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On a special trip to Miami, Master distiller Tony Salles hosted an exclusive tasting event and presentation of El Tequileño Tequila at Stiltsville in South Beach. Tony is a third-generation distiller, and his father, Juan Salles, who runs the blending and bottling facility, is one of only five to be given the award of ‘gran tequilero’, one of the most respected people in the business.

Named in honor of the people of Tequila, El Tequileño was founded in 1959 by Don Jorge Salles Cuervo with a vision to create only the finest tequila. Sixty years later, El Tequileño is made in the same place using the same recipe by the grandson of Don Jorge.

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Maestro Tequilero Tony Salles

El Tequileño is one of the most well-known historical brands in the industry. El Tequileño comes originally from the town of Tequila and it is really famous because in this town there’s a bar called La Capilla, a tiny little cantina, famous for making one specific drink: La Batanga. It’s Mexican cola, Tequila, lime juice and with a salt rim, and stirred with a knife. La Capilla has won multiple awards as one of the most iconic bars in Mexico; the only tequila they use for La Batanga is El Tequileño.

El Tequileño expressions


El Tequileño Platino Blanco: Mellowed for 14 days in American Oak
Traditional craft production using highland agave, autoclaves, open fermentation, copper pot still, and pipones. Leader in sustainability in Tequila. 98% of all by-product is re-used at the distillery and agave fields

Tequileño Reposado is a 100% blue agave tequila that spends 3 months in American Oak.


Tequileno Anejo Gran Reserva
2yrs in American & French oak, blended with reserve extra Anejo. Sweet oak, vanilla, cooked agave, sweet spices, orange, dried fruit, caramel. A long complex finish.

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EL Tequileño Reposado Rare: is a limited edition tequila aged for 6 years in a large American Oak barrel called a Pipon. Despite being aged longer than most Extra Añejos, this must be labeled Reposado due to the size of the barrel exceeding the 600L maximum. Therefore, El Tequileño presents the world’s first Reposado Rare! 6 years of undisturbed rest has resulted in a Tequila of amazing complexity, rich flavors, and exceptional depth. Each bottle is individually numbered and signed by Gran Tequilero, Antonio Salles, 2nd Generation Master Distiller.

El Tequileno Reposado Gran Reserva:
As a difference on their Reposado, this one is 8 months rested and blended w/ 15% Anejo.
Aromas of banana, caramelized pear, nutmeg & vanilla. Light oak flavors, vanilla, toffee & Macadamia nuts.

You can visit www.eltequileno.com or @el_tequileno for more information

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National Tequila Day lands beautifully on a Saturday this year, yes we celebrate nationally this Mexican spirit on July 24th, and you can get the finest cocktails promotions and fun activities around Miami and Ft. Lauderdale areas.

Coyo Taco is debuting a new premium Margarita on NTD. Taco and Tequila lovers alike can sip on this elevated spin for $5 all day (regularly priced at $8.50). The new premium margarita features Maestro Dobel Silver Tequila, made From 100% Blue Agave, Cointreau, organic lime juice, and agave. Guests can redeem the discounted cocktail at the taqueria side at all Miami locations from open until close. enjoy a FREE tasting of the new margarita and Maestro Dobel Silver Tequila (Saturday, July 24th from 4-7 PM). Drinks will be limited per guest and served inside the taqueria. COYO Taco is located in Wynwood, Brickell, and Coral Gables. 

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Raspadito at Lona´s

Lona’s Cocina & Tequileria, Ft. Lauderdale will have a special Volcan Tequila Cart to build your own “Raspaditos” with different flavors and specials all day long.

Lolo’s Surf Cantina will be offering double-shot specials with Volcan Tequila on Saturday, July 24th.

The Wharf will be hosting a Tremenda Fiesta with Free Beer when ordering a shot of Casa Noble Tequila.

Enjoy a 2×1 Watermelon Margarita at KIKI’S on the River fresh made with Cincoro Silver Tequila, fresh muddled watermelon, a touch of organic agave, fresh cold-pressed lime juice, and fresh mint. You can’t get any fresher than that. ($18)

The Grammercy is offering 50% off their Cincoro Tequila bottles, (Cincoro Blanco $400, Cincoro Reposado $475 and Añejo $750), enjoy $12 Margaritas and $14 Shot Specials of Cincoro Tequila Blanco

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Watermelon Margarita at Kiki´s on the River

Enjoy a 2×1 Watermelon Margarita at KIKI’S on the River fresh made with Cincoro Silver Tequila, fresh muddled watermelon, a touch of organic agave, fresh cold-pressed lime juice, and fresh mint. You can’t get any fresher than that. ($18)

The Grammercy is offering 50% off their Cincoro Tequila bottles, (Cincoro Blanco $400, Cincoro Reposado $475 and Añejo $750), enjoy $12 Margaritas and $14 Shot Specials of Cincoro Tequila Blanco

Bodega is introducing their new 22oz Frozen Margarita stadium cups, you can bring them home or refill with a discount. They have a box to-go including a Tereamana Tequila Blanco bottle, a camera, salt, and Bodega Taqueria goodies. Also offering $3 shots and $7 drinks on Saturday, July 24th.

