People often ask me what my favorite spirit is. For someone that imbibes and studies them for a living, that’s a pretty tough question. That said, I’ve always had a soft spot for agave spirits and have researched both and visited some of their spiritual homes in Mexico on several occasions. I’d like to spend more time in the mezcal producing states but I’ve been lucky to visit the tequila-producing regions of Jalisco many times.
And so it is perhaps with that experience that I’ve been invited to speak in Sydney this week at the pioneering event called Agave Love, put on by my old and dear friend Phil Bayly, who once owned (along with Tomas Estes), the premier agave bar in the Southern Hemiphere and one of the most iconic bars, period, that Sydney has ever seen: Café Pacifico. That was a sad day for many when that bar closed its doors for the last time.
No one has done more in Australia to preach the gospel of mezcal and tequila than Phil and for that we are eternally grateful. In fact, my first ever trip to Mexico was with him. This week culminates in his life’s body of work; a career immersed in enlightening an industry and a general public that still struggles in many ways to understand these complex yet marvelous spirits.
Agave Love brings together a veritable who’s who of the agave industry: producers, bartenders, bar owners and representatives of the CRT and CNIT. There is an amazing cross section of seminars, from Tequila 101 to Extra Anejo tequila, to various mixology sessions. I’m lucky enough (or unlucky enough) to be presenting five seminars as well as judging the Australian finals of the Tahona Society cocktail competition, sponsored by Olmeca Altos at Tio’s on Tuesday March 24 at 3pm.
Here is a list and times of the seminars I’ll be presenting:
SUNDAY MARCH 22
‘Extra Anejo For Whisky Lovers’ – We explore the fascinating world of some of the most expensive sipping spirits on the planet: Extra aged tequilas.
5.15pm at The Winery
‘Beyond the Margarita’ – This will be a super geeky mixology session where I’ll be highlighting some of the cool shit I’ve been doing with tequila over the last decade.
12pm at Cliff Dive
MONDAY MARCH 23
‘How do Mexicans Actually Drink Tequila (and mezcal) IN Mexico?’ – We’ll take a look at the traditional ways in which agave spirits are enjoyed in their homeland.
1.30pm at Shady Pines Saloon
‘Mixology with a Twist’ – I’ll be presenting alongside my old friend and mentor Julio Bermejo some of the great ways in which we can mix tequila into cocktails. This will be a good session for the expert and novice alike.
3pm at Shady Pines Saloon