Ross Kerslake
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Tequila Fest UK: All hail the agave

Like so many people I remember my first Tequila, around the age of 17 or 18 with lemon and salt at a house party. It of course was horrible and my response was, never again.

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Fast forward a couple of years and it became a love affair that expanded to Mezcal, Sotol and other agave spirits.

Across the world countless shows dedicated to specific spirits are on offer – whisk(e)y has a festival and show among others. Rum has the Miami rum renaissance and Ian Burrell’s The Rum Experience – Rum fest. Gin has Ginstock.

Now it’s Tequila’s time. A time to further indulge its lovers and help educate those who don’t know much about it at all. On the 22 and 23 of November 2014 the first UK Tequila Fest (of hopefully many) will be held at the Grange Hotel Tower Bridge, London to celebrate this fine spirit as well as its brother from another agave mother, Mezcal.

A blend of education, party and cultural immersion – it’ll help bring Tequila and Mezcal not just to more people, but show that it’s far beyond the late night “shots” being had at a party. Along with this it’ll also provide a platform to launch new brands. But of course it wouldn’t be complete without fine Mexican cuisine including fare from Covent Garden’s Condesa and Dalston’s Mezcal Cantina. All the taco’s, quesadilla and more you could ever hope for.

Eduardo Gomez, the genius behind this Tequila and Mezcal Fest had this to say:

“It was born with one objective: to educate trade and consumers on how to drink and enjoy these two traditional beverages. The festival is a project to support both the category of Tequila and Mezcal and as platform for existing and new brands in the UK market. But is also a celebration of Mexico”.

As well as sampling these fine spirits, talks going on include:

Saturday

Ocho Tequila brand ambassador Jesse Estes on classic (and not so classic) Tequila cocktails at home and Don Julio Western European brand ambassador Deano Moncrieffe on pairing Tequila with chocolate. For those who don’t understand the difference between Tequila and Mezcal – Olmeca Atos’ Matthais Lataille and Melanie Symonds of Mezcal Quiquiriqui.

Sunday

Seminars including the importance of terroir and agave from Jesse Estes and Del Maguey’s Jon Anders, more Tequila and chocolate pairing, this time from Nicci Stringfellow, the UK Herradura brand ambassador, and Tequila Fest’s lime squeezing competition from Matthais Lataille.

TequilaFest Tasting

For more information, exhibitor listings and tickets visit www.tequilafest.co.uk

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