Organised by agave spirit legend, Phil Bayly of the late Cafe Pacifico, the two-day event consisted of tastings, talks and masterclasses as well as parties which were held across six neighbouring bars in Darlinghurst, Shady Pines Saloon, The Cliff Dive, Hello Sailor, Low 302, Casoni, The Winery and Mr Moustache in Bondi.
Below is a wrap up of the events that Gourmantic attended.
Agave Central in the Old Cell Block building at the National Art School of Sydney was the central hub for all 25 exhibitors displaying their various brands and spirits for tasting. Agave Central was also the location for the official opening with dignitaries from Mexico in attendance.
Top agave spirits that we tasted included Montelobos Mezcal Joven, L&J Tequila Blanco, Wahaka Madre-Cuishe, Tequila Corralejo Blanco, Mezcal Enmascarado 45 & 54 % ABV, Tequila Excellia Reposado and Tequila ArteNOM Seleccion 1580 Blanco, the range of Raicilla La Venenosa, Mezcal Zaguii and Mezcal der Rumbes.
Agave Love Official Opening
The afternoon session ran concurrently with talks and masterclasses which required fast hopping to venues and back to Agave Central in between.
So many agave spirits, so little time…
Agave Love Masterclasses, Tasting Sessions & Talks
Over the course of two consecutive days, 6 to 7 sessions ran concurrently across the seven venues. Below is a snapshot of some of the masterclasses and sessions Gourmantic attended.
Cooking with Mezcal
Andrea Rodrigues from Cooking Mexico food blog hosted a Talk & Taste session at Hello Sailor on cooking with mezcal, explaining various uses of the agave plant such as for housing material, agricultural tool, boundary delimitation and food such as barbacoa.
Maguey Pork Belly, the dish that was presented had been marinated in mezcal, agave syrup, sage and rosemary.
Tequila Mixology with Phil Ward
Philip Ward of Tequila/Mezcal cocktail bar Mayahuel in New York City presented a mixology session at The Winery demonstrating the versatility of the spirit and its various styles. Consistency, balance and template are his key points to making good drinks. Several cocktails were on taste including Spicy Paloma.
Margarita? Yes please!
L-R: Julio Bermejo & Tomas Estes
Starting Day 2 with 6 different margaritas presented by Julio Bermejo (creator of Tommy’s Margarita) and Tomas Estes (Cafe Pacifico) may sound like a dream that came true to those who attended this tasting session. Various styles of Margaritas were presented, classic and Tommy’s, made with various spirits including Ocho Blanco, L&J Tequila, Herradura Reposado, Don Julio Reposado, Excellia Anejo and Milagro Anejo.
White Spirits of Mexico
L-R: David Suro, Tomas Estes, Houston Eaves, Esteban Morales Garbi
The White Spirits of Mexico session was led by Tomas Estes, David Suro, Esteban Morales Garbi and Houston Eaves and included comparison and tasting of different white agave spirits: Corralejo Blanco, Cabeza Tequila, Jose Cuervo Platino, Tapatio Blanco, Herradura Platino, Mezcal Durango, Nuestra Soledad Mezcal and Raicilla.
Mixology with a Twist
Naren Young and Julio Bermejo
Naren Young and Julio Bermejo hosted Mixology with a Twist class. Naren Young prepared a range of cocktails such as La Perla (Reposado Tequila, Manzanilla & Pear Liqueur), Red Pepper Daisy (Tequila, Lemon, Bell Pepper Juice, Chilli Tincture, Soda and Mezcal Mist) and Spiced Pear Collins.
Extra Anejo and Aging
L-R: Jesus Hernandez, Naren Young, Julio Bermejo, Sergio Mendoza, Jaime Orendain, Tomas Estes, Guillermo Erickson Sauza
It was standing room only at the Extra Anejo and Aging session with Naren Young as moderator and Jesus Hernandez, Julio Bermejo, Sergio Mendoza, Jaime Orendain, Tomas Estes, Guillermo Erickson Sauza presenting viewpoints on aging tequila. On taste was a stellar line up of Don Fulano Imperial, Sierra Milenario Extra Anejo, Arette Gran Clase, Herradura Suprema and Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia.
Agave Love After-Parties
Two after parties were held on consecutive nights at The Cliff Dive in Darlinghurst. The first was a Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling match, followed the next day by the Agave Love Wrap Party.
Agave Love was held on Sunday 22nd and Monday 23rd March 2015.
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