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.  *FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Dia de Los Muertos & Heartland Tour had to be vetted as Brand of Promise Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be on the tour.]

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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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!

Roasting & Toasting for Thanksgiving with Don Julio

farm to tableOn November 5, Tequila Don Julio hosted the latest edition of their Farm to Shaker dinner series in New York City in collaboration with New York Chef Daniel Sharp and Bartender Angela Laino. Below, you’ll find recipes and images of the innovative menu Chef Daniel and Angela collaborated on together for this special event. Each recipe features Tequila Don Julio along with roasting and toasting techniques that celebrate the fall season.

 


Angela’s Arch

Cangelas archreated by Angela Laino 

Inspiration: I wanted to create a sensory experience. Bringing the smoke into the cocktail allowed all the senses to be activated while showcasing the versatility of the Tequila Don Julio Reposado. This cocktail brings a feeling of fall by recreating the smell of roasting on a campfire. 

Ingredients:

1 1/4 oz Smoked Tequila Don Julio Reposado

1/2 oz Malbec Reduction

1/3 oz Italian Aperitif

Orange Zest

2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Dehydrated Lemon Ice for Garnish*

*Dehydrated Lemon Ice 

Ingredients:

2 Lemons 

Preparation: 

  1. Slice lemons thin and place in the dehydrator for 8 to 12 hours at 135°.
  2. Once lemons are crisp, place them in the ice tray and fill halfway with water. Place in freezer.
  3. Once ice is frozen, fill remaining space with water and freeze.

Preparation:

  1. Pour Tequila Don Julio Reposado into blender.
  2. Place the hose of a smoking gun 2 to 3 inches into the blender. Set the blender on a very low setting and turn on the smoker. Keep a continuous flow of smoke for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Combine smoked Tequila Don Julio Reposado with Malbec Reduction, Italian Aperitif, orange zest and orange bitters in a mixing glass over ice. Stir for about 45 seconds.
  4. Strain contents into a rocks glass over large ice cube.
  5. Fill a snifter with smoke from your smoking gun and place on top of the rocks glass so that smoke is captured.
  6. Lift snifter and serve.

Ideal Serve:

Rocks Glass 

Indian Summer

Created by Angela Laino 

Inspiration: The Farm to Shaker event theme directly inspired The Indian Summer cocktail. I’m very culinary and garden-driven in my approach to cocktails. My favorite ingredients to use are those that can both stand alone and have the versatility to cross over from food to drink, such as fresh herbs. 

Ingredients:

1 oz Tequila Don Julio Blanco

1/4 oz Ancho Chili Liqueur

1 oz Lime Juice

1 oz Simple Syrup

1 bar spoon Curry Powder

8 Sprigs Cilantro for Garnish

Flaked Sea Salt and Dried Chili Powder Rim

Preparation:

  1. Combine Tequila Don Julio Blanco, ancho chili liqueur, lime juice, simple syrup and curry powder into a shaker with ice. Shake well.
  2. Double strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass rimmed with flaked sea salt and dried chili powder.

Ideal Serve:

Rocks Glass

reactivateReactivate

Created by Angela Laino 

Inspiration: One of my passions is to understand ingredients and the roles they play in our body. Activated charcoal is not only used as a filter in spirits but also mimics that process when consumed. By adding activated charcoal to this cocktail where the Tequila Don Julio 70 already goes through a charcoal filtration, it created an exciting twist on both the spirit and cocktail. 

Ingredients:

1 1/3 oz Tequila Don Julio 70

1/3 oz Dry Sherry

1 oz Cedar, Rosemary & Activated Charcoal Syrup*

2/3 oz Lemon juice

1 bar spoon Organic Egg White

1 drop Orange Extract

Rosemary Sprig for Garnish

*Cedar, Rosemary & Activated Charcoal Syrup 

Ingredients:

1 cup Dried Cedar Tops

4 cups Water

2 cups Sugar

1 Rosemary Sprig

1 Capsule Activated Charcoal 

Preparation:

  1. Bring dried cedar tops and rosemary sprig to a boil in 4 cups of water on high heat. Let boil for 2 minutes.
  2. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Strain and mix in sugar.
  4. Let cool then bottle.
  5. Add capsule of activated charcoal, shake. 

