As you can imagine, it is fairly difficult to decline an invitation to a launch promising Mexican flavours, sensational food, lively music – and most importantly, an original, small-batch premium sipping (not slamming!) tequila from Jose Cuervo.

Intrigued by this idea of a sipping tequila, we excitedly attended the press launch of the new Jose Cuervo Tradicional at one of our favourite (and best) Mexican restaurants, Perron a little over a week ago.

The evening started off with fresh margaritas and an assortment of delicious starters; including the most incredible seven layer dip (The Fiesta) complimented with home-cooked tortilla chips; we seriously had to pace ourselves when we saw what lay ahead on the menu for the rest of the evening!

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After starters, we were handed a beautiful board consisting of five different elements; syrup from the blue agave plant, a pinch of black pepper, a slice of pineapple, a pod of vanilla and lastly the Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado. 

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We were taken on a journey detailing the rich history (250 years) of tequila; from its early days as a drink for bandidos and rancheros (outlaws and farmers) it has steadily grown in popularity; with the refinement of premium, craft tequila quickly gaining appeal around the globe. South Africa – is not far behind the trend –  we actually rank as the 4th largest tequila market in the world (behind Mexico, the USA and Russia)!

Even more surprising is that in Mexico, tequila is sipped rather than slammed, shot or mixed in Margaritas. It is best drunk in a ‘caballito’ (a tapered long shot glass) with sangrita or cold beer as an accompaniment.

To begin our tasting process, we were guided through each element on the board allowing us to better pick up all these flavors in the tequila itself: the key is to actually breathe in through your mouth as opposed to your nose – you will be amazed at how many different scents you pick up, and how different it feels when you are sipping it instead of it burning your chest after you’ve just downed a shooter in the club – eek!

This whole process is supposed to be done with a touch of finesse – you will see from the pictures Ilaria didn’t get this quite right on the first take ;( 

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The Repasodo in the name of the tequila means rested, and when produced, it rests for no less than four months in white oak barrels – this really refines and mellows the drink, producing a combination of smoothness and great taste.

After our very informative sipping lesson, the evening was about relaxing and enjoying the great vibe and food of Perron – we had the pleasure of watching traditional Mexican dancers work their magic; Sam even had her chance to show the crowd her salsa moves 😉

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This has to be one of the best launches we have attended: fantastic food (let’s not even get started on the churros), fabulous margaritas, awesome entertainment and an informative tequila tasting. We love the idea of introducing tequila to the dinner table in a less “let’s get crazy” kind of way. If you are wanting to give this premium label tequila a try, it is available at most liquor stores around the country for about R230 a bottle or at a proper Mexican establishment like Perron!

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Thanks to our hosts, Edward Snell & Co, and the tequila master (Siavash Marshall Behaerin) for such a superb evening – we have a feeling that sipping tequila is going to become a the next big thing 🙂

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