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March 30, 2012

The Ocho Tequila Competition is Back
By Francine Cohen

While the literal translation of sangrita is “little blood”, for many drinkers looking for a tequila accompaniment (or a morning after cure), sangrita is a delicious Mexican blood transfusion. The traditional Jaliscan partner to a fine Tequila, and a great palate reviver, is, in its most traditional form a recipe that calls for tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, and a spicy element, either hot sauce or fresh or dried chilis.

Tequila Ocho and the Bon Vivants believe Sangrita is much more than that. For them Sangrita is a seamless blending of tart, sweet, spicy, and savory. They say, “When made with love, imagination, and paired with the right tequila, it becomes a ritual, and is a transcendent drink experience. We believe this pairing is the best way to enjoy Tequila Ocho.”

The brand and the gentlemen of Bon Vivants (and the lovely Ivy Mix) charge you with this exquisite task: Craft your finest, original, thought and palate provoking Sangrita to pair with one of the 3 Tequila Ocho expressions currently available in your market.

The guidelines: You are not restricted to the traditional recipes for Sangrita. Rather, we encourage you to think outside the box. Be innovative, while using the parameter of the collective, tart, sweet, spicy, and savory as your only guideline. Regional contests will be held this year in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and Boston with the finals being held in New Orleans. Use your imagination and technique, and you may find yourself as a regional finalist, or better, as a national finalist.

The prize: The VIVA SANGRITA! National Champion will be escorted south, to the highlands of Jalisco, to visit the home of Tequila Ocho and experience all this amazing spirit has to offer, in the place of its birth.

The fine print: PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR RECIPES TO – Submission deadline is 12am PST on April 7th 2012.

Friends & Family

Illegal Mezcal

May 28, 2010

A Perfect Balance of Agave, Smoke and Heat.

Traditional artisanal mezcal –Vintage, small batch and handmade — is a part of Oaxaca that links the individual and the community to the land, sun and time…

Mezcal is not a product. It is a culture.

It is as nuanced as the lines in the hands that make it.

It is the opposite of industrial. It is familial, communal and ceremonial. It is new each year and the same as it was 500 years ago.

Ilegal Mezcal….. Joven, Reposado, Anejo



April 26, 2010

Introducing a generations-old spirit to a whole new marketplace
Story and Photographs By Stephen Myers

Mezcal is tequila’s lesser known, cooler, older brother.

That is the way I introduce mezcal to bartenders who have a limited knowledge of what is considered the oldest spirit of the Americas.

When talking about mezcal it usually involves dispelling a few myths (no, it does not make you hallucinate and, no, the worm is not compulsory), while encouraging exploration of the smoky agave flavor which can be utilized as a base, bridging liquor/modifier, or even a float to provide complexity and depth and create some amazing cocktails. In order to communicate a clearer understanding of the variety of styles of mezcals that are available, and to illuminate what can be information overload, of course a tasting session is in order. This allows us to weave the information imparted into something tangible as we taste through the three ages of mezcal: joven, reposado and añejo (the same expressions as tequila’s 100% blue agave blanco, reposado and añejo). Teaching about mezcal is part history lesson, part liquor study, and all about bringing people into the fold of a spirit of complexity, tradition and a road less traveled.

The road to tequila is easy; it’s one of those spirits that everyone already understands. Their familiarity with tequila seems evenly accredited to the fact that it is the base spirit for one of the most ordered drinks in the USA – the margarita – and, for some; it’s the fuel from nights they would rather forget. Continue Reading…