Yields ¾ liter.

Preparation:

  1. Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously without ice for one minute. Add ice and shake for an additional minute.
  3. Double strain into coupe glass.

Ideal Serve:

Coupe Glass

 

Don Julio Reposado Cured Roast Beef on Toast

Created by Chef Daniel Sharp

Inspiration: Among their many qualities, spirits have the ability to preserve, historically a powerful tool in preparing for the oncoming winter. This dish is traditionally Scandinavian and would use vodka, so for this preparation I used some Latin flavors and seared the meat to match the complexity of the Tequila Don Julio Reposado. 

Ingredients:

2 lb Eye of Round

Canola Oil

Tequila Don Julio Reposado Cure

Ingredients:

2 Oranges, zest and juice

1 Lemon, zest and juice

1 Lime, juice

1/2 cup Tequila Don Julio Reposado

1 cup Salt

1 cup Sugar

1 tbsp Black Pepper, large crack

1/2 tsps Chili Flakes

2 Star Anise

1 Jalapeño

12 sprigs Cilantro

1 tbsp Soy Sauce

Preparation:

  1. Cut the eye of round in half, pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
  2. Using a peeler, cut zest strips from the oranges and lemon, but not the lime. Once completed, halve and juice oranges, lemon and lime.
  3. Slice the jalapeñ
  4. Combine all the ingredients (except the beef) and mix well.

Searing the Beef:

  1. Place a heavy bottomed pan over high heat. Once very hot add oil, just to cover the pan lightly.
  2. Sear the beef, turning to a new side every 30-45 seconds until it is browned on all sides. The goal is not to cook the beef, it will still be raw throughout.
  3. Transfer to a plate and pat dry to remove excess oil.

Curing the Beef:

  1. Once cooled, place the beef in a zip-lock bag and pour the Tequila Don Julio Reposado cure over.
  2. Seal the bag removing as much air as possible so that the meat is completely surrounded by the liquid.
  3. Place the bag inside a pan or container in case of leakage and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning the bag over once at the halfway point.
  4. Once cured, remove the pieces and rinse lightly under cold water to remove the excess cure and pat dry. Wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap.

Serving:

  1. When you are ready to enjoy, place the wrapped piece in the freezer for about half and hour. This will firm it up and make it easier to slice.*
  2. Serve sliced thin, drizzled with Creama Mexicana and chopped mint with a few slices of grilled bread on the side

*If you don’t want to use it all, it will freeze and keep for several weeks

 

Roast Porchetta and Burnt Orange Tequila Don Julio Reposado Sauce

roasted porchettaCreated by Chef Daniel Sharp

Inspiration: The burnt oranges and roasted meat speak to the fall season. The richness of the porchetta goes well with the sweet tang of the Tequila Don Julio Reposado sauce, and burning the oranges adds depth in the same way that barrel aging the tequila does. This sauce would also go well with roasted duck, turkey or chicken. 

Burnt Orange Tequila Don Julio Reposado Glaze

Ingredients:

4 Oranges

3 tbsp Sugar

4 tbsp Butter

4 tbsp Flour

2 cups Orange Juice

2 cups Chicken Stock

2 1/2 oz Red Wine Vinegar

1 tbsp Whole Peppercorns

4 Whole Allspice

2 Star Anise

3 Cloves

1 tbsp Kosher Salt

3/4 cup Brown sugar

1/4 cup Sugar

4 oz Tequila Don Julio Reposado

Preparation:

