Have You Tasted Your Tequila Lately?

Wine tasting… whisky tasting… tequila tasting? As a matter of fact, yes! Sunday’s SF Chronicle featured an article on the tequila surge. Tequila has been the fastest-growing liquor category in the nation for years now, and the Bay Area is on top of it.  California accounts for 23% of tequila consumption in the world, the highest consumption outside of Mexico.  Consider Tommy’s Blue Agave Tequila Club where over 7000 members can achieve “Master” status by tasting 35 different tequilas.  It probably doesn’t hurt that the owner, Julio Bermejo, also happens to be the sole American ambassador for the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry.

San Francisco is also home to Tres Agaves Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge, where Parties That Cook is holding a Fiesta Fantastico Cinco de Mayo Cooking Class on April 28th. This is the perfect opportunity to learn how to prepare delectable Mexican-inspired dishes while sipping on Tres Agaves margaritas.  The Bay Area even has some home-distilled agave spirit (it can’t be called tequila because tequila must be wholly produced in the state of Jalisco and surrounding areas).  East Bayers can try St. George Spirits’ rendition of tequila, Agua Azul, in their tasting room located in Alameda. Read about their first attempt at distilling agave spirit here.

But California isn’t the only place the tequila surge has hit. Tequila sales in Washington were up 15% in 2006 and now you can find premium tequilas at over $100 per shot in places like Galerias Restaurant & Bar in Seattle.  A little too rich for your taste? How about some “tequila salvation” at The Saint where you can get your tequila in handmade cocktails delicately balanced with ingredients like fresh juices, syrups and infusions that are prepared from scratch in the kitchen.  All food from the kitchen is also made by hand, from scratch, with all natural meats and organic produce.  How about a flight of tequila? Barrio Mexican Kitchen & Bar offers half-off all tequila flights on Mondays. While you’re at it, why not try the food as well — Barrio is also participating in Seattle Restaurant Week – and get a three-course dinner for just $25 from April 18 – 29, 2010.

Zocalo MargaritaDon’t worry Chicagoans, we didn’t forget about you! Did you know that tequila ambassador Bermejo has helped Salud Lounge develop a margarita that uses only the finest ingredients? Salud Lounge also has its very own tequila club and has two 3-course Tequila Dinners coming up April 28th and 29th.   For one of the largest selections of 100% Blue Agave tequila and mescal, pay a visit to Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar, where you can also try tequilas by the flight.

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