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Miami-based company Tropical Distillers is thrilled to announce they are opening the only distillery in the City of Miami towards the latter part of the year which will produce their J.F. Haden’s  Craft Liqueurs. Located in the heart of the up-and-coming, Allapattah neighborhood at 2141 NW 10th Avenue, the distillery will offer guests a one-of-a-kind premium liqueur brand experience just steps away from the famous Wynwood Arts District. The distillery will feature J.F. Haden’s Mango Liqueur, the first spirit to market from the Tropical Distillers brand portfolio launched a little over a year ago, a first-of-its-kind, small-batch liqueur made from all-natural home-grown Florida mangoes without preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors as well as the newest flavor J.F. Haden’s Citrus Liqueur.  

The distillery is a joint business venture between Tropical Distillers original brand partners CEO Buzzy Sklar, the newest brand partners, former NFL pros Mike and Maurkice Pouncey and Miami-based luxury realtor Kim Rodstein, and industry veteran Andrew Siegel. “This business endeavor has quickly turned into a family business that I am proud to be a part of. From ties to the Florida Gators to having the same work ethic,  enjoying the same passions has made us all closer than we could have imagined. The future is bright!” says  Mike Pouncey. 

J.F. Haden’s Craft Liqueur’s new headquarters will be much more than a fully functioning distillery. “With the  recent growth and buzz surrounding Miami as a new business hub, and my 30 plus years of experience in the  hospitality industry, we are very excited about the potential success and feel the timing is perfect to be  opening up the only distillery in the City of Miami,” says CEO Buzzy Sklar. The 8,000 square foot space will  include a fully automated craft distillery complete with an in-house cannery, a beautiful bar and tasting room  decked out in colorful vintage wallpaper with old school Florida tropical touches throughout the space. In  addition, the distillery will feature a retail and gift shop with branded merchandise and exclusive distillery only  product from Tropical Distillers and J.F. Haden’s Craft Liqueurs.  

image002The distillery will be open daily offering premium tastings and behind-the-scenes tours of the company’s  meticulous small batching production process. The one-hour tours will be available in group or private  sessions and will be able to be booked online. Following the tour, guests can indulge at the bar which will be  serving up signature J.F. Haden’s craft liqueurs cocktails while kicking back and enjoying live music from local  musicians on certain nights. Guests will also have the option to grab a bite from various featured food trucks.  

The Tropical Distillers premium brand experience is complete with a branded tour bus that will be available to  book for private events providing transportation to and from the distillery. When not being used for private  events, the bus will be cruising around Miami offering pick-ups to the distillery. In addition, the venue will be  available for private and corporate events and will have parking accessible on-site as well as street parking. 

Since the launch of J.F. Haden’s Mango Liqueur in January 2020 they have been picked up by national  distributors RNDC and is currently available in over 1,000 bars, restaurants, and retail stores across the country  (700 of those in Florida). In addition, J.F. Haden’s Mango Liqueur is now available in New York, New Jersey  and Nevada.  

www.jfhadens.com
@jfhmangoliqueur

 

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Pineapple, Coconut, and Rum. There’s nothing more tropical, tantalizing, or thrilling than this delicious combination. Just by reading or hearing the phrase, “Piña Colada,” we are already dreaming of a vacation on a luxurious Caribbean Island, right? This mental transportation to paradise is probably why this Cocktail, originally from Puerto Rico, has become one of the most popular and beloved drinks around the world. In celebration of Piña Colada Day, this Saturday, July 10th, 2oz Mag would like to suggest the best places in Miami to enjoy this idyllic Cocktail. So find a venue, kick back, relax, and take a sip of paradise. 

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Sexy Colada

ESOTICO 

1600 NE 1st Ave, Miami, Fl. 33132

In Miami, 22400oz of Esotico’s twist on the Piña Colada, “The Sexy Colada”($14) is sold every month, using around 1400 Pineapples monthly between their kitchen and bar, according to Elis Carriero, Bar Manager at Esotico Tiki Lounge. “To improve a Pina Colada is not easy, because it is already a beautiful and delicious drink, but our twist is definitely the best sellers in the house! We use everything from the pineapple since our concept is zero waste. We use 1/2 pineapple in the kitchen for our pineapple rice, chunk for cocktails, and for the fresh juice, with the skin we can prepare infusions and we use the leaves for garnishes as well. Our secret for the Sexy Colada is to do everything with love and very high-quality ingredients,” says Elis.