  1. Preheat your oven to 475.
  2. Cut the oranges in halves. Then cut each half into four chucks.
  3. Toss the chunks with the sugar. Spread them out on a baking tray so they are evenly spaced apart.
  4. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the edges of the orange are blackened and rest of the orange is browned.
  5. Meanwhile, gather and measure out the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepot. Add the flour and whisk to create the roux.
  7. Cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes. The flour should start to smell toasted but not start to brown.
  8. Add all the spices and cook for another minute.
  9. Add orange juice, chicken stock and vinegar while whisking vigorously to avoid getting lumps. Once combined bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
  10. Add the sugar, salt, burnt oranges and Tequila Don Julio Reposado. Stir to dissolve.
  11. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  12. Once finished, strain.

 

The Roast

Ingredients:

5 pound Heritage Porchetta Roast

4 sprigs Rosemary, stemmed and chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil

Preparation:

  1. Rub porcetta roast with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and rosemary.
  2. Roll and tie so the skin-on belly is wrapped around the loin.
  3. Place in a baking dish and cover with foil.
  4. Cook slow and low at 325 degrees for about 2+ hours or until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 145 degrees.
  5. Remove the foil and brush with the glaze. Turn the oven up to 450 degrees.
  6. Return to the oven and roast for 5 minutes until the glaze and skin start to bubble and brown.
  7. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with extra glaze on the side.

 

Roasted Pears and Tequila Don Julio Añejo Infused Caramel with Vanilla Ice Cream

roasted pearsCreated by Chef Daniel Sharp

Inspiration: Fruit is nature’s dessert, so I always like to find my inspiration there. The warmth of a delicious roasted pear with a spoonful of melting ice cream has always been a favorite of mine. Tying this duo together is a simple caramel sauce improved upon with a little Tequila Don Julio Añejo. Like the use of fine brandy in classic French desserts, the Tequila Don Julio Añejo elevates the flavors and adds a touch of festivity. 

Tequila Don Julio Añejo Infused Caramel

Ingredients:

1 cup Sugar

1/4 cups Water

4 tbsp Butter

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

2 oz Tequila Don Julio Añejo

Vanilla Bean, split and scraped

Pinch of Salt

Preparation:

  1. Add sugar and water to a heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow the water to evaporate, do not stir.
  2. Once the water has evaporated the sugar will start to brown. If the heat is uneven, move the pan around being careful not to agitate the mixture.
  3. Once the sugar has caramelized, add butter, whisking continuously. Once combined, remove from the heat and whisk in the cream.
  4. Add Tequila Don Julio Añejo, vanilla bean and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.

 

Roasted Pears

Ingredients:

3 Pears

2 tbsp. Honey

½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut the pears in half. Using a melon baller, remove the seeds.
  3. Toss with honey, cinnamon and a pitch of salt.
  4. Place cut side up in a baking dish with enough water just to coat the bottom.
  5. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minute until nicely browned and soft.
  6. Serve while still warm with vanilla ice cream and a generous drizzle of caramel.

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Tasting Tequila Uno with Germán González (2)

Summertime Food Pairing with Tequila Uno

Germán González, distiller of T1 Tequila Uno and Tears of Llorana, discusses food pairing with T1 Ultra Fino blanco and shares his recipe for a simple Skinny Margarita.

Flavor Notes

Ultra Fino is distilled using hand picked agave from Atotonilco in the highlands of Jalisco, and has a sweet, fruity nose, not flowery like the agave from Arandas is sometimes known for.  Delicate tones of fresh, green agave.  An ever so slight finish that stays in the back of your throat, not burning down your esophagus.

Serving Suggestions

Ultra Fino can be sipped neat, or on the rocks with just a twist of lime to release the fruity elements of the highlands agave.  It’s the original Skinny Margarita without the excess calories of a mix.

Designed with the beginner–or favorite lady–in mind.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Perfect for pairing with ceviche, cucumbers, jicama and fresh fruits of all kinds.

Celebrate Summertime–any time–with T1 Ultra Fino.

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!

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!!