Partida: Proof That Tequila Isn’t Out Ta-Kill-Ya

I just want to give a shout out to Jacques Bezuidenhout and the gang of Partida for hosting a fantastic tequila seminar at the Bellagio this weekend.

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:

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.


Big Spender

Pictures by:
Jamie Boudreau


~ by Jamie Boudreau on October 11, 2007.

8 Responses to “Partida: Proof That Tequila Isn’t Out Ta-Kill-Ya”

  1. I’m just getting interested in tequila again after a long stint of ignorance. While filling out a friend’s bar, I recommended a nice reposado, but he really wanted the Cazadores Añejo. What a huge difference a few years makes. It becomes a vastly different flavor profile, without the harshness I’ve associated with earlier experiences.

  2. Odd, I attended a tequila seminar with many of those same characters, and the “Big Spender” we were served was created by Dale DeGroff for the relaunch of the “Sweet Charity” musical a few years back:

    Big Spender

    – 1 oz Gran Centenario Anejo tequila
    – 1 oz Clement Liqueur Creole Shrubb
    – 1/2 oz Blood orange juice
    – Cristal Rose champagne
    (NOTE: For cheaper big spender use Billecart Salmon Brut Rose)

    Assemble the first three ingredients in a bar glass with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a chilled champagne flute and garnish with spiral mof orange peel and a flamed orange zest.

  3. Erik:
    While the program was essentially run by the BAR program, it was Jacques who came up with the drink at this event. It was named as such because he made it for a casino. He might have to change the name to the Big Spender #2 and have it sit alongside the Corpse Reviver’s better known sibling. 😉
    It is indeed remarkable how wood tames spirits. It is even more remarkable when agave can still show through the wood after this delicate spirit has been encased for several years. Ahh, the wonders of alcohol…..

  4. love your photography… and partida : )

  5. Chuckle! Oh, Jacques was there! As far as I remember, he and I were the most star struck of the attendees at witnessing Mr. DeGroff’s mad skills in person.

  6. Jealousy abounds.

  7. What a great tasting it was. Thanks for coming by the Fontana Bar the night before. It was great to finally meet you, Jamie.

  8. […] Two One Two […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: