Along with friends, I attended a tequila pairing dinner at the Old Town Mexican Café (OTMC) in San Diego, CA. The 4-course dinner featured ultra-premium Frida Kahlo Tequila. As we entered we were greeted by Glen Guerin of OTMC and served a refreshing margarita to get us in the mood for what was to come. Glen introduced Dave Willet of Dorado-Pizzorni & Sons (Importers of Frida Kahlo Tequila). Dave explained some of the production techniques used to develop their wonderful tequila at El Eden Distillery located in Arandas, Jalisco. Mature agave piñas harvested from the highland region of Jesus Maria are slowly baked in brick ovens. The cooked agave are crushed and the resulting juice and fibers are fermented naturally (no additives, 100 % agave). Distillation is performed using copper pot stills and two types of barrels are used during the aging process (new American oak barrels and used whiskey barrels).
The first course, a tasty meat-filled empanada covered with a spicy sauce, paired nicely with Frida Kahlo’s Blanco. The healthy portion of tequila, served in a brandy-snifter glass, had a strong presence of agave flavor. It had a briny character that reminded me a bit of green olives. Very pleasant indeed. Pam, sitting next to me, remarked how it would make a great dirty martini. Pam’s husband Phil, a member of Tequila Connection’s tasting team, stated the Blanco had a vegetal flavor (a hint of celery) and was very smooth.
The Reposado, aged 364 days, was paired with a stuffed avocado entrée. Topping the avocado was a black bean, roasted corn and Mexican cheese mixture garnished with slivered tortilla chips. A nice match for the Reposado which brought forth the briny agave flavor from the Blanco, followed by spice notes, oak and slightly peppery finish. Very enjoyable.
The main course was a large plate of tender slow-braised beef served in a banana leaf along side some rice, beans and two types of salsa. The delicious Añejo, aged over 3 years, complimented this dish nicely. Vanilla, spice and caramel notes of the tequila danced with the spicy flavors of the entrée making for a very enjoyable experience.
Glen poured a 2nd helping of the Añejo to those of us that were ready for it. A sweet dish of strawberries and vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup sprinkled with nuts followed along with a final cocktail featuring Frida Kahlo tequila and pomegranate juice. I never did get to that final cocktail as I fell behind trying to identify the wonderful flavors of the tequilas and food. Our compliments to Frida Kahlo Tequila and the chef at Old Town Mexican Café. If this event ($55 / person) comes around again, I want to attend. Cary Hershberger, Tequila Connection