The Experience Agave week by Culinaria wrapped up last Saturday with the Pachanga Party, a celebration of agave-inspired cocktails made by some of San Antonio’s best bartenders. The event also featured food pairings from Chefs Ernie Estrada of Ostra and Robbie Nowlin of Citrus.
I started the evening with a Doxycycline—one of the favorites from the Brooklynite. Tequila blanco, lemon, honey ginger syrup and mezcal give this drink a perfect balance of smoky, sweet and spicy flavors.
Cocktail in hand, I followed my nose to Chef Ernie Estrada’s table. Muscovy duck breast and esquites (toasted corn) topped with a delicious mole negro sauce paired perfectly with the smokiness of the Doxycyline.
Next, I went to see what Jonny Yamoul from TBA was mixing up. People were lined up to sample the Nationale, featuring Milago añejo, Johnny Walker Black and Aztec chocolate bitters. Bold and boozy, the Nationale was my favorite drink of the night. If you haven’t tried one of Jonny’s Old Fashioneds, do yourself a favor and pay him a visit at TBA on the St Mary’s Strip in midtown.
Nearby, Chef Robbie Nowlin was serving pork belly Coloradito topped with cilantro, toasted sunflower seeds and crumbled queso fresco. This dish provided further proof that mole and agave spirits were made for each other. I may or may not have gone back for seconds…and thirds. (And possibly fourths.)
The evening was capped off with a Mas Chingoni, a refreshing twist on the Negroni with Milagro Anejo, Carpano Sweet Vermouth, Aperot and a little Mezcal. One of Jaret Peña’s signature cocktails, the Mas Chingoni is quickly becoming a San Antonio staple.
Culinaria’s Pachanga Party was a fantastic introduction to the world of agave-based mixed drinks. Next time you’re in the mood for tequila and want to try something besides a margarita, spice things up a little with one of these creative cocktails. You won’t be disappointed.
Special thanks to Culinaria for providing tickets to this event.