Exploration into the realm of Rum, Mezcal, Gin and Ancho Reyes

by James Stevenson
  • The final day of Tales of the Cocktail on Tour began at 10:30am where attendees had the opportunity to get on a chartered bus and be whisked away to the Latin American Bacardi Blending Facility in the outskirts of Mexico City. Our guide, Enrique Comas, a sixth generation descendant of the founder of the Bacardi Company, took us on a leisurely and very informative tour around the facilities. Our favorite part of the tour was the barrel storage warehouse where, unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos because of the alcohol fumes that filled the air, though it was an amazing sight (and smell). Once our group had taken in all the information we could handle we made our way to the entertainment area where we tasted some great Cuba LibresDaiquiris and Mojitos from their expert team of bartenders. During the drink stop platters of traditional Mexican and Cuban inspired fare were rotating and everyone was enjoying the flavor rich food. Once we had our fill it was time to hop back on the bus and make our way back to the city in time for the next event.

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  • As we arrived in the neighborhood of Condesa at the Endemic Alipus mezcaleria everyone was excited to mix it up and try out some mezcal cocktails. This venue was very festive and the delightful staff offered delicious Mexican cuisine and cocktails to pair with their concoctions. Together with the usual staff there were also 2 Mezcaleros (mezcal master distillers) from the Alipus Mezcal Distillery who were offering samples of their different products. It was a great honor to speak with these men who have spent their lives mastering mezcal production and are fundamental in every step of the process. As we walked around the colorful venue there were fun games being played, live music out on the street and a vibe that kept a smile on each attendees face throughout the event.

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  • Next, we made our way to The W Mexico City to check out The London No.1 Gin event that was being held in their delightfully adorned lobby bar. The primary focus at this event was the gin and tonics, which expressed the botanicals in the gin perfectly. The wonderful staff were roaming throughout the room and always had a spare Gin and Tonic in hand to replace your empty glass. Relaxing on the comfortable lounges which adorn the attractively decorated space, you soon forget all about time and if not for everyone else you may be found sitting there, enjoying these wonderfully refreshing cocktails all night. Alas as the evenings proceedings were not over for the day we had to force ourselves out of our seats and find our way to the concluding celebration.

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  • Later in the evening was where the action really took place, in an underground speakeasy below the Hilton Reforma. As you entered the venue the entire floor was covered in straw and it resembled what we imagine stumbling upon an illegal clandestine cockfight would be like. This evenings events were centered on the release of a new product and incorporated a competition where different bartenders from around the world were given a certain amount of time and limited Mexican influenced ingredients such as fresh fruits, chilies and chocolates. If you are in the industry you should know of Ancho Reyes, a chili liqueur like no other, and if you don’t you should make every effort to get acquainted. Well as good as the original is, the new Verde flavor is possibly one of my favorite liqueurs I have ever tried. I can’t wait to get my hands on a bottle of the new Ancho Reyes Verde and try out some delicious new Beautiful Booze Cocktails using similar Mexican flavors along with a few locally inspired ingredients. It had been an eventful day, so unfortunately we did not hang around until the end of the evening to see who won though just watching the preliminaries and semis were a lot of fun and of course there were a number of bars in the venue creating great Verde cocktails throughout the evening and staff making the rounds throughout the crowd with platters of tacos.

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