Cocktails To-Go Toca Madera

Transforming an Immersive Cocktail Experience to a Cocktails-to-Go Program

By | Blog, Featured

Cocktails To-Go Toca Madera

In these unprecedented times, the future of our most-loved restaurants and bars have fallen into question. Due to the mandated closures sweeping our nation, many establishments in the hospitality industry have closed their doors to the public or limit their offerings for customers purely for take-out orders. For many, the result has been a massive decrease in patronage. But for Charity Johnston of Toca Madera, business is booming.

Charity is the Global Beverage Director for The Madera Group. This organization develops, owns, and operates well-known restaurant venues throughout Southern California and Arizona, including the Toca Madera concept in Beverly Hills and Scottsdale. Despite their current success, the leadership team at the Madera Group wasn’t so hopeful right out of the gate. We sat down with Charity to inquire about how Toca Madera is handling the drastic changes and challenges in the industry.

Charity Johnson - Toca Madera

 

 

 

Charity Johnston has been behind the bar since age 21 and worked at various restaurants and bars in Los Angeles. Her first menu was launched at the opening of Roku, which she was awarded the 2016 Zagat 30 under 30 award for. She went on to work side by side with Gordon Ramsay on FOX tv’s The FWord, pairing cocktails to his creations. Following that, she was on bar rescue as John Taffer’s bar expert. Currently, Charity is the Director of Beverage for the Madera Group which includes Toca Madera and Tocaya.

 

 

 

 

How has your business strategy changed at Toca Madera during the COVID-19 pandemic?

At Toca Madera, we are all about the experience. From food and cocktails to decor and atmosphere, we rely heavily on visualization and extravagance. Before the pandemic, to-go service was never a part of our concept for Toca Madera. We took the first two weeks of the stay-at-home order to take a step back to visualize how we would execute this new service. How could we translate our modern vibe into take-out offerings while still maintaining our brand? We knew it was our duty to do something for our California and Arizona communities that we love to serve.

Thanks to the state of California loosening the reins on restrictions for carry-out cocktails, Toca Madera is now offering signature Azuñia Tequila cocktails available with food purchase. How did you decide which cocktails you were going to include on this exclusive menu?

We knew we wanted the cocktails we offered to follow the fresh, housemade, craft model of the Toca Madera concept. But the challenge was how to do this without spending a lot of money on a whole new business model, with a limited staff, and everything required to have a take out program like packaging, taking orders, and customer service. I started by going through our existing cocktail menu and cherry-picking the “Toca favorites.” Rather than reinvent the wheel, we decided to stick to those same recipes but allow our consumers to play a role in making their cocktail. Bringing the bar home.

How did you do that?

We knew that people in our communities were at home, and the majority of them were most likely looking for something to do. So, we figured we’d make our cocktails an interactive at-home experience. We had to consider what would translate to our customer’s at-home bar; most would not likely have a cocktail shaker or the quality of ice we use in our restaurants. So, we decided we’d educate our customers on how to put together their own Toca Madera craft cocktail.

First, we have a set schedule of when staff members will come in to prepare our fresh ingredients for our select cocktails, to ensure consistency and taste; this makes the base of the cocktail. Every to-go order has enough spirit to make two cocktails and Toca provides printed labels with the ingredients and instructions on how to build. And of course, a garnish is offered to give the cocktail the perfect finishing touch.

With Earth Day on the horizon, how is sustainability playing a role in your new business model?

During these times, cost consciousness is essential. We repurpose and reuse as much as possible. We’re recycling items that we have in-house like baggies and dry goods. The herbs we use, including thyme, cilantro, and mint, are all being used in both our cocktail and culinary programs. We still provide a garnish because a garnish is part of the experience, but now we use dehydrated limes instead of fresh. Not only do they look cool and have a lovely scent, but they are more efficient. Then there are other special touches, like a Tajín rim on the Amante Picante made with Azuñia Blanco, lime juice, agave, serrano pepper, and cilantro.

How is this new take-out program going?

