The Tequila Take Over
Bienvenidos mariachis of the world!
A lot has happened in the world of agave the last few weeks. I have for a very long time tried to get a serious Tequila session together for the Copenhagen bar community. Being so far from Mexico makes this a lot harder, though not to many producers of agave spirits hang out in Scandinavia. But sometimes it just clicks, and all the pieces fall in to place. I have been writing about Tomas Estes before, so you all know who he is. A man with a hectic schedule chasing his feet around the world, but this time there was a small gap, and on the way from Moscow bar show to business in Paris, there was time for a short stop in beautiful Denmark. The weather seemed to be on our side for ones, it was warm! In october. Sun shining really showes the city at its best.
Since a while back Ocho (8) Tequila has been available in Denmark, and it has been flying out the windows of that little favourite shop of mine, Juuls Vin & Spiritus. With Tomas in town for two days only we were in for some hard core ocho’ing. But as always, to everything good there is always a lot of preparation. Weeks before me and Max from Juuls got up on our bikes and cycled around town, handing out invites to every place with a mexican flag, name, you name it. The biggest success here was with the Mexican embassy, who gave us endless amounts of decorations, toys and support. This was going to be the biggest Tequila event in Scandinavia, ever. In all real’ness though, as we know, bigger is not always better, so we split it up in two days. As the programme was set, everything was talked through with Tomas, we got a great surprise, Sophie Decobecq, sent me an email saying that she somehow hade a couple of ”spare” days, and she would love to come and help Tomas out for the presentations, and of course, get a good look at what Copenhagen has to offer. Not knowing if we were in for more surprises we just left it to Tequila to show us the way.
Sitting in the lobby of the hotel where Tomas and Sophie were staying, it finally felt real. I could touch it, this was going to be an amazing two days. A few hugs and coffee’s later, we made our way to the first destination, Weltkuglen. A brand new bar in the heart of the city, and in my humble opinion, the best new opening for a good while.
We (Copenhagen Cocktail Club) got 25 of Copenhagen’s best bartenders together for what turned out to be a four hour long nerdy conversation. The standard of agave knowledge was high to start with, so rather than Sophie & Tomas talking through the basics of Tequila, we quite quickly got a very good forum started, and I belive that what ever level of Tequila knowledge one had, this was very educational. More than that we did some tasting exercises. I believe that a straight up tasting for a larger group of varied levels of tasting experiences are rather boring, and I do not tend to get very much out of it. Maybe boring is the wrong word, but many people aren’t used to taste straight spirits. And there is quite the difference between drinking and tasting. I have been to 40-50 something spirit tastings and are just starting to get the hang of it. I might be a bit slow, or maybe just as most people, did not pay enough attention in the younger days. One big problem in tastings I recon, is that no one really tells you how to taste, how to prepare your mouth and how to look for flavours. Therefore a little exercise is good, and from personal experience, I tend to remember much more about the whole tasting if it is a bit more interactive. The four hours quickly passed and after washing 300 something tasting glasses, we headed on for dinner. Where do you bring people of the world, that has most likely been to more restaurants, diners, bars than I ever will, well, home. So we went back to my place for a home cooked somewhat traditional Danish meal. It is something special to enter someones home, and homes in different countries are also always different. Give me more of a local feel and usually an experience I remember. There is only so many bars and restaurants one can remember. The food was bigger than hip hop, thanks for all the time and effort with that! This also ment picking Tomas & Sophie’s brains in to the late hours.
After some well deserved sleep I woke up and went to Juuls to meet up with the others. In the shop we went through that evenings product, tasted, made some notes and made a somewhat plan of how to structure the evening. We needed some fresh air and went for a good walk around the lakes of Copenhagen, and that was about as much tourism we got in to. A traditional Danish ”Ristet HotDog med alt” for a snack before hitting Restaurant Pilen for the evenings tasting. This time we turned up the volume a bit and got 136 people to attend, the largest tasting of its kind in Scandinavia. Setting up glasses, pouring eight different agave spirits (6 Tequilas, 2 Mezcals), decorating cinco the mayo style and struggling with the projector, again. This tasting was a bit more introduction to the process of making, different terroirs and as always with Tomas, the tasting goes in a few different directions before getting carefully knitted together. Sophie had to stop talking about fermentation I believe 5 times. The passion Tomas & Sophie have shines through so much, I did not see anyone leaving with out a smile. We almost had to kick people out, they simply stayed and drank what was left. How often does that happen?
If you were there for both of the days, I belive you have one of the most credible educations in tequila one can get in two days!
Last but not least, I want to thank everybody involved, this could not have happened without you! Raise a glass of Tequila for yourself. Salud!