The Sexy Colada is a recipe from Danielle Dallapolla with Coconut cream re’al, Ginger syrup re’al, Bacardi Carta Oro, Pineapple juice, Pinch of salt, Lime juice, Coconut water from fresh coconut 

www.esoticomiami.com

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Piña Colada by Havana Rum

FINKA 

14690 Sw 26th St, Miami, Fl. 33175

On July 10th, Latin Gastropub Finka will host an event with Havana’s Rum brand Ambassador, Gio Gutierrez who will be around spiking drinks and giving out Piña Colada Shirts. Order a virgin Piña Colada and you will get a free Havana Club Clasico Floater. And who doesn’t love free t-shirts? Once your virgin Piña Colada is spiked, you will receive a hilarious, Piña Colada Day-inspired T-shirt to commemorate the occasion, while supplies last. Join the festivities from 6 pm to 11 pm. 

www.finkarestaurant.com

 

 

 

Pina Colada 2

Escape a la Orilla

ORILLA

426 Euclid Ave, Miami Beach, Fl. 33139

If you like piña coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain… Come to Orilla and Escape… yes, if you are looking for an elevated experience, check Orilla restaurant and mixology bar, for their “Escape a la Orilla” Cocktail ($16), inspired by the famous song “Escape” by Rupert Holmes. This unique take on the Piña Colada will amaze you. To celebrate this glorious day, Bar Manager and Mixologist Rodrigo Turbet created a Piña Colada-meets-Highball Cocktail. “I’m looking to offer a more refreshing drink without the density of the classic recipe. I didn’t want to use coconut cream but wanted the coconut flavor to be present so we’ll use the coconut in different ways. We add Ultrasonic Bacardi Carta Blanca with coconut meat, Bacardi 4, Rectified Pineapple Juice, herbal notes from Yellow Chartreuse, and Natural Coconut soda, carbonated. The Glass is garnished with toasted coconut flakes. It’s a simple cocktail that will transport you to a beach shore in every sip.”

Available from Wednesday 7th until July 11th, this unique take on the Pina Colada will amaze you. 

www.orilla.restaurant.com

 

Pina Colada 4

Shaun’s Colada

MINIBAR 

418 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, Fl. 33139 

If you are looking to just get a good drink, maybe a little mystery, romance, or some really good feelings, you can find your ideal spot at Minibar, inside of Urbanica Hotels.  We recommend that you also look for “Shaun’s Colada” ($13)  on their Cocktail menu, with pineapple juice, coconut milk, Simple syrup, Velvet Falernum, Teeling Irish Whiskey, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. “It is the Original Vacation in a glass, once you drink it, you know it’s time to kick your feet up,” says David Cedeño, Director of Bars for Urbanica Hotel’s Group.

www.minibarmiami.com

 

Coco colada

The Coco Club

FOUR SEASONS  

1435 Brickell Ave, Miami. Fl. 33131

Nothing fights the summer heat better than an icy drink right by the pool. Add it into a coconut and you already feel like you’re enjoying a staycation. Kick back with the tropical and delightfully creamy concoction “The Coco Club” – Havana club rum, pineapple juice, lime, served in a fresh coconut ($25). Presented in a gorgeous white coconut with an intricate design, this drink will elevate your summer vibes, your day, and your photos! Be sure to snap a picture and make all your friends envy your poolside delight this Piña Colada Day!

www.fourseasons.com

 

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Our Piña Colada

SWEET BEACH POP UP  

1801 Collins ave, Miami Beach, Fl. 33139

For a salty breeze experience, we recommend that you visit Sweet Beach Pop-up at the Shelborne Hotel. At the hotel,  you can enjoy a Delicious Piña Colada honoring the classic recipe, while also laying down by the pool or enjoying their wonderful garden. Sip and enjoy “OUR PINA COLADA” ($16) with Bacardi Carta Blanca, Bacardi 8, Santa Teresa, Coco Lopez, Pineapple, Banana, Curry Powder, and Sea Salt. 

@sweetbeachpopupmia

 

Pina colada

Frozen Piña Colada

LE CHICK 

310 NW 24th St, Miami, Fl. 33127

The outdoor patio at Le Chick, screams for a Tropical drink, and what better one than a frozen Pina Colada? “We created our Rum blend with Bacardi Coconut and Havana Club añejo, a great combination of flavors, caramel, soft fruits, spiced oak, and manuka honey… paired with a Pina Colada mix made by Kelvin Slushy mixes and topped with Angostura Bitters. The bitters cut down the sweetness of the drink releasing flavors of clove, tamarind, and cinnamon,” says Bar Manager Nikolas Mantzaridis. Piña Colada ($13

www.lechickmiami.com

 

Pina Colada with Teeling

Pina Colada with Teeling Whiskey

HOMETOWN BBQ  

1200 NW 22nd Street, Miami, Fl. 33142

Find your ideal, classic, nostalgic Piña Colada here. It has a  perfect balance of sweet coconut, tangy pineapple, and additional tropical fruits from Teeling Whiskey finished in Rum Barrels ($16). Enjoy live music every weekend because there is always a reason to celebrate a good time with good tunes! 

www.hometownbbqmiami.com

 

 

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Pepe Colada

LUCA OSTERIA

116 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables. Fl. 33134

Are you going to love the Pepe Colada? Claro que sí! This clarified cocktail has all of the refreshing, citrusy sweetness of a Piña Colada, but is much lighter and less filling. In celebration of Piña Colada Day, Luca Osteria is giving away free Clarified Piña Coladas sippers with any purchase of Havana Club drink on Saturday, July 10th during dinner service. Pepe Colada is made with  The Real Havana Club Añejo Clásico, Pineapple Juice, Coconut Water, Velvet Falernum, Dorda Coconut Liquor, Fresh Lime Juice, and Whole Milk*

www.lucamiami.com
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Father’s day is less than 5 days now and you haven’t been able to buy a present for dad, we all been there. worry no more, here’s a list of fine liquor to celebrate. 

