Traditional Mexican Food In the Heart of Old Town San Diego

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Visiting Tequila Country

If you want to have the best experience visiting tequila distilleries in Mexico you must plan in advance. Tequila, Jalisco is the most tourist friendly if you want to see some great tequila production. About 90 % of all tequila distilleries are located in this town and many are open for public tours. La Rojeña (Jose Cuervo), La Fortaleza (Los Abuelos), La  Alborada (El Gran Jubileo) and La Cofradia ( Casa Noble) are just a few distilleries you can visit in this magical pueblo.

It is crucial to make an appointment to see any distillery because there are times of the year when they do not open. November 29-December 13th is the town’s annual tequila fair. It is sometimes difficult to visit distilleries during this time because this a two week holiday for them. If you are looking for a place to party, this time of the year is filled with festivities, food, music and great tequila. Spring Break is another time of the year when it is difficult to visit a distillery in Mexico. Most people from the town take advantage of the long break and go to the beach cities to vacation.

For a list of distilleries of Mexico you can go to the website tequila.net and find information of names, addresses and phone numbers were you could contact an executive to schedule a distillery tour to the distillery that makes your favorite tequila. Tequila Jalisco is a little over an hour from Guadalajara’s International Airport. It is wise to book a hotel in Guadalajara to take advantage of the sightseeing in this great city. You can spend all day in Tequila and enjoy the nightlife of the big city.

If you want visit a distillery in the highlands of Jalisco plan for a longer day of travel and make sure you have booked an appointment because most distilleries are not open to the public. In the highlands one can find brands like Patrón, Cazadores, Siete Leguas, Don Julio, and El Tesoro De Don Felipe. These are great distilleries to visit but advanced notice can make your trip worthwhile.

Do pace yourself if drinking tequila at a distillery. Sometime you can drink tequila right after it has been distilled. This tequila comes out at 55 percent alcohol and does hit you harder than tequila that has already been bottled. Eat something before you begin drinking and drink plenty of water. Don’t forget to tip your tour guide. They work hard at making your visit a great experience. I hope you learn a lot.

Salud!

Tequila vs. Mezcal

One of the biggest misconceptions that I encounter when I talk to my customers about tequila is the question about the worm in the bottle. Today I would like to clarify the worm myth.

It is quit simple; tequila never has a worm in the bottle. The spirit that sometimes has the worm in the bottle is called mezcal.

Tequila and mezcal are related but differ in many ways. Mezcal has been around since the 16th century. Tequila is simply the son of this mother spirit. Tequila is a type of mezcal but has acquired the name of its town, Tequila to distinguish itself from mezcals that are produced in states such as Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Durango and Zacatecas.

To be called tequila, the agaves used for tequila production can only come from the entire state of Jalisco and selected counties of the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Tequila can only be distilled from only one variety of agave, the Agave Tequilana Weber Azul.

Though tequila is generally known to be a type of mezcal, rules and regulations have been implemented to distinguish between these two spirits from Mexico. Since tequila goes through a steam cooking process, in masonry or stainless steel autoclaves (steam pressure cookers) the end product conserves a steamed agave flavor that is most notable in blanco (silver) tequilas. You will never see a bottle of tequila that has the name mezcal on the bottle or vice versa.

Mezcal can be made from various types of agaves such as: Espadin, Tóbala (wild agave), Cierego and Mexicano, just to mention a few. One of the most notable features about mezcal is its production. The traditional method of roasting the agave in underground wood-fired pits, stone milling, and distilling in small batches using small copper pot stills helps mezcal aquire its smokiness, unique aromas and flavors. It is important to note that some mezcals today are acquiring more state of the art production methods but still keep some traditional touches to distinguish among other agave-based spirits.

Tequila is what I call, an evolution of mezcal. There is an old saying that goes:

“For everything bad, drink mezcal; and for everything good, you also should. ”

Salud!

Mario Marquez

Tequila Ambassador

Café Coyote

A Taste of Cabo

No need to travel to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California to taste great tequila. Cabo Wabo tequila is available here in sunny Old Town, San Diego. For the month of December, Cabo Wabo will be our tequila of the Month. Cabo Wabo is flavorful tequila that is produced in Arandas, Jalisco by Destiladora San Nicolas (NOM, 1440).

Currently Cabo Wabo is produced in 4 styles: blanco, reposado, añejo and extra añejo. Its blanco is crystal-clear with a fresh floral bouquet. It has spicy lime notes with full agave flavors. The reposado is rested for 4-6 months in American oak casks. It has a bold peppery flavor and hints of fruit that linger on the palate briefly, followed by a long, spicy finish. If you prefer something a little bit richer try the añejo is a perfect fit. It is aged for 14 months in American Oak barrels that give it a full vanilla caramel nose with honey and chocolate flavors.

If you really want to treat yourself and be a tequila king/queen Cabo Uno, extra añejo will satisfy your sophisticated palate. Aged for 38 months in charred American oak. This small batch tequila uses only the ripest agaves and the heart of the distillation process. It has herb and tropical fruit aroma with, chocolate caramel and roasted coffee flavors.

These tequilas are sold at Café Coyote for: $ 7.50 (blanco), $ 9.00 (reposado) $ 11.00 (añejo) and $30.00 (Cabo Uno, Extra Anejo). You can try these tequilas neat or in a margarita. If you want any of these tequilas in a margarita it will only cost $ 1.95 more. I recommend that you sip the extra añejo to discover its unique complexity of aromas and flavors.

Salud!

Mario

My Vacation!

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.

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!

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Live Stream at Cafe Coyote for the Spirits of Mexico Festival!

Lippy, The Tequila Whisperer, www.tequilawhisperer.com will be streaming a LIVE VIDEO from the Spirits of Mexico Festival at Cafe Coyote this evening!

The Spirits of Mexico Festival, the world’s best and biggest Agave Spirits festival in America is hosting over 150 spirits who haveentered into the tasting competition.

On tonight’s show, Lippy will BLIND-TASTE the top three winners in each age category, (blanco, reposado, anejo) then he’ll pronounce HIS OWN ranking of 1st to 3rd place for each of the blind samples. Watch in nail-biting anticipation as he reveals his winners, and see how close his own finely-tuned palate matches the results of more than 15 Master Judges!

Join Lippy & Cafe Coyote and see the results– LIVE steaming from the internet!

When: Thursday, September 16, 7:00 PM (PST)
Where: http://tequilawhispererLIVE.com