Well, it’s been just over three months since we set up Casa Agave and it’s been three eventful months of promoting tequila, mezcal and other Mexican agave spirits. We have participated in numerous events including The Manchester Food and Drink Festival, The Manchester Whisky Festival and lots of local artisan markets organised by The Makers Market and The Market Co. Apart from The Manchester Food and Drink Festival which had an event specific to Chilli and Tequila, it was a bit of a surprise for many market goers and festival attendees to find a stall with the sole aim of introducing fine tequilas and to change how the drink is perceived in the UK.
Overall the response has been positive but sometimes it takes a lot to convince people to even try a little sip of the drink with claims that “tequila sends me crazy”, “one sip will make me ill for weeks!!” Or just simply “Tequila!!? Urgh!” After lots of explanation of how tequila is produced, flavours to detect in different ages of tequila and how to sip it, we have found that the majority of people who rejected the drink outright, have been pleasantly surprised.
Another thing we have learnt from this three month experience is the openness of people who have never tried tequila before so they don’t have any previous bad experience of downing a cheap paint stripper shot. They seem to find the drink pleasant and can appreciate the agave flavour as something different that they have never experienced before. Plus there is no reflex ‘down it’ action when the glass reaches their lips, just a little sip at a time, as it should be.
Of course, there are some people who simply LOVE tequila and it’s great to find out where and how people have discovered the drink. This ranges from people who have gone as tourists to Mexico or the US and found that there are premium agave spirits out there so the desire to seek out the good stuff in the UK is present and people who’ve lived in Mexico (Oaxaca, Jalisco, Mexico City, to name a few places) and really experienced life and culture over there including of course, agave spirits drinking culture. Another reason tequila becomes the spirit of choice for many is through cocktails! We spoke to people who fell in love with cocktails such as the Margarita and then developedthe taste and a real appreciation for sipping tequilas and other agave spirits.
It will take time to remove the bad reputation that tequila has in the UK and of course in many bars cheap tequila shot drinks are still prevalent but we have found more and more people are becoming open to the agave flavour and more bars are serving premium quality tequilas. So thanks to everyone who has been open to try our lovely agave spirits this year and learnt all about the artisanal process of Mexican agave spirit making. There will be many more events in 2016! Watch this space!