Stranahan’s Blue Peak

This year, shoppers can order bottles of Stranahan’s personalized with specialty engravings. Pick from Stranahan’s latest offering, including their new and improved Original expression, or Stranahan’s Blue Peak, perfect for sipping on the rocks or a strong cocktail.

Named for a 13-thousand-foot peak in Aspen, Blue Peak is built around a small batch of single malt whiskey that’s been aged for 4 years before being finished with the time-honored Solera process, typically seen in winemaking. Blue Peak is chill filtered, bottled at 43% ABV and available nationwide to purchase for $42.99 MSRP at fine retailers nationwide.

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  • Nose: Dried apricot, nutmeg, cinnamon toast, hints of leather and light tobacco      
  • PalateCreamy butterscotch and brown sugar, baked apples, with notes of cayenne and toasted oak
  • FinishRich and mellow, earthy malt gently fades into lingering spices
  • ProofBlue Peak is bottled at 86 proof (43%ABV)
  • MSRP$42.99 for a 750ml bottle

Availablehttps://www.reservebar.com/products/stranahans-blue-peak-single-malt-whiskey

Barceló Imperial Onyx.

Black onyx stones absorb and transform negative energy and aid in the development of emotional, physical strength and stamina, especially during times of stress, uncertainty or grief. Bold like the name, this dark añejo blend of 10-year-old rums in heavily charred ex-bourbon barrel, is then filtered through onyx stones, which attribute the mysticism of this unique super-premium rumIt is best enjoyed straight-up or over ice so as to fully appreciate its remarkably robust and full-bodied taste. ($46) The elegant, matte bottle would make a great addition on the table!  

Bar Imperial*Barcelo Imperial Onyx was recently awarded a Double Gold Medal at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This is one of the highest honors for a spirit brand at one of the most prestigious spirts competitions in the world.*

  • Color: Amber Mahogany
  • Aroma: Caramel aroma with intriguing hint of violet
  • Taste: The silky palate opens with caramel and brown butter, accented by dried fig and walnut, finishing long and gently spiced; Finish: It is best enjoyed straight up or over ice to fully appreciate its robust taste!
Find Barceló at Total Wines, or order online through ReserveBar with Free Shipping using code: BARCELOSHIP

Bacardi ocho

 

 

BACARDI 8 years Aged Rum 

Inspired by a family recipe from 1862, BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho is known as The Family Reserve. After minimun of eight years of ageing, Bacardi Reserva Ocho releases delightful flavors of stone, fruits and spices.

Nose: Dried apricot and banana leaf

Palate: The palate is sweet and rich with tropical fruits, oak and spices, peels and winter spice

Finish: Expansive and well-rounded, gentle and luscious

Available at Drizly 

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The prestigious American Fine Wine Competition,  announced the result for The Invitational, which takes place annually in south Florida.  With the Pandemic wreaking havoc for the past year, the judging was delayed, and took place on Memorial Day Weekend.  More than 550 wines from 125 wineries vied for top honors at this INVITATION-only event. The Judging — conducted by a 28-member blue ribbon panel of wine industry educators, restaurateurs, retailers, journalists, and top sommeliers from across the country — was held at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University, Biscayne Bay Campus.

As usual, the results did not disappoint!  There were ties for Best of Show Red wine AND Best of Show Sparkling.  And the Sparkling wines were from the same winery!  Equally exciting, there was also a tie for Best of Class Riesling, which was the case last year as well. 

Co-founder and President Shari Gherman said, “At AFWC, we look for the very best wines the country has to offer, and so they must be vetted before being invited.  This year was challenging since the country was pretty much shut down.  But with some creativity, we persevered, and as one can see by the results, we found stunning wines yet again.”

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The Judges had an incredibly difficult time coming up with the Best of Class results.  Judge Wendy Rosano said, “Of the 11 double gold medal winning Red Bordeaux Blends, it was almost impossible to pick one!”  Judge Patrick Sullivan said, “The 12 Double Gold medal winning Syrah’s were so awesome, we actually finished drinking our glasses!”  In the Cabernet Sauvignon category, there were five flights where ALL the wines were awarded double gold medals.   

Fourteen years of careful scouting and judging means this competition starts where others end.  Four-team judging panels evaluate, describe, debate and assign medals and scores. “Our Judges take their time and really care about getting it right” observed Greg Miseyko, Chief Judge and Judging Coordinator.  Wines earn Gold, Silver or Bronze medals and “Double Gold” honors when every judge agrees the wine deserves a Gold Medal. Points from a 100-point scale are also awarded.  Miseyko added “We want to direct the public to America’s finest wines, to become the most trusted source of information about finding quality wines.” 

Remember, Price doesn’t always dictate the finest. Quality does.

Attached are the complete results.

