There’s no other way to put this: Elayne Duff of Diageo and Bar Rescue fame and Kevin Vanegas of Wirtz Beverage Nevada are experts in tequila. Elayne is the Head Mixologist and Luxury Brand Ambassador for Diageo while Kevin holds the title of Head of Tequila Education for Wirtz. Speaking to the heritage, history and fun of tequila, at this past years’ Nightclub & Bar Show Kevin had the following to say:
“Tequila is that one spirit that we all have that one story, whether we’re proud of it or not.” While it certainly is a fun spirit used for celebrating, Elayne made a point of informing the room that one must truly understand tequila and its history in order to profit from it.
While there are 200 species of Agave, it is the Blue Agave that is sourced to produce tequila. Narrowing things down even further, tequila can only be produced using Blue Agave from five regions in Mexico, by law: Jalisco (which produces 80% of all tequila), Michoacan, Guanajuato, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.
Elayne and Kevin sought to educate those in attendance in order to help them better purchase tequilas for their bars; this way they would know what to buy, what to pay and what to charge customers. This included a lesson in reading tequila labels and the difference between the terms “Tequila” and “Tequila 100% Agave.” The former is at least 51% Blue Agave sugars while the remainder consists of sugar cane juice. The latter is, of course, made up of 100% Blue Agave sugars.
With National Tequila Day just two days away, now is the time to brush up on everything you know about tequila and share that knowledge with your bartenders.
Looking for a great recipe to feature on National Tequila Day? Add traditional Mexican flavor to the rich taste of Tequila Don Julion Añejo, for a whole new way to experience the margarita.
1.5 oz. Tequila Don Julio Añejo
0.25 oz. Grand Marnier
0.5 oz. Lime Juice
0.25 oz. Simple Syrup
0.25 tsp. Chipotle Chili Powder
Salt or Sugar Rim
Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Salt or sugar rim optional.