September 6, 2012

Tequila: It's Not Just For College Kids Anymore

Frida Bistro is constantly working to change the misconception that tequila is something to be scared of - a harsh drink college kids throw back as a cheap, quick means to getting inebriated.  When offered tequila many people have such painful memories associated with this Mexican spirit that they'll refuse to even acknowledge its existence.

However, we know that good tequila is just as refined, elegant, and complex as any single-malt scotch or fine cognac on the market.  But many of us have simply been turned off by drinking the wrong stuff.

A quick Tequila 101:

Tequila is a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant in the Mexican state of Jalisco and in limited regions of a few other states.  There are two main types: mixtos and 100% agave.  Mixtos are no less than 51% agave and the remainder is from less expensive sugars and coloring agents (i.e. no bueno).  100% agave tequilas, which are really the only ones worth drinking, come in a variety of vintages:

  • Blanco ("white") - un-aged and bottled immediately after distillation
  • Joven ("young") - a mixture of blanco and reposado 
  • Reposado ("rested") - aged between 2-12 months in oak barrels
  • Añejo ("aged") - aged 1-3 years in oak barrels
  • Extra Añejo ("extra aged") - aged 3+ years in oak barrels
Each tequila has its own characteristics: vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, floral, pepper, smoke, coconut, butterscotch, etc, and the longer they age in barrels, the more complex and interesting they become.  

The official Riedel tequila tasting glass.  Pitted against hundreds of others, an official committee of tequila makers decided this glass does tequila the most justice - for getting the nose and all of the flavors each spirit has to offer.
Our good friends and Park City locals, Lisa and John Barlow, own ultra premium Vida Tequila, which produces some of the best tequila you'll find (it's made in Mexico, not Utah)!  They currently offer a blanco, reposado, and añejo, with an extra añejo available next year (it takes time to age)!  Lisa and John share a similar mission to spread the word about fine tequila, so it was a natural fit that we would pair up for a six-course tequila tasting dinner.

Last night Frida Bistro hosted 23 eager guests ready to indulge in unique, colorful, and tequila-friendly Mexican cuisine from our fantastic chefs.  Tequila pairs well with acidity (hence the lime juice in margaritas), as well as seafood and fatty meats (reposado tequila and pork carnitas are a classic combo in Mexico).  The dinner was a whirlwind of flavors: polenta asada (grilled polenta), smoked salmon cured in sotol (tequila's cousin), chilled avocado soup with crab meat, beet salad with a citrus vinaigrette, pork belly with a crisp brown sugar crust, and a nectarine tart with a tamarind drizzle.  Each dish was paired with a complementary straight tequila tasting or tequila cocktail (produced by our expert mixologists), and each course was separated by a pallet-cleansing granita (flavored ice) created by our pastry chef using Vida Blanco and fresh teas!  The kitchen staff never ceases to amaze and impress us!

Polenta asada.
Pork belly!
The weather was calm and mild which allowed us to hold the event on our patio oasis, making the evening a true feast for all senses.  Thank you to Lisa, John, the Frida chefs, bartenders, and service staff, as well as our wonderful guests which helped make this event possible.  

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear about upcoming special events similar to this one!


  1. great photos, great blog post, and what a great event! I didn't make it to this one, but I fully intent to participate in the next one. I had no idea tequila could be so refined and classy.

  2. What a great event! Frida Bistro really knows how to put together a fun evening for their patrons.

  3. Marvelous post!!nice photos and what a great idea!I had no idea tequila could be so refined and classy.