AFWC 2021 Best Of final 06-09-21

They are also posted at www.AmericanFineWineCompetition.org

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Last Monday May  24th, BACARDI honored Miami’s trailblazers and culture movers with Premium cocktails & delicious food pairings.

An evening to celebrate creatives, philanthropists, tech titans, business and community leaders who are blazing a trail in respective industries and making the world a better place through the work that they are committed to doing.

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Hotel Nacional

Hosted by Master of Rum David Cid and Janet Benitez, guests were welcome with a refreshing “Hotel Nacional” cocktail ( Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rum, Pineapple juice, Lime juice, Simple Syrup, Apricot Liqueur)  and invited to the table for a pairing dinner and the Red Rooster restaurant in Overtown, featuring aged rum Bacardi Reserva 8 and Bacardi Reserva 10 cocktails. The second Cocktail was the “Old Cuban” (Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rum, Martini & Rossi Prosecco, Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice, Dashes bitters) paired with Chef Marcus Samuelson famous dishes such as the devil eggs, Marcus cornbread, fried yardbird, shrimp & grits, grilled Yellowtail Snapper and finished with I’m in love with cocoa, a chocolate feast dessert paired with the “Cane collective Ocho old Fashioned” cocktail. 

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Cane Collective Ocho Old Fashioned

David educated all patrons about aged rums with a tasting of Bacardi Reserva 8 and Bacardi Reserva 10 between meals. As the night ended, the guests were greeted with a beautiful gift that included a wooden box with a bottle of Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rum, a bottle of Cane collective Sweet Potato On Syrup  to make your own Old Fashion and a cigar to pair with.

Images by @Nickjustchill

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FIU students celebrated when they were announced as the winners of the People’s Choice Award at this year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival Art of Tiki Cocktail Showdown, celebrated at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel on South Beach, on Saturday, May 22nd.

Students  participating from the Hospitality School and Bacardi Center of Excellence Bartender’s Guild club, alongside professional mixologists and bartenders took home the top prize for their cocktail, The Sunblazer. The drink was made with six ingredients including: pineapple juice, lemon juice, Bacardi Ocho and even honey syrup cultivated by the FIU Beekeeping Association.

Judges gave their top prize to Landon Nero of Freehold Miami in Wynwood.

100% of the net proceeds from the Festival benefit FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Each year, over 1,200 students and volunteers gain invaluable real-world experience at the Festival. To date, SOBEWFF® – which serves as an interactive educational platform for future leaders of the hospitality industry – has raised more than $31.8 million for the School.

Video Courtesy of FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

https://youtu.be/SWa-b85niqk

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As a sommelier, mixologist, and Co-Founder of Mijenta Tequila, Juan Coronado has been in the food and beverage industry for more than thirty years. Whether serving as the founder and Creative Director for Colada Shop or embarking on a brand new venture, any brand or business that Juan graces will thrive as a direct result of his experience, passion, and community-oriented mindset. So too, as a writer, Master Distiller, and passionate student of all things Tequila, Ana Maria Romero Mena brings her experience, expertise, and admiration for Tequila to the forefront of Mijenta’s aesthetic. As two incredible individuals in the rapidly growing industry, it is no wonder that the renowned Master Distiller Ana and Industry Vet Juan have joined forces to create Mijenta Tequila’s stylish and stunning look. With her impeccable designs, Ana has captured the essence of Mijenta Tequila which is as delicious as it is respectable, as smooth as it is captivating, as versatile as it is celebratory. At a glance, consumers will notice that Mijenta Tequila is a brand for the land, for the people, and for life. 

Tell us your story and hospitality background. What’s your connection? 

JC: I jumped into the hospitality and service industry about 30+ years ago. I have a background in Engineering and Art. I also have an interest in the hospitality industry which led to my curiosity in cocktails, spirits, wines, and distillates. I went to The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and became a sommelier. I got interested in diving into wine. I used to be part owner of a champagne bottle bar called the Bubble Lounge in San Francisco and New York. Then, I ventured out and did a Mixology craft cocktail bar. Afterward, I started working with brands through consulting. The whole deal with Brand Ambassadors was not a position that existed. Due to my knowledge, I got into a position as a Brand Master with Bacardi years later. This was a great opportunity because I took part in the production and marketing. I used my voice to design certain rums and to market to different countries. I became the Global person and figure for Bacardi while also being a part-owner of Colada shops, Serenata, and Bresca. I had three businesses in Washington D.C. In the case of Serenata, it is free for all for Latin spirits and Latin-inspired combinations. We cover every distillate from Patagonia to Spain. 

I did approach Ana Maria Romero. For us, it was instant Tequila love. I could tell that she was the right person to create this beautiful, delicate, aromatic, and traditional profile through the phone. That’s the way I like to describe it.

