This past Monday evening, June 3, 2013, marked the second Spirited Sirens tasting, Mexican Maidens, featuring craft Tequilas and Mezcals. The tasting was held at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, one of my favourite restaurants in Miami. To a group of 20 women and one man (brave David), both cocktails and a 'neat' craft spirits were sipped and paired with food to reveal nuances, expand purchasing horizons and show how they are so very food friendly.
I chose to focus on one Blanco Tequila & Mezcal & one Reposado Tequila & Mezcal in order to reveal some basic knowledge and the effects of wood, from both the cooking and aging process. We began the evening with a Smokey Margarita (by just replacing Tequila with Mezcal) as I wanted to shed some new light on Mezcal, the smokier cousin to Tequila. We paired it with the crispy hominy & fresh lime; a great intro to the evening!
Three Amigos Blanco Tequila
Tapatio Reposado Tequila
Sombra Blanco Mezcal
Delirio Reposado Mezcal
Once the group took their seats, we began with the Tequilas which were paired with a Wreckfish Ceviche and then moved on to the Mezcals which were paired with a chipoltle braised short rib on a blue corn tostada. I discussed the similarities of Tequila and Mezcal making but more importantly the differences. Tequila can only be made with Blue Agave, Mezcal with an assortment of Agave but most commonly Espadin. Mezcal is smokey because of the cooking process of the Agave hearts, usually over mesquite fires. The group seemed genuinely interested in this which delighted me. I am a huge fan of Mezcals but I've seen many women aren't yet. Therefore, I thought they would receive much more aversion but on the contrary, the group loved them!
We concluded the evening with a Paloma which is quite popular in Mexico and a great choice for this Summer's cocktail. We used a Blanco Tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, club soda and a wedge of grapefruit for garnish. Usually a lemon, lime soda is used and if you like a sweeter drink you may want to change out the club soda for that. Oh, that reminds me, try Tequila or Mezcal and Tonic with a wedge of lemon. That's one of my favourites!
Thanks to all the friends and newcomers who came out for this latest edition of the Spirited Sirens Tasting Series!