15 seconds of fame…

by Michael Alderete on 5/5/2007 · 2 comments

I accidentally got into the San Francisco Chronicle this week. The Sipping News includes a couple of photos, including one of the lovely Rebecca Chappa demonstrating perfect tequila drinking technique:

And there I am, directly beneath the wristwatch on the pouring arm.

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Learning from mistakes, #278

by Michael Alderete on 12/2/2006

I think I can conclusively say that “gin, then wine, then tequila” needs to get a check mark in the “Bad Idea” column…

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Mas tequila!

by Michael Alderete on 10/17/2006 · 5 comments

It’s not quite the haul from our original trip, but we did manage to bring back a dozen bottles of fine tequila on our trip to Julio and Liliana’s wedding in Arandas, Mexico:

The haul from Tequila Trip #2

Once again we had no breakage or theft, in spite of packing everything in our suitcases (because of the War On Moisture), including two bottles that cost more than $100 each…

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Cool bartender weblog

by Michael Alderete on 8/28/2006

Rochelle found the weblog of Jeffrey Morgenthaler, and I ended up reading it for an hour. Nice writing, and some fun stories and insights from an experienced bartender. Eight Things You Should Never Say to Your Bartender was the one that caught Rochelle’s eye, and I was gratified to see that we’d never done any of those things. (When we are traveling we will ask about fun things to do in town, but only if the bar’s not busy, and the bartender has time and interest in chatting.)

In addition to stories and so on, he’s also got recipes and histories of favorite cocktails. While I’d certainly make a different choice for tequila than he does, the recipes all sound interesting, especially the Richmond Gimlet and the Brisa, both his own creations. Recommended reading.

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Tequila recommendations

by Michael Alderete on 8/20/2006 · 6 comments

When Rochelle and I go out, and especially when we travel, we often run into other tequila enthusiasts. Many of them are just beginning their appreciation of this fine spirit, and the number one question we get is “what is your favorite tequila?” We always disappoint, because we can never limit ourselves to one, or even a couple. We tell them what we can, point to good selections on the current bar’s list (part of our “love the one you’re with” philosophy), and promise to follow up with recommendations. But we have never attempted write down a list of our favorite tequilas. Until now.

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Tequila trails

by Michael Alderete on 12/20/2005

Two years ago, Rochelle and I were held captive during the imfamous Tequila Hostage Crisis of 2003. This month an article in the San Francisco Cronicle describes a local journalist’s experience on a similar trip.

Tequila trail leads to innovation gives some of the highlights, which we remember well, and alludes to the impact of the more intense moments of the trip (of which we remember little ;-), by describing the author’s regimen of no alcohol and lots of exercise for 10 days before the trip, and no activity at all for 3 days afterwards.

Entertaining and educational to read, there’s some good new tequila drink recipes as well. We will have to visit the local bartenders mentioned, and try them all out!

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New cocktail for 2005

by Michael Alderete on 4/1/2005 · 1 comment

Rochelle and I are, shall we say, fond of cocktails. We’ve been known to drink a few, and even make a few for friends and guests. And, we’re always on the lookout for new ones, especially things that are easy to make and serve.

The mixer for 2005 is definitely Trader Joe’s Organic Strawberry Lemonade, $3.99, located in the refrigerated juice section in Trader Joe’s. It’s great by itself, but it begs to be mixed with your distilled spirit of choice.

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Opal Divine’s is divine

by Michael Alderete on 11/24/2004

On our trip to Mexico’s tequila region last year, we met the proprietor of an establishment in Austin, Michael Parker of Opal Divine’s Freehouse. Rochelle and I were thrilled to hear about a good place for tequila in Austin, and at the trip’s end, promised to visit him at his restaurant when we flew back for Thanksgiving, less than a month later.

And visit we did! We hit Opal Divine’s our second night in town, and liked it so much that in spite of a compressed schedule visiting Rochelle’s relations we found a way to squeeze it in again right before our return flight.

Opal Divine’s is quite a bar, with a truly fabulous selection of most liquors including tequila, a stupendous selection of interesting beers from here and abroad, and what must be a U.S. Top 5 selection of single malt Scotch — certainly the best I’ve seen (and we have a great Scotch bar in SF, The Irish Bank).

Rochelle and I certainly know how to entertain ourselves in a good bar, but what takes Opal Divine’s up to the next level, to our only must-visit in all of Texas, is the food. Really, there’s no requirement for Michael to have such good food — decent pub grub would be more than enough to make the patrons happy and coming back to drink more.

His food doesn’t need to be outstanding for him to be successful — but it is. We were reminded of that again this evening, when we made everything right with our day by going and having the tasting sampler of Scotch to start (six single malts from all the Scotch regions), and then eating a great chicken fried steak and an incredible patty melt.

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iDVD rocks

February 11, 2004

Last week we had a reunion of our group that went to Tequila. (Actually, it wasn’t so much a reunion as a reenactment; five people passed out at the host’s house, two of them were Rochelle and I.) A couple of days before the party, I put together a terrific DVD of the trip, using photos from all the participants, and iPhoto and iDVD for Mac OS X.

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Tequila 101

November 25, 2003

About a year ago, I was sitting in a bar, and listened to one fellow trying to impress his table companions by making a sophisticated tequila order. He was having more than a little trouble, because he couldn’t remember the brand of any quality tequila except Patron. The waiter was trying to help, but he was using tequila terms correctly, and the customer just had no clue. He eventually managed to order “Patron Gold” (there is no such thing), and as the server walked away, he said to his companions “that guy doesn’t know shit about tequila.”

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Tequila Hostage Crisis 2003

October 28, 2003

Rochelle and I just returned from 11 days touring the tequila region. We went with a group of like-minded tequila enthusiasts, and were lead by the manager of the bar at Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant. In the five official days of the tour we visited eight different tequila fabricas, were treated to the finest hospitality Rochelle and I have ever enjoyed, and drank an average of two bottles of tequila per person per day. My liver hurts.

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Everything you need to know about ordering tequila

October 14, 2003

Rochelle and I have our Ph.D.s in tequila. Rochelle is even a Ninja Master. And by the end of the month, we’ll both be Demi-Gods. If I was going to distill down the things I’ve learned, I would pass along these three pieces of tequila wisdom.

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