AM: I started studying wines 30 years ago. I studied at Davis University, not as an oenologist but as a sensory evaluation.  It was my passion to know about wines, and as I made visits to different parts of the world, they asked me about Tequila. There is a specific case that happened to me when I was visiting the Martell wineries.  Someone asked me, “Hey, aren’t you from Jalisco? Well, let’s talk about Tequila.” I didn’t know anything, just the basics. I knew that Tequila was a liquor that came from agave. I began to study Tequila. I visited all the distilleries, and I learned that Tequila is sophisticated and complex.  It does not have a unique process. It has several ways of being made. Even if it is a single plant, it behaves differently depending on the region, the climate, and the processes. I started doing Tequila sensory evaluation seminars. A client in 2007 told me, “if you like Tequila so much, why don’t you do one?” And he invited me to work in his factory. That’s when I realized that this is what I liked. I liked to understand Tequila, what happens in each process, the grinding, and each phase of the process. That was how I discovered the olfactory imprint of Tequila. I have an aromatic circle of Tequila. That is how I started working with big brands until I got to know Juan Coronado, who wanted to develop a Culinary Tequila. I said yes, and today I am a Tequila designer.

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What inspired you to create Mijenta? 

JC:. Behind the inspiration of Mijenta Tequila is a strong feeling for the land, for what Arandas means. We wanted to create a Tequila that brings and exposes all the biodiversities, aromas, flavors, and colors of the land of Arandas. That unique red soil that governs the whole terrain is unique because of the nutrients and the iron content it possesses. We wanted to bring everything into the production and the design of Mijenta Tequila’s profile. With an eye on sustainability, an eye on the land, and an eye on the people, we can bring it all together and bring it to life. Our motto is por la tierra, por la gente, y por la vida.   

AM: All Tequilas are made from the same plant. However, when a customer asks you for something specific, and you see through their eyes, being able to satisfy that dream is fascinating in the development of the product. If they tell you,“ I want a Tequila that is Mineral, that represents the earth, that speaks of tradition,” you have to know what points you are going to focus on for that product. We implement a much longer cooking time for the agave. We select agaves only from regions close to Arandas, an Alteña region because that is the area we want to know. We know that its reddish color is due to the high concentration of iron that is present. We also know that there are other components that we are learning about to create the Añejo, which has more time in the barrel than another Tequila. We are studying whether the Ph influences that or not. Another topic that we found exciting when designing Tequila was selecting the yeast. We discovered which yeast would highlight all the characteristics of the highlands region. We did a study and chose one. From there, we went on to fermentation. The long or short fermentation process gives us the aromatic characteristics, and finally, the distillation issue. We also decided that this Tequila was not filtered so as not to remove aromatic characteristics. When you take care of all the points of a process, you do not need any fixes. This consideration was part of the philosophy requested by Juan Coronado and Mr. Dolan. Our Reposado is to express everything that we achieve in the Blanco, with very used barrels and very new European and American barrels. We want the barrels to be a framework for our drinks. Let Tequila not become wood. We want to transport people to what Tequila is when they taste it, and we succeeded. 

Screen Shot 2021 05 19 at 9.54.51 AMWhat are Mijenta Tequilas Values? How do these values intersect with your principles and standards for yourself as well as for the industry?

AM: The first thing is that it is a real, honest Tequila. It is a Tequila that expresses the naked soul of the agave. This Tequila brings us its letters of nobility through the attributes of the land. We investigate, see, and talk with the agaveros that have good agricultural practices. For us, it is very important that they take care of the soil and land. We firmly believe that without soil there is no agave. We want to take care of it and from my point of view as a Tequila teacher, people fall in love with Tequila.

JC: For us, it is very important to have safe practices when it comes to production. We consider the agricultural methods. We deal with the jimadores. We don’t own the land, but we care so much about the practices that happen on the land. We want to make sure that the voices in our work of the jimadores are understood. We want to make sure, during our process, that the hands of our team, the production team, and Ana Maria and I, the rest, are important. We want to get the final product into the right hands. We also want those with the right hands to come to understand when they taste our product, all the care that was taken during the process. Our motto is por la tierra, por la gente, y por la vida. For the land, for the people, and for life. We take these practices seriously because they involve all the pillars of Mijenta. If we do not have a good agave, we cannot create a great production. If we do not have good production, we cannot have a good product or good Tequila at the end of the day. The land is the most important thing. The hands of the people that work the land are the most important thing. Those are the true values of our brand. The care of the land, the care of the people, and how we celebrate life is our main difference. 

What contributes to a successful business partnership?Screen Shot 2021 05 19 at 9.55.30 AM

JC: We believe in doing right. At Mijenta, we believe in doing right by doing well. We want to create a good flavor profile that respects traditions, Mother Nature, and the processes that we are establishing. We always say that we are not in a rush. The product will be ready when it is ready. We cannot force Mother Nature to give us what we want. It happens when it happens, and we take that presence from Mother Nature, and then we turn it into an art. That’s what we are trying to do. It takes time, so we are very patient. Ana Maria and I, when it comes to production, ride the wave with Mother Nature. We cannot isolate the process. We are getting used to spending time and using our senses. When all distilleries smell like Mijenta, we know that we did it. It takes time. 

