Sample the world’s finest at tequila festival - East Valley Tribune: Events

Sample the world’s finest at tequila festival

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Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 11:00 am

Love tequila? Then you will want to attend the fourth annual Phoenix Tequila Fest this weekend in Phoenix where there will be tastings and samplings of some of the world’s finest tequilas.

Experts and mixologists will showcase trends that show how tequila can be used for much more than standard margaritas. At a pre-show event, I sampled a smoked and roasted beet tequila drink. It sounded scary, but it tasted really good. I even tried a tequila-flavored cream that would be fabulous dolloped over a piece of pie.

If you have only tried standard varieties, you will be astonished at how good tequilas can be. Personally, I always found tequila to be harsh. However, at the pre-show, local company Cruz Tequila discussed various types of tequilas, including reposados, añejos and blancos. Just as with wine, tequila can be aged in barrels to enhance the flavor. Made with blue agave grown in Mexico, these high-end versions are considered “sipping tequilas.”

Some of the Valley’s favorite Mexican restaurants will be there with samples of dishes such as carne asada, shrimp ceviche, taquitos, chimichangas and salsa. Food and tequila tastings are included with your ticket price.

There will also be live entertainment throughout the event.

If you are concerned about driving, know that Metro Light Rail will offer a Tequila Express. With your Tequila Fest ticket, you’ll get free light rail transportation four hours before the event through the end of the transit day.

Tickets, $48, are available at the gate and online at

If you go

What: Phoenix Tequila Fest

When: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16

Where: US Airways Center, 301 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix

Cost: $48

Information: (480) 558-1133 or

Meet XZibit

He used to pimp out people’s vehicles; now he makes tequila. Rapper, actor and TV personality Xzibit will showcase the ultra-premium Bonita Tequila at Phoenix Tequila Fest. He’s partner in the company that makes the spirit, which is created from organic blue agave grown in the central lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico, and distilled five times for smoothness. Xzibit will be at the Bonita Tequila booth both days of the festival, providing tastings of Bonita Platinum, photos with fans and autographs.

• Judy A. Toth is the owner of Simply Impressive Cooking School. Reach her at (480) 654-1981 or

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