This month, we’re re-releasing one of our earliest boxes, created by the Shaker & Spoon team—with a small added bonus!—so that anyone who missed it the first time (over a year ago) can give it a try, right around Cinco de Mayo!
The town of Tequila, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico—where the spirit we so love gets its name—is surrounded by a red volcanic soil, in which blue agave grows in abundance. Planting, tending, and harvesting the plant remains largely a manual effort, relying on centuries-old know-how, as does turning it into tequila blanco. This spirit—along with the flavors of central Mexico—is our focus this month in the Agave Blanco Box. Subscribe now through April 30th to get yours—it’ll ship the week of May 1st.
Oaxaca, one of the most isolated and rugged parts of Mexico, is the inspiration for our tequila old fashioned. Simple and pure, the Old Oaxaca features mole (a Oaxacan specialty), is sweetened by agave nectar (which comes from the same kind of plant as the tequila blanco), with a touch of heat from the habanero, a chili pepper so old that no one knows exactly where it originated.
Our house-made Mexican spice is one of our less-sweet syrups, bringing together a variety of spices, including ancho chile, cumin, cinnamon, and clove. Mixing the complex savoriness of this syrup with the zing of ginger, lime, and, of course, tequila, we present the Burro Buck, a surprisingly light and refreshing sipper!
Jalisco is a major producer of every ingredient in the Jefe del Pepino, including the Tajín (a chili-lime salt that encompasses this region’s flavors). This cocktail—bright and fresh, with a pleasant cucumber flavor—beautifully complements the warmer weather coming our way in May!
And we have a few highly-regarded pros from the world of tequila offering expert bottle recommendations for this month. Lana Gailani was a sommelier on the opening team of Michelin-starred Hakkasan in NYC, bartended at the agave-focused Empellon Cocina, and spread her love of mezcal at Pouring Ribbons, Seamstress, and Holiday Cocktail Lounge. She’s an active member of the United States Bartending Guild (USBG) and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Spirited Sipping (GLASS). Her recommendation is Cabeza Blanco Tequila.
Janice Balion, a bartender at San Francisco’s Bourbon and Branch and Tupelo, is the agave instructor for Beverage Academy (with her first class starting April 18th!). She’s also the United States Bartenders Guild of San Francisco’s Social Media Chair, by way of which she’s able to encourage educational opportunities within the Guild. She recommends Fortaleza Blanco.
Amanda Elder utilized her art and graphic design background as the Creative Director at Pouring Ribbons (where she produced all of their house-made syrups and infusions, and designed their uniquely visual menus and promotional materials). She can now be found creating art both behind the bar at Mayahuel, Donna, and Leyenda in NYC and on her website. She recommends Siete Leguas Blanco.
We’ll also be donating a portion of this month’s proceeds to three charities of our tequila experts’ choosing:
Lana chose the National Immigration Law Center because she believes that immigrants make America exceptional, and wants to support this group that helps them stay here lawfully. Also, if we’re benefitting from Mexico’s bounty by drinking their agave, she says, let’s treat their people here well. Without a good relationship with Mexico, there’ll be no tequila!
Janice’s chosen charity is Reading Partners, with whom she volunteers. They work with children in the 1st–5th grades whose reading level has fallen behind, encouraging and helping them to reach their grade level of literacy through one-on-one tutoring. Once they reach high school, kids are more likely to fail or drop out if their reading capabilities are lacking—they aim to prevent this early on.
Amanda chose Genesis at the Crossroads, which uses the arts as a vehicle for peace-building and creating and implementing innovative performance, arts-integrated education, and humanitarian programs locally, nationally, and globally. Their vision is of a world where cross-cultural artistic expression and collaboration serve as catalysts for inter-ethnic dialogue and innovation, global understanding, and world peace.
We’re proud to support these fine organizations while helping you all enjoy some tequila blanco cocktails!
The Shaker & Spoon Team