Partida: Proof That Tequila Isn’t Out Ta-Kill-Ya
I’ve been to many a seminar on spirits, and I have to say that the best kind of seminar (and also the rarest), are the ones that willingly put their product up against others in a fairly unbiased situation. And indeed, this was the setup this weekend, where scores of some of the best bartenders in the US showed up to learn about tequila, with Paul Pacult, Steve Olson and David Wondrich leading the charge.
While Partida had us all fly in a day early to partake of many a libation and some great food (thanks craftsteak), they also had us wake up quite early to taste tequila; thirty-two tequilas to be exact. (Note to self: when wandering from bar to bar in Las Vegas, it is not necessary to bring along a bottle of tequila for the trip, no matter how tasty the tequila. A shortage of alcohol will not be an issue.) Thankfully our 9am start time was pushed until 10, as that extra hour of sleep quite possibly saved my life.
Our tequila tasting went from platas, to the reposados, to the anejos, until we finally hit the extra anejos. That’s right, we had a chance to sample all eight extra anejos that are currently available in the U.S. That alone was worth the trip. In case we didn’t have enough tequila in us, tequila cocktails were also presented, prepared by Jacques and his merry band of ‘tenders.
A good time was had by all; who said that learning couldn’t be fun?
Just so you don’t feel left out, I present for you one of the easier to reproduce cocktails that were presented during the seminar, courtesy of Willy Shine and Aisha Sharpe of Contemporary Cocktails:
TWO ONE TWO
2 oz Partida Reposado
1 oz Aperol
2 oz grapefruit juice
shake and strain into an iced rocks glass
If you’re curious about the name, look at the proportions of the recipe.
I’ll follow this with a more difficult recipe, this time by Jacques Bezuidenhout:
2 ¼ oz Partida Anejo
1 oz Winter Spiced 10 yr Old Tawny Port
dash of Angostura bitters
stir and strain into an iced cocktail glass
garnish with brandied cherries if desired
Take a bottle of tawny port
Place in a pot and bring to a boil with winter spices like
clove, cinnamon, all spice, brown sugar & orange peel
Heat until desired spice level reached and strain out solids.
Bottle and refrigerate.