Thursday, October 11, 2018

How To Drink Tequila

Posted By on Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
  • Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
The Memphis Tequila Festival is coming up on you. This festival features some two dozen top-brand tequilas for sampling, Day of the Dead facepainting (!), food from local restaurants, DJ music, and more.

It's really fun and most certainly will sell out, so get your tickets sooner rather than later.

This event is set for Friday, October 19th, 6-9 p.m. It's 21-plus. Proceeds benefit Volunteer Memphis.

To prime the pump, we spoke with Don Julio's tequila expert Raymond Tremblay on the finer points of tequila.

A few years ago, we created tequila cocktails for a story, it's surprisingly versatile.
What are your favorite cocktails?

Raymond Tremblay:
With tequila cocktails it’s all about showcasing the agave. I love a good Oaxacan Old Fashioned with Don Julio Reposado tequila, Pierde Almas mezcal. On a nice warm day, you can never go wrong with a classic Paloma, but for me, personally, there is nothing better than a neat pour of your favorite tequila with a side of sangrita (not to be confused with sangria).

What advice do you give with consumers who want to work tequila into their repertoire?
RT: I would say do your research. Tequila is a beautiful and complex spirit that can vary immensely in flavor depending on the region and production process. It’s very similar to wine in that fashion. Highland tequilas are known for being bright and floral, while valley tequilas are known to be a bit earthier. The Blue Weber Agaves usually takes between six to 15 years to mature before it can be harvested, so make sure you’re supporting a brand that practices good farming and production habits that showcase this wonderful plant.

click to enlarge Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
  • Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
click to enlarge Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
  • Memphis Tequila Festival 2017

Tequila is considered particularly dangerous. Is this a fair assessment?

As in dangerously delicious?!? I think tequila received a bad rep years ago from the amount of poorly made mixto tequilas that were produced and marketed as shooters or mixed with glow in the dark sour mixes. People tend to remember that one shot of tequila they had after drinking all night and think that’s the culprit for everything. That’s like saying that one catch you missed is high school is the reason you never went pro. As with anything, tequila should always be enjoyed in moderation. Luckily there are bars all over the world now that showcase incredible selections of 100 percent agave tequilas, with knowledgeable bartenders that can guide you down proper ways to consume the spirit.

This is a tequila festival. How would you approach it?

RT: Festivals can be overwhelming for some people because of the amount of delicious options presented to them. Firsts thing first I would make sure to prepare myself by eating beforehand and properly hydrating. If there are waters around, take advantage of them. I always love to try new tequilas and ask about the brands. I want to know what makes this specific tequila special to the producer. Tequila flavor variations are so broad it can be easy to fall into the rabbit hole of trying new ones, but you always want to drink responsibly. No one wants to be “that person” at the festival. Lastly, the most important part of going to any tequila festival is to have fun!

click to enlarge Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
  • Memphis Tequila Festival 2017

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