Tequila – Not Just For Those “Lost” Nights Anymore
It is girls night out, the music is loud, the drinks are flowing and eventually the tequila shots start arriving. After several shots accompanied by salt licked from various body parts the evening gets a bit hazy. That is how an “evening of Tequila” may have gone in your past. Now that you are older, and hopefully wiser, you can enjoy Tequila for its amazing elegant simplicity. Not just a way to inebriation.
It Pays to Post About What You Enjoy
One of the perks of having a stream of online posts about my enjoyment for spirits, wine, and beer is the periodic invitation to pairing dinners or events. Most recently I was invited to attend a Tequila pairing dinner at Beverly’s in the Coeur d’Alene Resort. The featured Tequila was El Mayor that is distributed by Luxco one of the nation’s leading beverage alcohol companies. It is always exciting to enjoy a creative menu paired with high quality alcohol.
When I arrived at Beverly’s I was welcomed by their General Manager Justin Schorzman. His attentiviness was a pleasant surprise, as was his company at the dinner when he was able to sit for a few moments. After enjoying a glass of wine he made sure I was directed to the Coeur d’Alene Club Dining area for the dinner.
Thank Goodness There Were No Tacos
There I met two representatives from Luxco; Jon Stowell, Northwest Division Manager, Marla Mendez, Northwest State Manager and Graciela Gonzalez co-owner of El Mayor Tequila. We enjoyed some great conversation before the dinner, with everyone being in agreement that not seeing tacos on the menu was a very good thing. It is nice when a chef takes some initiative with his pairing choices instead of doing something you traditionally expect.
Colossal Prawn Cocktail with Pineapple Cocktail Sauce, Avocado, Fresno Chili, Pacific Crab, Cilantro & Lemon
Before the dinner started Graciela walked us through the entire flight of Tequila, the company history and tasting tips. I think everyone was fascinated by the stories and learned something new during her presentation. Did you know that the best way to smell your tequila before drinking is from three fingers away from your nose? Well now you do!
Taking Flight With Tequila
The flight included these El Mayor varieties:
Blanco: This 100% agave tequila is unaged. Its crisp, light body with just a hint of pepper gives your favorite mixed cocktail the perfect sophisticated twist.
Reposado: This 100% agave tequila is aged in white oak barrels for up to nine months. El Mayor Reposado is elegantly structured and balanced and is perfect for sipping or for mixing that special tequila cocktail.
Anejo: This 100% agave tequila is aged for a minimum of 18 months in white oak barrels. El Mayor Añejo is highly sophisticated, masterfully crafted and is designed for slow contemplative sipping.
Extra Anejo: This 100% Weber blue agave tequila is aged for a minimum of thirty seven months in white oak barrels.
Each flavorful sip was enhanced by the interesting history and traditions of the company as told by Graciela. These Tequila’s are definitely ones you can sip straight from the glass or use as the highlight of crafted cocktails. After tasting each one I was looking forward to how the food would highlight what I just experienced. I was not disappointed!
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, Fried Corn Tortillas, Lime Creme Fraiche, Cilantro
Each Course Was a Tastebud Orchestra
Every single course played out like a symphony of herbs, spices, fresh ingredients and artistically crafted Tequila. Chef Tyler Schwenk did a wonderful job of creating simple yet elegant dishes with just the right amount of spiciness. It all worked together to construct an evening that those attending wouldn’t soon forget.
Bacon Wrapped Filet of Ribeye topped with Southwestern Wild Mushroom Salsa, Ancho Demi-Glace, and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
From the appetizer to the main course the culinary concert played my tastebuds like a finely tuned guitar. Who would have thought that after those courses a simple dessert like Beignets would be able to live up to the big finish you expected. It not only provided a big finish, but if I wasn’t already full, I would have called for an encore!
Beignets Dusted With Cinnamon Sugar and Chef’s Dipping Sauces.
New Favorite Tequila Or “Lost” Night Taste Elevator
All in all it was a great evening of conversation, delectable bites, smooth yet flavorful tequila and an all around GREAT experience. Of the varieties we tasted I would have to say my favorites would have to be the Anejo and Extra Anejo. The flavor profiles of those two fit best with my personal taste preferences, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the other two as well. Each one has something to offer depending on the situation, drink you are fashioning or most importantly your mood! I suggest you try each one for yourself. I am sure one of them will become your new favorite Tequila. Or at the very least…make the “lost” nights taste better!
Cheers and Ride On!
In the spirit of full disclosure: I attended this pairing dinner Free of charge in exchange for posting to social media during my attendance at the dinner (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). The opinions are all my own and the company never asked for a positive review in exchange for the dinner. The blog post was my idea
Some Other Things:
Interesting Tequila Facts: It should be noted that there was a noticable increase in sales over a 10 year period of premium tequila. There was an increase of almost 350% from 500,000 cases in 2004 to more than 2 million in 2014 purchased. (It should also be mentioned that overall sales of Tequila from cheap to premium increased 60% in that same time period.) You can read more about that here: Tequila Rising: America’s Next Go-To Drink
Or…want to impress your friends? Try these cocktail recipes after you find El Mayor at your favorite liqueur store. elmayor_recipes