AM: It is very important to have common points of view about the product and the management of the image. Because in the end, each taster is a taster who will say yes or no to the product, which is a high commitment. We also consider the global vision to make a high-end product and take it to international markets. We selected very successful, capable people with a good track record to carry out this task. They are capable of not only developing a Tequila. They are also, with the correct marketing, capable of making and taking it to the people. We also believe a lot in the educational part of Tequila. We believe that the commitment to lead people to learn about our history, our land, and how to enjoy Tequila is very important. We want to have a community that buys our Tequila because it is valuable and conquers the senses. That is the educational part that we want to achieve.

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Ana Maria Romero

What do the two of you bring to Mijenta separately? What do you bring to the brand collectively?

AM: I have contributed my experience and my knowledge of the industry. I have also contributed to doing different things, but at the same time in conjunction with Juan. Juan can understand the tastes of American palates and European and Asian ones because of his background as a world Mixologist. That vision has made this process and this product very enriching. We work together by adding ideas. We talk about creative processes, etc.

JC: In my case, since I have more than 30 years in the beverage industry, I have been able to tame the knowledge of understanding. I have been moving forward when it comes to forecasting. I bring in knowledge from the wine industry. I have made wine. I have made beers. I have consulted for big brands such as King Cognac. I have worked with Gins, Vodkas, Rums. I have experience in production and the knowledge that I have in consumers, the market, and the trends. Each market reacts differently. All of this has given me the ability to be the eyes and ears of our brand Mijenta. 

What have you enjoyed the most from all the processes creating a Tequila?

JC: My favorite part of my journey through Mijenta is the interaction with consumers and bar professionals. I have been doing this for years. It makes me feel like I’m in my grandma’s house with my big family. I love sharing good energies and stories among ourselves. It’s key to foster what is the need, where the trends are going, and what are the challenges that we are facing. I love the communication part of it. Sharing is caring for me. At Mijenta, of course, we have a beautiful product that we would like to spread the gospel of Mijenta. We would like to spread the values of Mijenta all around. Of course, the history and traditions of Mexico are key. We are a brand new brand. This is going to be a long journey. I enjoy it. I am going to be able to go to market and impact others. I  let them know the best part about creating a good brand versus us staying still and waiting to see what happens. I am a go-getter. I am always going to be out on guard when it comes to the teaching of the Tequila and the process that we meticulously create with Ana Maria. I am going to be the guardian of it forever- that is my favorite part of it. 

AM: What I have enjoyed the most is the leadership. I love that people get motivated, do the work, train the staff, share their knowledge with others, in addition to designing Tequila, which is my passion.

Screen Shot 2021 05 19 at 10.09.01 AMWhat have been some challenges of being a New Tequila brand next to the others with many years of history?

AM: The challenge is to have your own personality and achieve your own style. This is a differentiating characteristic from powerful brands that may be our competition. That is different. That people can say, this is a Mijenta.

JC: I echo Ana Maria. The real challenge here is not us being a new brand. The real challenge is just us creating a unique profile. We can taste thousands of Tequila, but there is always room for improvement. We have improved and taken Tequila to a different platform because we are hogging the platform of tradition and authenticity. We are also in love with the Culinary experience. We wanted to have a GM that is so smooth and delicious that people can sip it. Or, they enjoy it with ice or in a cocktail. Being able to understand the meaning of that Aranda’s perfume, as Ana Maria said before, is key for us. If there is a challenge, it would be for the other brands looking at us. 

Ana Maria, how do you differ from other Master distillers? What qualities should a successful MD possess?

AM: A deep knowledge about the processes is the differentiating aspect. Know each phase from the agricultural part to the creative part. One of the things that distinguish me is the creativity of not always falling into the same thing that everyone else does. I look for different things, different opportunities. I play with different variables that can occur in the process. This approach makes a difference in a successful MT, but also the part of forming a good team.

Ana Maria, you just recently won Best Maestra Tequilera 2020  by Tequila Aficionado Magazine. What was it like to receive such recognition? Who has helped you along the way? 

AM: It was unexpected. When you love your work and are passionate about it, you don’t expect recognition because you were hired to do something excellent. However, I am very grateful to Tequila Aficionado magazine for giving me that recognition. I believe that it commits me more to doing better than not keeping what I have. Having this type of recognition is a commitment because you have to inspire others.

Ana Maria, what other achievements/ opportunities have you had or hope to have in the future?

AM: I write books. My first book won 3rd place in Le Gourmand Award which is a very powerful gastronomy contest in France. I took third place globally with this book on the theme of the pairing of Tequila. I aspire to continue educating people who want to believe in Tequila, to continue promoting the culture of Mexico and its values. I also want to inspire women who believe in their dreams. Talent does not have a gender. Talent is talent. I believe that when talent is real, it opens doors and tranverses borders.

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Mijenta

Juan, how do you want to position Mijenta in the consumer’s mind?

JC: Mijenta will find its niche in Culinary applications and opportunities such as restaurants, tastings, degustations, etc. In the case of the Blanco, it is the best partner that a cocktail may have. The cocktail will taste like Arandas, and it will have the olfactory sense and taste profile of land that is so unique and pristine. For consumers, I always tell everybody to bring their favorite Tequila and taste it next to Mijenta, and you’ll decide what is good for you. We don’t want to sound cocky because we are humble people. We took all the Tequilas that we tasted in our careers into consideration. 

