Here is something I love about America: The national days; national ice cream day, national chocolate day, national watermelon day. There are many national days to celebrate and have a silly excuse to eat or drink something super cool!
Last week I got to celebrate the coolest of all these days, July 24th was national tequila day, and I got the chance to enjoy an incredible evening at a tequila event: Mezcalitas & Margaritas at Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa.
Before getting to the point about the event itself, here is where I have to take a moment and get a little cheesy: I was trilled to be invited to experience this tequila tasting at Rancho Valencia. As most of you know, I just graduated from my MBA in Hospitality and a year ago I was googling information about this resort to write a paper for a class, and a few months latter, I was enjoying a lovely event hosted by this stunning resort.
Rancho Valencia was recently hand selected by Forbes Travel Guide as one of the finest Five-Star hotels in the world! The resort has also been ranked the #1 resort in the country, and #1 in California by U.S. News & World Report 2015, and was listed among Condé Nast Traveler´s Top 25 Spas in the World (2014).
With that being said, lets get to the point, or get to the tequila!
I'm a believer that when comes to cocktails, spirits or even wine, its all about "how is your mood for trying it on that given day." When it comes to spirits, I used to always be in my comfort zone, but these times are gone. I am really open and curious to new things and being on the adventurous side has totally changed my experiences, and it had showed me so many new ways to explore and learn about spirits and cocktails. As you may notice I am super exited to learn about this subject theses days, so I don´t even need to state how happy I was to learn a little about tequilas and mezcals.
I was introduced to this incredible destination and the tequila program called, "All Agave Project" in a very approachable way. Ted, a big tequila enthusiast and bar supervisor of Rancho Valencia shared some of his vast knowledge about tequila and mezcal with the bloggers in a fun casual conversation.
We got started with the following tequilas / mezcal selection:
- Tequila Ocho Plata (2013 Los Fresnos)
- Clase Azul Reposado
- Ilegal Mezcal Joven
Besides the tequila, we got to taste a delicious elixir called sangrita made in house. It was served in a shot glass and had a spicy fruit flavor. The sangrita is supposed to cleanse the palate after sipping the tequila.
After learning a little bit, actually learning a lot, and tasting the spirits, we got to taste cocktails made out of it.
- Blanco Tequila Old Fashioned: tequila ocho plata | agave | celery bitters | lemon | grapefruit peels
- The Palomino: siete leguas reposado | licor 43 | ginger juice | lime | agave
- La Pinata: charred pineapple infused mezcal | serrano infused tequila | cilantro | lime | agave
To make the experience even more special, chef Jarrod Moiles prepared some delicious Mexican treats to pair with the tequila tasting. My favorite was the lobster taco, I would go back for that!
I had a blast learning and building up my tequila palate. Being able to experience tequila and mezcal in this high level of expertise and knowledge was something amazing.
I highly encourage spirit lovers and enthusiasts to visit the venue and do the tequila tasting. They also have a tequila club, which you may find information on below.
The Resort offers "The All Agave Project"
The All Agave Project. The members-only program includes:
- Unique on-site tequila tastings at The Pony Room
- Exclusive seminars with tequila experts such as Guillermo Sauza of Fortaleza
- Invitations to members-only tasting events
- All Agave Project branded products, and more
In part of their program, All Agave Project is offering two unique options:
All Agave Tasting Tour
The All Agave Tasting Tour is an experience where guest are taken on a sensory journey to discover a wide variety of exotic tequilas as well as other unique Agave-derived spirits such as Mezcal, Bacanora and Sotol. Guests will become well versed in various Mexican Spirits and their dynamic history. As part of the “tasting tour,” guests can purchase personal tasting books to be kept behind the bar at The Pony Room so that during each visit, they can taste different tequilas, take notes, and even score the spirits.
All Agave Club
For those that want to be fully immersed in the program, Rancho Valencia offers an even more hands-on level of participation to The All Agave Project called the "All Agave Club." The All Agave Club offers an annual membership that includes an all exclusive access to the All Agave Tasting Tour, an introductory swag bag, All Agave baseball cap, tee shirt, flask and a monthly Agave “Sip Sesh” seminar where tequila owners and master distillers present tequila knowledge and offer tastings.
Enhance the tasting experience and become a member of the "All Agave Club." The annual membership fee of $295 which includes exclusive access to the "All Agave Tasting Tour" and plenty of perks like:
• Sweet Agave Swag: All Agave baseball cap, tee shirt, flask and your personal All Agave Tasting Tour booklet
• Monthly Agave Sip Sesh | 3rd Thursday of Every Odd Month*
Enjoy a bi-monthly agave spirit tasting and education seminar with a unique distinguished guest. Each sip sesh includes a welcome cocktail, tastings and light bites. Sip sessions take place in January, March, May, July, September and November.
• Special Member Pricing: Take advantage of members-only pricing for each monthly Agave Sip Sesh.
AAC Members | $20
AAC Member Guest | $40 (up to 4 guests per sesh, member must be present)
Non-AAC Members | $60
To join, please get in touch with Justin Wilson at 858.759.6253 or via email and provide your name, number and agave spirit of choice. Game on.