kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Oyamel's Tequila Festival

A few weeks ago, I dined at Jose Andres' Oyamel in DC while researching an article about rose-inspired drinks for Valentine's Day (Oyamel features a Prickly Pear Margarita with Rose Air Foam that is very unique, and very floral.) I was really impressed by their guacamole prepared tableside (with homemade chips that also tasted great by themselves), as well as all of the other dishes they brought out for me to sample--including several ceviches and salads that were simply fantastic.

I just received a press release about their upcoming tequila and mezcal festival, which will features flights of the celebrated liquors, dishes to pair with them, and specialty cocktails (some of which will be topped with the air/foam...) One of their most popular drinks is the margarita topped with "Salt Air", rather than rimmed in salt flakes. I tasted it, and it's an innovative take on the classic Margarita--and, you don't have to worry about those unsightly flakes of sea salt that inevitably get stuck on your upper lip...

Here is my info about the festival. You can also visit their website.

Washington, D.C., (February 20, 2008)— From March 18 to 30, José Andrés and the culinary team at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana led by Chef Joe Raffa are pleased to host a two-week celebration of Tequila & Mezcal and welcome special guests from premiere producers such as Siembra Azul, Del Maguey and Casa Noble. Oyamel’s celebration will feature a variety of tequila specials throughout the event in addition to tequila tastings at Oyamel’s Butterfly Bar and for the grand finale, a seven-course tequila-inspired dinner event.

During the festival, Oyamel celebrates the rich heritage of Mexico’s most famous spirits. Mezcal is the product of agave plants, a distilled alcoholic beverage unique to Mexico. Most mezcal is produced in the state of Oaxaca. Tequila is produced from one specific type of agave, the blue agave or agave tequilana, and production is centered in the town of Tequila in the state of Jalisco. All tequila is mezcal but not all mezcal is tequila.

During the Tequila & Mezcal Festival, Oyamel patrons will have the opportunity to sample some of the highest quality tequila and mezcal with special tastings and tequila flights priced from $20 to 30. These spirits will also be featured in the form of specialty cocktails and in special menu items. Tempting concoctions will include the popular Oyamel Margarita; a Chamoy Margarita, inspired by the famous Mexico City Chef Carmen “Titita” Ramirez of El Bajio and a Pineapple and Sage Margarita, all available for $9 to $12.

Featured specials prepared for the festival by Chef Raffa will include Ceviche de Salmon Curado en Mezcal, a ceviche of mezcal cured salmon; Sopa de Lima al Tequila, lime-tequila soup and Carne Asada de Buey con Salsa Borracha, grilled beef tenderloin with Borracha sauce and to satisfy the sweet tooth there is Café de Olla con espuma de chocolate blanco y tequila añejo, Café de Olla with White Chocolate Foam and Añejo Tequila and Margarita de fresa, a Strawberry Margarita. All dishes will be priced between $8 and $9.50.