The program is going well, and it’s growing. Pre-COVID-19, our beverage program was 50% of the business. Once we switched to take-out, we anticipated our beverage program would drop to 5%, 10% tops. But it’s 20%. People are ordering for virtual and at-home happy hours with their friends and family. Our customers have told us that it feels like they’re getting “Toca at home.”

We haven’t received any negative feedback so far. Just today, we had a customer place an order for six people–that’s 12 margaritas! We couldn’t be more thrilled. This experience has proven to us that every day brings something new, and you have to roll with the punches. Even though I’ve been in this industry for a long time (I won’t disclose HOW long), I’m surprised to find that I’m having just as much fun as I do behind the bar!

Why did you choose Azuñia to be the spirit of choice for your take-out cocktails?

I have a personal connection with Azuñia Tequila. I love the brand and the representation of farm and family, and this time is all about friends and family coming together. Even during order pickup, I’m noticing how kind people are to one another. That’s what Azuñia is all about. A bonus is that Azuñia uses organic agave, which stays true to our concept at Toca Madera.

Toca Madera To-Go Cocktails

If you are in the Los Angeles or Scottsdale areas, be sure to order these craft take-out Azuñia Tequila cocktails from Charity and the rest of the team at Toca Madera.

Calling All Bartenders

Are you feeling inspired to create your craft cocktail recipes at home? Then you won’t want to miss our #HomeIsWhereTheBarIs home-bartending competition, kicking off Tuesday 4/21/20, hosted by Eastside Distilling. Follow Eastside Distilling on Instagram to join the competition and to see both star and emerging bartenders compete with their signature home-bar cocktail creations.

Pick up a Bottle

Purchase Azuñia Tequila online and have it delivered to your home or locate your nearest retailer.

Sangrita Recipes

Sangrita: The Tequila Sipper’s Companion

By | Blog, Featured

Sangrita Recipes

One of the best tequila cocktail concoctions may be a recipe you’ve never heard of before. Introducing, Sangrita – the traditional accompaniment to premium sipping tequila. Made with fresh fruit and spices, Sangrita is meant to cleanse the palate between sips of your favorite tequila while complimenting its smooth flavor profile.

Despite their comparable names, don’t confuse Sangrita with Sangria. Sangria is a wine-based punch of Spanish or Portuguese origins. While delicious (especially with tequila), it’s a cocktail on its own made with wine and fresh fruit, usually served in party-ready pitchers. The only similarity between Sangria and Sangrita (“little blood”) is the reddish-hue and fruit components.

Sangrita is also commonly compared to Vampiro. Although similar, Vampiro drinks are made from mixed fruit, tequila, and citrus soda. While Vampiro has the tequila already mixed in, you serve Sangrita alongside the agave spirit.

Sangrita Recipe

It is said that the classic Sangrita recipe dates back to Guadalajara in the 1920s. Fruit salad made of sliced tangerines, cucumbers, papayas, mangoes, and sprinkled with chili-laced jicamas and pomegranate seeds sprinkled. “Pico de Gallo” was a Jalisco breakfast mainstay. Leftover juice from the fruit was reserved in small clay cups (caballitos) and served later in the day with Blanco tequila. Both the Sangrita and the tequila are sipped slowly and thoroughly enjoyed. And the rumored original recipe is just the starting point. You can combine a wide variety of juices and spices for the perfect Sangrita. And just as any combo of fruit makes a tasty Sangrita, Blanco tequila is the standard, but we encourage you to try Reposado and Añejo, too. Better yet, conduct a tasting and take notes of which juices and tequilas you enjoy the most.

Are you ready to give this little known and often misunderstood drink a whirl? We have curated dynamic recipes from our friend and master mixologist, Kailee Asher. Kailee recommends making a batch of Sangrita and storing it in the fridge. They will stay fresh for 2-3 days. Some prefer their Sangrita to have a kick by adding in their favorite hot sauce. If you can handle the heat, we recommend adding Cutino’s habanero inspired sauces to your next batch of Sangrita. ¡Salud

Our Favorite Sangrita Recipes

Cucumber Sangrita Recipe

Cucumber Sangrita

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 green apple, cored
  • 1 peeled orange
  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1 tbsp 100% Blue Agave Syrup
  • 0.25 tsp vanilla extract

Add all ingredients except agave syrup and vanilla extract in a juicer*.
Extract juice into a pitcher.
Add agave syrup and vanilla extract.
Stir well.
Keep refrigerated.