Juan, What is your vision for Mijenta?

JC: We wanted to deliver something that has an opportunity on a table. Mijenta Tequila is best enjoyed with friends. If my Tequila can pass the test of culinary dishes and be fine with citrus dishes,  cooked stews,  salads, and desserts, we’re somewhere. Everywhere two or three people have a bite to eat, there is room for Mijenta. There is room to enhance their experience. 

How may we follow your journey? 

Instagram: @mijentatequila

Facebook: @mijentatequila

Website: https://shopmijenta.com

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South Florida-based restaurant groups, Grove Bay Hospitality Group and Breakwater Hospitality Group are pleased to announce the highly-anticipated opening of their first collaboration, CH’I, set to open in the coming weeks in Brickell City Centre. The multi-faceted entertainment venue fuses multiple immersive concepts – the Garden; Mercado; Lounge; and Main Dining Room – into one dynamic and incomparable experience. CH’I’s high-energy ambiance is infused into every corner of the massive 12,000 square foot indoor and outdoor space that boasts three full-service bars; two DJ booths; several lounge and dining areas; and a unique menu of Chino-Latino cuisine that is intensely flavored, imaginatively prepared, and equally celebratory of its heritage. Inspired by the Chinese cafes that first dotted the streets of Latin America, and then of Miami and New York, CH’I has created a style of entertainment, food, and service all its own.

“We could not be more thrilled to launch our first venture together with Breakwater,” said Francesco Balli Co-CEO of Grove Bay. “We’re also thrilled to be adding more than 125 new job opportunities for the local community. Job seekers are highly encouraged to apply before the grand opening – we are offering a $1,000 signing bonus for all positions that employees will receive after three months of employment.”

“Imagine if you had the opportunity to enter one restaurant that offered four unique concepts to create one immersive experience…that is the magic of CH’I,” said Emi Guerra, co-owner of Breakwater Hospitality. “It’s clear that today, people expect so much more from restaurants and hospitality, and this partnership has allowed us to combine what we each specialize in best to deliver something special and unique to Miami. From the outdoor garden and market area, to the cocktail lounge and upscale dining room, there is something for just about everyone to enjoy.”

“This is one of the most exciting and unique concepts we’ve ever done,” adds Ignacio Garcia-Menocal Co-CEO of Grove Bay. “I can’t wait for everyone to check it out!”

CHI Interiors4In CH’I’s Garden, guests can take advantage of Miami’s gorgeous weather and the stunning views in the verdant open-air terrace. The full-service concept features an island bar with a complete beverage menu, plenty of outdoor seating, and cozy cabanas centered around a large-scale dynamic light installation. Guests can order from the menu available from the adjacent Mercado, like dim sum and other casual bites.

Upon entering the space, guests find themselves in the Mercado, modeled after an Asian-themed market featuring menu items like Soups, Salads, Bao Buns, Rotisserie and Wok items available via grab-and-go or counter service.  Visitors will feel like they are transported to a secret hole-in-the-wall market in New York’s Chinatown with bright neon signs mixed with vintage design, dimmed lighting and a floor to ceiling display of antique objects and curious knick-knacks. While waiting for their orders, patrons can entertain themselves with retro games.

Through a large wooden door in the back of the Mercado, the cool and vibrant Lounge can be accessed. There, guests are greeted with two large impactful murals by artist Mallory Dawn – pieces curated by The Art Plug –– atop a mirrored wall, and more than 150 lanterns strung overhead. Diners can check in at the hostess stand and, while waiting for a table or to simply enjoy the scene, partake in a vast selection of libations at a sprawling full-service bar.

CHI Interiors3CH’I’s Main Dining Room is a chic and sophisticated space with large plush booths, tropical décor, and Asian-inspired stylistic elements. The variety of textures and aesthetic components combine earthy brown and green velvets with hints of gold, vibrant jewel tones and sultry crimsons. Juxtaposing crystal chandeliers hang above with columns lined with wallpaper depicting tropical palm fronds running alongside wooden slats and exposed brick walls. Adjacent to the large luminescent bar, is additional seating perfect for large parties or celebrations. The menu, like the Mercado, features a variety of Soups, Salads, Dim Sum, and Small Plates, as well as more substantial Rotisserie; Wok items; and larger For The Table dishes ideal for family-style sharing. Lighting will play an integral part in the guest experience, depending on the time of day the space will be lit up in radiant jewel tones, glowing shades of blues, and muted ambers. Following dinner service, the lights go down, the music turns up and the celebration begins. A full bar and bottle service is available until close, as well as the Mercado’s late-night selection of culinary delights.

From its décor to food and beverage, CH’I embodies the veritable melting pot that is South Florida. The vibe is the ultimate combination of laid-back meets heart thumping high energy. It’s the type of concept that you can visit when looking for a great meal with family, or to stay up late dancing and enjoying copious drinks with friends.

CH’I is located at 701 S Miami Ave #339a in Miami’s Brickell City Centre. Website: chibrickell.com.

 To apply for a job or sign up to receive an invitation to opening festivities, please visit chibrickell.com.

Instagram @Chibrickell

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