Spirits of Mexico 2012 Tequila Trail Part 1 of 2

Welcome to Tequila Trail 2012, the kickoff of a week-long celebration of the "Spirits of Mexico" as well as a fundraiser for the Old Town Chamber of Commerce. Apparently, no other town in the US serves as much Tequila as San Diego! Doesn't that make you proud to be a San Diegan?

For our listening pleasure we heard familiar Mexican melodies from these talented ladies. Notice that spikey plant on the right? You'll see that later too!

The Spirits of Mexico Festival is in its 9th year with this being the 2nd year of participation for San Diego! Following the Tequila Trail, the search for the best tequila of 2012 begins. Courtney Greenleaf, one of the judges as well as our first "Tequila librarian", gave us a little wave from the audience! Participating tequila judges taste at least 130 tequilas over the course of just TWO days! That's going to be quite a task to complete! The Deputy Consul General Francisco Javier Olavarría also came out to talk to the audience.

Gabriel Gutierres, a county policy adviser announced the various acknowledgements that the festival had gotten. Look at the 'prettiest' one above! We also heard some exciting news. Due to his outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to the county, it was declared Phillip Soto Mares and El Duende Tequila Day throughout San Diego!  How amazing to have a day named after you!

Above, the newly honored tequila maker Philip Soto Mares had brought an agave from his home, and everyone on stage took turns slicing off the top! In fact, I didn't even notice the agave plant until AFTER they began doing this! After everything was said and done, we began the tasting adventure! 

Our first stop was Old Town Mexican Cafe where we sampled Pura Vida tequila. This one stayed the favorite of Dennis's for the first couple of brands we tried...

Old Town Mexican Cafe served street tacos for our dining pleasure. These are homemade tortillas with a choice of chicken or carnitas plus a nice chunky avocado spread. It'd normally have onions on there too but I ordered for both of us my way, sans onions, thinking we got two each instead of one! Oops.

Our next stop was Cafe Coyote where Azunia as well as Regional tequila were being showcased. Another beautiful thing about this location was that we could drink a separate Margarita on top of the tequila samples!

Cafe Coyote also served a taco, filled with carnitas, cliantro, onions and avocado salsa! 

We hit one end of the trail at Miguel's Cocina. Herradura tequila was sampled here.

The waitress passed along delicious Honey Glazed Fire Wings to hungry patrons. The one thing we loved about these was the sweet and tangy flavor as well as the extreme crunch.

Our next stop was Fred's Mexican Cafe where they served samples of Gran Centenario. Our friendly ambassador did an excellent job of explaining the specialties of the brand. Their newest flavor was Rose Angel on the right.

We've had this appetizer before, during another Taste event! I think it's a chingadera from the look of it.

Alamo Mexican Cafe. The word Alamo makes me think of home back in Texas! Here we found Arta tequila. They also passed out lime and tequila flavored chapstick! Can't wait to try mine this winter!

The food provided here were the chicken and beef rolled tacos, southwest salad, and nachos with cheese dip.

At Rockin' Baja we met the Scorpion tequila ambassadors.

Usually I'd stay away from anything that looks like a scorpion but the most unexpected taste came from this brand! Dennis could only say that it was soooo familiar... like the smoked flavor we get during one of our home barbeques! This was something to remember!

We also sampled some of their tequila lime shrimp. The flavor was there but the oil... oh how the oil was in excess and soaking into the bread!

Continued in Part 2! 6 locations remain plus the Cointreau Cocktail Challenge! See the recipes here!

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