blends that result in this masterpiece.

Tears of Llorona served in Riedel stemware.
Tears of Llorona served in Riedel stemware.

The Allure of Scotch

Here, Germán reveals the secret of a legendary Mexican rum and ultimately, the confirmation of why he favors using scotch whisky barrels for Tears of Llorona.

Why The Name?

In the following excerpt, Germán describes why he named his finest expression of tequila, Tears of Llorana.

Swirling the magic of Tears of Llorona.
Swirling the magic of Tears of Llorona.

The Higher Things

 

In this final cut, Germán González discusses the real reason he creates such fine tequilas, reaffirms the lessons he has learned in life, and imparts his belief in higher ideals.  In the process, we learn what really makes him tick.

Flavor Notes

Tears of Llorona serving suggestions.
Tears of Llorona serving suggestions.

How do you describe Tears of Llorona?  How do you depict what you have no benchmark for?  How do you relate something that is at once incomparable and incomprehensible, yet, strangely familiar, like déjà vu?

Perhaps the closest touchstone is given when deconstructing or reverse engineering Tears of Llorona.

For this first batch, Tears of Llorona is barreled in used sherry, scotch whisky and brandy barrels, achieving a spirit that does not betray its agave and tequila roots.

Instead, cradling the agave notes is a heady spiciness that continues to whisper to your senses the longer you swirl it in your glass.

Notes of bitter chocolate, sherry, leather, tobacco and coffee, along with hints of scotch and memories of the finest cognac or brandy culminate in a finish that resembles “a warm scarf on a cold day.”

While other extra añejos attempt to masquerade as something remotely similar to (or anything but) tequila, it is evident that Germán González has created Tears of Llorona to be Tequila’s higher octave.

Deliberately distilled to be lingered over, this gem is, as its website states, “an opus.”  A symphony composed and conducted by a true Master.

A symphony that can raise you–and your senses–to the divine.

Read the full story of Germán González and T1 Tequila Uno here.

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!

Diva Tequila Truffles Recipe

Tequila Test Kitchen

diva tequila truffles, recipeAfter judging some stupendous Suerte Tequila Truffles by Piece, Love & Chocolate for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards, I decided to take truffles to the Tequila Test Kitchen.  Since the folks at Diva Tequila were kind enough to provide us with a sample for experimenting, I decided to create Diva Tequila Truffles.  Here’s how it went:

Diva Tequila Truffle Ingredients

diva1/4 Cup Butter (Don’t skimp on this, folks.  It must be real butter.)

1 Mandarin Orange

2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

3 Tablespoons Diva Tequila

8 Ounces White Chocolate

8 Ounces Milk Chocolate (Dark Chocolate is highly recommended)

Some Assembly Required

Place the butter in a small pot and cook on high to melt.

2014-11-29 16.31.05-1

 

While the butter is melting, zest the skin of the mandarin orange into the pot with the butter.  Then slice the orange and squeeze the juice into the pot as well.

2014-11-29 16.28.57

 

 

 

Place your white chocolate in a bowl, preferably ceramic to hold the temperature, and microwave for about 30 seconds to start the softening.

Once the butter has melted and the contents of the pot are bubbling, add the heavy cream and scald.

2014-11-29 16.33.38Pour the hot contents of the pot over the chocolate in the ceramic bowl.  Allow this to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften the chocolate then whisk the contents so the chocolate is completely melted and all the contents are mixed thoroughly.

Add Diva Tequila to the contents of the bowl and whisk again.2014-11-29 16.41.12

 

 

Set the bowl in the refrigerator to begin the setting process.  Every 15 minutes, whisk the contents together again as they may separate as they cool.  After about an hour of cooling, this should have the consistency of fudge.  This is the truffle filling.

2014-11-29 18.25.00

Remove the filling from the refrigerator and prepare to work quickly.  Scooping one tablespoon of filling at a time, roll it into a ball and place it on a freezer-safe plate.  Do this with all the filling.  When you’ve finished, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid (about an hour).

 

When the filling is frozen,  place your 8 ounces of milk or dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring well each time, until it is melted.  Be sure not to microwave it too long as it will burn.

2014-11-29 19.09.10Remove the balls of filling from the freezer and, using two forks, roll each ball through the melted chocolate to cover it completely.  (This can get messy if you don’t work quickly.)  Let the excess chocolate drip off and then place on a freezer-safe plastic plate or a plate covered with wax paper.

Before the chocolate shell has set, you may choose to garnish with a sprinkle of colored salt, a twist of orange, a dusting of cocoa or confectioner’s sugar.  Once the chocolate shell has set, you might also garnish with a bit of melted white chocolate, piped through a pastry bag.

diva tequila trufflesWhen all the truffles have been coated, place the plate in the freezer again for about 10 minutes or just until the chocolate coating has set completely.

Remove your truffles from the freezer and store at room temperature in an airtight container.  Serve/eat within a few days for best flavor.

Salud!

 

 

 

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 Penasco Anejo by Steve Coomes

 logo2white2, tequila, penasco anejo, penasco, tequila aficionado, bourbonThe Ohio Valley’s schizophrenic spring weather has had an unexpectedly positive effect on my home liquor cabinet. Since it’s been too warm for the furnace and too cool for the air conditioner, the house temp has averaged about 75 degrees for two months. And one of the most notable beneficiaries is Tequila Penasco Anejo (the bourbon has benefitted, too!).

 

Sipped somewhere in the mid-70s one evening, the blooming butterscotch and cooked agave nose was brilliant. A good bit more swishing elevated vegetal notes, hints of mint, lemongrass, and aguamiel. Since temperature raises alcohol volatility, I remained wary of vapor burn. Still, walking that fine line between elegant fragrance and fire was worth it.

 

The flavor of this spirit, rested 14 to 16 months in oak, was bright and brilliant, launching with all the predictable barrel notes of vanilla and light caramel, even touches of chocolate. Held in the mouth, the añejo delivered lush floral notes backed by cinnamon and some straw. After swallowing, that rumor of chocolate reappeared and then dissolved into bruléed sugar, butterscotch and toffee. Given a brief nap in the glass—and trust me, it’s hard to put down—this expression offered up orange peel, wood and again butterscotch, joined by coriander.

logo2white2, tequila, penasco anejo, penasco, tequila aficionado, bourbon

 

Some spirits lose their body when warm, but not this one. It was full and coated both glass and mouth evenly, always generous and soft to every surface. Vigorous swirling of the golden expression yielded numerous narrow legs lined up and evenly spaced as the Rockettes in action. Think that’s a bit much? Have a look for yourself. (Maybe it was the glass?)

 

Sadly, Tequila Peñasco did not supply any press information, such as what its products cost. A quick web search revealed only the brand’s notoriously wonky website and expired liquor store discount offers for the añejo, but no details. That’s unfortunate given that I’d like to know how it stacks up (at the cash register) against its peers.

 

Suffice it to say, though, if you find it, get it if it fits your budget. It’s a straight-up fine sipper.

 

Follow Penasco online: FacebookTwitter.

 

 
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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!!