Herradura Tasting at West Lounge

We’re always delighted to receive invitations to Special Events, Tastings, and Dinners, and so we were of course thrilled with the prospect of an Evening of Tequila Tasting at West Lounge at the Hotel Angeleno (you know that tall hotel you can see from the 405 near the Sunset Exit).

As we found out, the Joie de Vivre hotel chain hosted the evening and a series of other similar events at their other locations to celebrate their specialty line of tequila created with Herradura Tequila –“Splash of Joie in Our Tequila.” Like The Happy Hour Tour, the folks at Joie de Vivre like to travel and journeyed down to Mexico and worked with Herrudra to create this special Reposado.

As part of the celebration series, Jose, a Herradura jimador (agave harvester/tequila maker), shared with the audience how tequila is made – from the agave plant (yes, they had one on-site!) to that essential ingredient for the perfect margarita! Jose demonstrated how a jimador first shaves away the “leaves” of the 8 or 9 year-old agave plant with a coa; leaving just the inside heart, which resembles the inside of a pineapple This inside meaty portion of the plant is then steamed in a clay oven for 26 hours and then let cool for 24 hours. During this transformation, the starch turns into the sweet agave juice. This sweetened agave is then distilled and allowed to ferment naturally in White Oak barrels – with each barrel producing about 240 bottles of tequila. Herradura makes three kinds of tequila: Silver tequila which is not aged; Reposado tequila is aged for 4-12 months, and Anejo tequila – aged for 24 months. Yes, there will be a pop quiz later!

For this special night, West Lounge worked with Herradura to create specialty food pairings with the tequila drinks. We gladly sampled items from the pairings:

• Reposado (Neat – that means on the rocks without ice (great description, I know) with Chopped Tiger Prawn Cocktails
• Herradura’s version of the Margarita paired with a delicious Wes Dungeness Crab Cake
• Herradura Silver w/ Limoncello, Lime, and Triple Sec paired with Marinated Crispy Calamari
• Reposado w/ OJ, Cointreau, Soda and Muddled Orange with Grilled Flat Bread Pizetta
• Anejo (neat) with Grilled Marinated Steak
• Double Barrel Reposado (neat) with All Natural Lamb Meatball

The food was so tasty that I’m very excited to re-visit West on officially sanctioned Happy Hour Tour business!! And the mixed drinks were tasty and quite strong, but not overwhelmingly so.

Never sure who else we might meet or what other blogger-types we might meet at these kinds of events, we were happy to meet the awesome Jessica Ayers, Marking Coordinator for Hotel Angeleno, Merle the helpful Herradura representative, and Jose the jimador. Big thanks go to Jessica and West Lounge for hosting us and to Herradura for providing tasty drinks and an education!

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