I was a little hesitant about attending a tequila dinner. I admit, tequila and I have a sordid past. It’s not that I don’t like the taste of it, I just don’t like the feeling of bathroom tiling pressed against my cheek. True story; perhaps you’ve been there.
However, nothing about my experience last night made me the least bit ill. (Hooray. And ole!) The Sauza Tequila Dinner was held at the delicious and adorable Cempazuchi, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the city.
Armando Zapata, a "Tequila Ambassador" for Beam Global -- yes, that’s the lucky chap’s title -- hosted the event. He did a fab job giving us an overview of tequila’s history and production, fielded questions from the group and then provided multiple shots of tequila for us to pair with our meal. (I think that was my favorite part.)
The menu consisted of multiple appetizers, like tortilla chips with two dipping sauces and amazing guacamole, followed by empanadas and a small spicy salad. Next up was a larger Jicama salad, made with a tangerine tequila dressing.
The entrees were tequila shrimp -- absolutely perfectly sauteed -- and pollo en salsa borracha (chicken in "drunk" salsa) which was extremely tender and flavorful. The lighter and medium tequilas brought out the flavors of both the chicken and shrimp. The meal ended with a Mexican chocolate bread pudding that was made with semi-sweet chocolate and paired nicely with darker tequila.
Under normal circumstances, I probably wouldn’t drink four or five shots of tequila with my dinner, but hey, apparently that’s how you roll at a tequila dinner. And the staff were so quick with the water refills, I actually drank enough water for once and had only a faint trace of a hangover this morning.
Plus, I met some cool people last night, like Brian P. West from Alcoholmanac (who I immediately offended by asking if his publication was still a printed publication -- doh, whoops -- but I think we were OK by the end of the convo or at least all the tequila smoothed things over) and OnMilwaukee.com Twitter Ticket Giveaway winner, Brooke Sorenson.
Best of all, being the information junkie that I am, I learned lots of interesting tequila factoids last night. I learned that unless a bottle of tequila says it 100 percent agave, it’s about half agave and half corn syrup. Um, yuck.
Plus, I tasted a Cosmo martini made with tequila instead of vodka, and I was enlightened to the fact tequila is not just a margarita mixer anymore. Zapata even suggested using it instead of rum in a mojito. Brilliant! Lucido!
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.