LAST DAY AT THE TALES
Saturday was the last day i could attend as we were leaving for PA and NYC on Sunday.There were 2 very good sessions that I attended, the first i went to was Citrus in history and application. This session was led by Eric Seed who told the history of citrus and Charlotte Voisey who showcased a very interesting and tasty blood orange liqueur called Solerno as well as others and mixed up a lovely brandy crusta with Solerno instead of Orange Curacao. Unfortunately Solerno is only sold in NYC for the time being.
The next session was Agavepalooza which was one of the most interesting i`ve been to – fan of tequila and mezcal as i am. Here we were taken on a long journey where the tequila and mezcals are made.
CITRUS in history and application
I`m a citrus lover so it was to me a very interesting session sponsored by Angostura orange bitters. Many types of usual and more unusual citrus plants were described and we learnt their history and where the hybrids come from. An interesting refreshener from India was also described – Nimbu Panu which is lime, cane juice, soda, salt & pepper. That would make a base for a nice tikidrink..in my mind i add something like dark and light rums, pimento dram and get a Tiki Panu. Haven´t tried that yet though..
Further we learnt some things about Angostura which was formulated in 1824 by Dr Joham Siegert operating in the town of Angostura on the banks of the Orinoco River inVenezuela. Dr Siegert were originally from Germany and a scients most of all. He experimented with formulas for a cure against fevers and internal stomach disorders. And finally in the year 0f 1824 his work resulted in a unique blend of herbs which he called “Amargo Aromatico” or aromatic bitters..
The rest is history and here we were at the tales of the cocktails with Angostura orange bitters bottles in front of us and lovely cocktails to imbibe while we learnt a thing and two about both Angostura, the lovely citrus fruits and their use in cocktails.
AGAVEPALOOZA – The fine mexican Spirits
Drinking mezcal in these clay cups gives a different experience.
Due to the long queue - this was a popular session. While standing for a long time in the queue i got to really study the pool area and came to the conclusion that this is the first time i see an entire pool filled with drunk bartenders. A LARGE glass with some kinda punch was passed around.
This session was moderated by Steven Olson and panelists were David Suro Pinera, proprietor, Siembra Azul, Ron Cooper, owner and founder of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcals and Dr Rodolfo Fernandéz,Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico.
They took us on a long journey to learn the history of and experience and sample the magnificient spirits of Mexico.Not only did we sample some very unusual spirits like hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol reposado which is made from a different agave than tequila and mexcal and is distilled in double copper stills having a very different flavour, we also did taste raw agave which was a very interesting experience.
Other interesting mezcals i tasted were the tobala (made from wild mountain maguey) and the pechuga. (macerated with fruits and nuts and infused with a chicken breast)
One of my favorites among their products is the crema de mezcal – “made for women only and a few strong men”. Its really tasty and smooth and the smokiness is not upfront it grows upon you.
Earth roast agave
The entire cathegory of distillates made from the steamed and roasted agave plant hearts is within the term mezcal and tequila is a specific type of mezcal which originally was produced in Jalisco and around and in the town of Tequila but now is legally produced in 5 states in Mexico.
Distillation was brought to Mexico by the Spaniards in the early 1500s and before tequila was produced the Aztecs consumed pulque which was a wine-like liquid made from fermented syrup extracted from the heart of the agave plant. The result of distilled roasted fermented maguey (agave) is mezcal. Tequila was more or less only consumed in Mexico until the American prohibition.
The tastings of tequila, sotol and mezcal were done in clay sipper cups which really made a difference in how you experienced the flavours of these spirits. After the session we were treated to more mezcal tasting and cocktail drinking n the pool area.
I had one of the best cocktails i have ever tasted made by Junior Merinho at this session – Alma Blanca Margarita who told me its inspired by an old maya drink containing mashed corn. Do yourself a favor and try this one! if you can´t find Hoja Santa (and who can?) just do it anyway, this cocktail is AMAZING.
ALMA BLANCA MARGARITA
2 oz SiembraAzul Tequila Blanco infused with orange habanero pepper
0.5 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
0.5 oz Liquid Chef aloe-vera - lemon grass syrup
1 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz Boiron pineapple puree
2 tablespoons fresh corn
Pinch of Hoja Santa
Rim the glass withThe Liquid Chef hibiscus-rose salt
Muddle corn and syrup and add the rest of ingredients, ice, shake and double strain over ice into a Margarita glass.