What a vacation!!! August and September was work, work, and work when it came down to tequila events and Mexican holidays. In August I participated as a judge in the 7TH annual Spirits of Mexico tasting competition. Trying almost 200 agave spirit entrees is always a challenge. Two weeks after I flew down to Guadalajara, Jalisco to educate myself even deeper on the art of tasting tequila. I took a four-day course with one of the most recognized tequila masters in the world, Francisco Hajnal Alfraro. Mr. Hajnal is one of the master distillers that created Jose Cuervo’s famous Reserva De La Familia “Extra Añejo” Tequila. Two days of theory and two days visiting 6 distilleries. I now obtain expert certifications on tequila from both, La Academia Mexicana de Tequila A.C. and La Academia Mexicana De Catadores de Tequila Vino y Mezcal, A.C.
September, was a month long celebration. On September 15th we hosted the first annual Sangrita Cocktail competition finals. Finalist from tequila and Mezcal brands created a signature cocktail made with traditional sangrita ingredients. The party continued when I reenacted Miguel Hidalgo’s cry of independence, “el grito”. Long live and all the heroes that that fought for Mexico’s independence! Reenacting a two hundred year tradition was an honor for me to share with all my friends, customers and family that joined me for this historic event.
Who can forget the fiesta de flavors in the Old Town’s main park and the grand tasting at the Cosmopolitan Hotel? After my seminar on the Evolution of Tequila I enjoyed the rest of the night talking to tequila celebrities and enjoying the rest of the night sipping on quality tequilas, mescals and sotol.
September ended with a two-week vacation down to Guanajato and Jalisco, México.
For the last 12 years I travel with my family to these two states to visit family and for the past 8 years to discover tequila and its myths. I had never taken my family with me to explore tequila country until this last trip. It is really not about the drinking. It is about the magic of this place called, Tequila. The people, food and the landscape are what lure me to visit this place so often. Finally my family understands why the land where tequila is produced is so important to me.
Tequila and Mexico is a symbol of my identity, my roots and the place that I come from. Sharing the wealth of knowledge I acquire from every trip I take to Mexico helps me educate our guest at Café Coyote to make their experience at this great restaurant more fulfilling and rich.
More Photos From my Trip!