Every year, boozy beverage aficionados gather at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix to taste, cheers, and dine. The event’s highlighted spirit changes every year, so chefs are challenged to concoct their own drinks and small bites surrounding the occasion. This year, the event was themed Agave on the Rocks to celebrate tequila and the blue agave from which this mesmerizing distilled spirit is produced. Hungry and thirsty foodies descended upon the garden to raise their margarita glasses high and dine on small bites as the sun set behind Phoenix’s rock covered peaks. It was the perfect night for a tequila tasting in Phoenix!
Come join me in the garden – I have a pink drink with your name on it!
Blue agave (like in the picture above) thrives in sandy soil and desert climate – perfectly comfortable in Arizona’s dry heat. The magic ingredient that turns agave into tequila is within agave’s sugar and starch-packed core. After the agave has grown for about 10 years, the core of the agave is harvested and the starches are heated, turning them into sugar. Then, using wild yeast, the agave ferments for up to 12 days and is then distilled into the liquid Mexican gold we know and love.
Yes, tequila is only produced in a specialty region in Mexico, all others are impostors and can not call themselves tequila.
Margaritas in hand, we started along the garden path sniffing out delectable bites. We chowed down on carnita puffs, green chili agnolotti, and oh–so many mouthwatering tacos! We dined and tasted, then sipped and nibbled. It was such a fabulous way to grab a bite of everything, exploring a variety of Mexican-inspired flavors.
Now, let me tell you about this tasty pink tequila drink. This guava cocktail is made with Embajador Tequila, muddled mint, and fresh lime, all shaken together (of course) on the rocks. It was smooth and not too sweet – the perfect combination for a casual evening drink to sip while strolling through the garden.
Towards the end of the evening, we experienced the garden’s tequila tasting. Sips of Embajador tequila were silky smooth, finished with a boozy bite. Tequila tasting in Phoenix, walking past the blue agave, is the ultimate Southwestern experience!
Tequila Tasting Tip: Exhale deeply, through your mouth, after swallowing a sip of tequila. This takes the edge off the after burn and helps you to better taste the flavor nuances and notes. If you try this exhale tip, your tequila tasting experience will be forever changed! You can thank me later.
I had such an amazing time tequila tasting in Phoenix! It’s hard to not fall in love with everything while walking through the gorgeous Desert Botanical Garden. The lush green foliage, setting sun, and delectable bites were positively swoon worthy.