Tequila Recipes: Ultra-Premium Craft Tequila Cocktails Revive the Spirit

Tequila Recipes: Ultra-Premium Craft Tequila Cocktails Revive the Spirit
  • Foodable Mixologist creates Premium Artisanal Tequila Cocktail Recipes

  • Embajador shares their Ultra-Premium Craft Tequila

Today, Foodable unveils our brand new Smart Bar with our Master Mixologist, Oscar Castaneda. For such a momentous occasion, what else could we christen the set with than Tequila! Oscar introduces us to Embajador Tequila in 3 ways. Ever had sipping tequila? Well my culinarians, you’ll want to try this one.

Embajador Tequila produces premium 100% Blue Agave tequilas, offering incredible value to patrons.

For his first beverage, Oscar pairs the Platinum tequila with fresh mixes to match the quality of the spirit. Using a strong beet puree, homemade cilantro syrup, and a homemade jalapeno syrup (both using coconut sugar), he balances the tequila for a sweet and savory taste. Then in true Tequila form, he adds a lemon-lime sweet and sour mix giving a beautiful layered effect.

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The Story Behind Premier Cocktail Festival, Tales of the Cocktail

Tales of the Cocktail is committed to the growth of the cocktail industry through providing a week of seminars, tastings, networking events, and more, and is specifically designed for bartenders, mixologists, distillers, and other spirits professionals around the globe. This annual meeting place to share new techniques, products, and ideas seems like a huge endeavor — but how did it first stir up? In this episode of "On Foodable Weekly," we get the inside sip with co-founders Ann and Paul Tuennerman.

The concept began in 2002, but was originally a walking tour where a small gathering of cocktail lovers explored bars and restaurants across New Orleans.

"So, I started this walking tour to tell the story of all the famous drinks invented in New Orleans, all the famous spirits invented here...to take people behind the scenes who really didn't know or understand this information," Ann said.

In the days before Facebook and other social media platforms, Ann had to hit the phones and pavement. During its first year, she managed to got 10 top mixologists to share their insights and it has only evolved since then.

"There hasn't been a meeting place for folks from around the world — the most influential of the industry — to gather and share...best practices and what's on the forefront, and learn from one another, and really just get energized and continue that rolling innovation that's taking place now," Paul said.

But more than the seminars and exchange of knowledge, attendees are able to celebrate personal connections and find other professionals with the same passion, whether they are from Ghana, New Zealand, or in the United States. It's all about connecting, not networking. And this premier cocktail festival "makes it okay to be a bartender again," where like when a person says he or she is a chef, there is no follow-up question of "What else do you do?"

There are other events Tales of a Cocktail hosts each year — about 200 of them. There are walking tours in other cities and a membership program, but the most important element is education. 

"I think now our philosophy is as long as we're providing education, it really doesn't matter what form it's in," Ann said.

Watch the full episode to learn more!

Beverage Insights from the Inaugural USBevX Conference

Beverage Insights from the Inaugural USBevX Conference

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

Times have changed for the beverage industry. The growth and proliferation of wine brands, craft beers, and spirits offer consumers more of a selection than ever before. Whereas in the past a consumer could be tagged as a “wine person” versus a “beer person,” today’s customers have a repertoire. The wine drinker now enjoys a cider by the pool and a cocktail before dinner. The beer drinker may enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and a glass of scotch afterwards. Wine is being enjoyed at Super Bowl parties and other sporting events that were traditionally seen as beer venues. And now, craft beer and cocktails are being paired with food. 

Everything has been mixed and remixed, and what we drink has as much to do with our mood as it does the occasion. This is the new normal. It is a complex market, one of constant change, and for those of us working in the industry, we are trying to understand not only what the “new normal” looks like, but also how to work within it. This was the topic at hand at the first annual USBevX Conference in Washington, D.C. in February.

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Detroit Beverage Experts Weigh in on Trends for 2016

Detroit Beverage Experts Weigh in on Trends for 2016

By Dorothy Hernandez, Foodable Contributor

In recent years, Detroit has not only seen a boom in restaurants but also the rise of craft cocktail culture. 

“Personally, I am looking forward to the continued mainstream acceptance of properly made mixed drinks across metro Detroit,” says Dave Kwiatkowski, owner of The Sugar House in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood and partner in Wright & Co. “When I opened The Sugar House and told people I was opening a ‘craft cocktail’ bar, most people had no idea what I was talking about. Now, it’s completely common to walk into a restaurant and see a selection of house cocktails on the menu that don’t actually use flavored vodkas or a bottle of sour mix. It’s a great thing.”

Sandy Levine, owner of The Oakland Art Novelty Co. in Ferndale, Mich., and Chartreuse Kitchen and Cocktails in Detroit’s Midtown district, says with the explosion in creativity and experimentation, quality is crucial.

“Quality is pretty much a given,” he says. “Bars whose drinks don't actually taste good are given less leeway from guests than before. Many of the drinks made a few years ago were kind of made for bartenders rather than for the general public, and I think now people are realizing that good drinks are universally good, not just good to certain palates.” 

There’s been a lot of talk about hospitality, but Joe Robinson, director of beverage and hospitality at new Detroit hot spot Standby, says that’s the name of the game.

“No matter what kind of bar or restaurant you're in, the guest should always be the focus. Hopefully, we remember that bars are all about having fun and being able to let loose a little.”

To find out what will be trending this year in cocktails, we asked Kwiatkowski, Levine, Robinson, and other cocktail experts around Detroit for what to watch out for in 2016.

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Startup Stories of Spirits Entrepreneurs: Encanto Pisco

Startup Stories of Spirits Entrepreneurs: Encanto Pisco

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

Encanto Pisco, started in 2010, is a brand made “from the heart” by three seasoned industry friends: award-winning distiller Carlos Ruben Romero-Gamero, bar owner Duggan McDonnell, and sommelier Walter Moore. The three men first met at McDonnell’s bar, Cantina, in San Francisco and with their knowledge in various aspects of the business (distillation, cocktail creation and wholesale), they created Encanto Pisco. Moore first experienced pisco in Peru in 2009. “I had already begun to do some consulting with spirits brands, but hadn't yet experienced pisco. It was a revelation for me. I wanted to get my hands into pisco and the beautiful grapes behind it.”

Pisco, a grape brandy made in Peru (and Chile), has a long history with San Francisco. Beginning in the mid-1800s, it was the spirit that fueled the Gold Rush as it arrived on ships from South America that were bringing labor and supplies. Pisco can be made from eight designated grapes. Once the wine is made, it is distilled to make a brandy using the solera system, as with sherry, and then the blending takes place. It is Encanto Pisco’s goal to make the best handcrafted artisanal pisco. Through long-standing relationships with growers and a detailed focus on the winemaking process, distillation and blending, every step of the process is hands-on. The result is a smooth, terroir-driven product.“As a sommelier, I wanted something sippable,” says Moore. “And as a bartender, Duggan wanted something mixable. Carlos wanted something brilliant that reflected his 32 years of experience as a distiller.”

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