*If you don’t have a juicer, a high-powered blender will do.

Tomato Beet Sangrita Recipe

Tomato Beet Sangrita

  • 2 large beefsteak tomato
  • 0.5 fresh peeled beet
  • 1 large carrot
  • 0.5 peeled lemon
  • 1 oz (small piece) fresh peeled ginger
  • 0.5 tsp Yuzu Koshu

Add all ingredients except Yuzu Koshu in a juicer*.
Extract juice into a pitcher.
Add Yuzu Koshu.
Stir well.
Keep refrigerated.

*If you don’t have a juicer, a high-powered blender will do.

Watermelon Sangrita Recipe

Watermelon Sangrita

Add all ingredients except agave syrup and Togarashi in a juicer*.
Extract juice into a pitcher.
Add agave syrup and Togarashi.
Stir well.
Keep refrigerated.
 
*If you don’t have a juicer, a high-powered blender will do.

Craving a Cocktail? 

If you prefer to enjoy your tequila in a craft cocktail rather than sipping in straight, we have recipes for you too. Check out our extensive searchable database filled with our favorite tequila cocktail recipes.

Let’s get social. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, and be sure to tag us so that we can see what you’re mixing up!

Pick up a Bottle

You can find Azuñia tequilas at fine restaurants, bars, and retailers across the country.

Cantarito

Try Our Honestly Authentic Cantarito Recipe

By | Blog, Featured


Save the fancy crystal and put away the shiny silver shaker. Bring some flavor to your bar by shaking up a Cantarito. A Cantarito isn’t glitzy or fussy. It’s hard even to call it a “cocktail.” It’s a drink with a little character and a lot of moxie. You might consider a Cantarito like a Paloma Punch – citrus, tequila, and soda – served in an oversized clay cup to share.

The Heart of the Cantarito is in the Cups

When we say that you don’t need a glass for this Cantarito recipe, that doesn’t mean you drink tequila straight from the bottle. The Cantarito is a down-to-earth drink served in a clay cup, also known as a “jarrito.” A good Cantarito starts with the perfect vessel.

The clay cups have been used in Latin American countries in bars and at roadside stands. The ceramic jars of varying sizes (individual up to “serves a whole table”) keep your drinks colder for a longer time, and when it’s hot outside, you want a cool drink. Did we mention how cool they look? Drinking out of one of these gives you instant authentic credibility.

Honestly Authentic, the Cantarito de Amatitán Recipe

Not only is the cup fun to drink out of, the drink is entertaining to make. And it’s even more enjoyable to watch the masters at work. If you haven’t to Amatitán, where Azuñia is grown, distilled and bottled, then you haven’t seen the magic that is Cantaritos El Guero. They take the simple traditional Cantarito de Amatitán recipe of orange, grapefruit, and lime juices, tequila, and grapefruit soda and make a performance out of the mixing.

It takes lots of practice to reach the level of the cantarito masters at Cantaritos El Guero, but it’s worthy trying out your bartending skills with our honestly authentic, traditional Cantarito de Amatitán recipe.

Make the Cantarito de Amatitán

Ingredients
  • 2 oz Azuñia Blanco or Reposado Organic Tequila
  • 1 oz Azuñia Organic Agave Nectar
  • .5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • .5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • .25 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • .25 oz Orange Juice
  • Dash of Sea Salt
  • Grapefruit Soda
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except grapefruit soda and sea salt, in ice-filled cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
  3. Add a dash of sea salt to the bottom of the glass and pour contents of shaker into glass.
  4. Top off with grapefruit soda. Top with slices of citrus for garnish.
Notes:
Glass: Clay Mug or similar
Garnish: Orange Slice (optional: rim glass with sea salt)

While the traditional Cantarito recipe is a fan favorite, don’t be afraid to experiment. Serve up your favorite margarita or even the classic tequila Paloma in the iconic cup. Or skip the Cantarito mug all together like Jessica from Boundless Bliss did. After all, it’s what’s inside that counts. No matter what you serve in it, we guarantee that what you serve it in will be the biggest hit of the night.

More Drinks to Mix

For more recipe ideas, check out our cocktail page. We have a tasty tequila drink for every style of cup on your shelf.

Pick up a Bottle

You can find Azuñia tequilas at fine restaurants, bars, and retailers across the country.

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Want to connect on a more personal level?! You can find Team Azuñia on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest,  Twitter, and YouTube.

 

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Bartending Basics

Bartending Basics: Mixing a Balanced Cocktail

By | Blog
Bartending Basics

Photo Provided by Kyle Ledeboer

Our Friday night favorite: home-based happy hour. What’s better than enjoying a premium cocktail from the comfort of your own home? Whether it’s hosting an adult sleep-over with your closest friends, entertaining a few lucky neighbors, or throwing a classy dinner party, planning the perfect get together  takes work.

It can be intimidating to be in charge of everything. From decorating, to cheffing, to DJing – there’s a lot to figure out. However, one of the essential elements for a perfect night is a well-balanced cocktail. If you’re the official home bartender this Friday night, remember these bartending basics and easy ideas to launch you to an expert mixologist level.

Basic Bartending Knowledge 

When it comes to bartending basics, remember 2:1:1. It’s that simple. Two ounces of your base liquor to one ounce of the sweet ingredient to one ounce of the sour element. Your base spirit will be the flavor that finishes the drink, as it’s the dominant ingredient. The sweet can be any component you choose that complements your base. Think soda or juice or even a liqueur like chocolate or berry. The sour could be a fresh squeeze of tart citrus, a drop of pickle juice, or a pre-made sour mix. Remember quality counts when selecting a pre-made sour. Better yet, make your own by adding simple syrup to a mixture of lemon and lime juices.  

The only limit to a harmonious home-crafted drink is your imagination.

Treat your DIY bar like a lab and experiment with your favorite flavors. Or try some flavors that you usually don’t like. You may be surprised by what you create!

Bartending Basics

Master The Basics of Bartending 

Once you master the basics of bartending, you’ll have the confidence to take a few steps outside of your comfort zone. Then you can really wow your guests (and yourself) at your next margarita party.  Add in a dash of surprise and an element of complexity with aromatics. These subtle ingredients add specific scents that play to multiple senses as you sip.

In this new era of craft cocktails, bitters are making a big comeback. They are an easy aromatic add-in and come in many essences to enhance a flavor with only adding a few drops. Bitters pack a punch in small doses, so use them sparingly.

Another way to add aromatics to your drink is by either coating the inside of your most fancy glassware (or red solo cup) or on top of your finished cocktail with an essential oil, like Rose Water or Orange Flower Water, or strong liqueur, like Absinthe. Essential oils are a great way to introduce herbs and fruit flavors while using very little actual substance.

Adding just a hint of aroma keeps your “2 to 1 to 1” ratio in check and makes the most spectacular custom cocktails. Not to mention, your mixology experiments might earn you the title of “world’s best hostess.”

Our Favorite At-Home Cocktails

Practice makes perfect – especially when it comes to creating craft-cocktails. Put your home-bartending skills into action with these sophisticated yet straightforward Azuñia cocktail recipes that are sure to satisfy.

Basics of Bartending - Bloody Maria

The Bloody Maria is a tequila-twist on the classic Bloody Mary and has become one of our favorite brunch cocktails. Swap out the vodka for Azuñia Blanco organic tequila, add your favorite garnish, and enjoy.

Bartending Basics - Organica

Our honest expression of an organic skinny margarita, The Azuñia Organica is light on calories but not on taste.  Whether you prefer Blanco or Reposado tequila, this crisp, natural, and all-organic cocktail will leave you ready for a second round.

Bartending Basics - Mexicali Mule

This mule is going south of the border. Ditch the vodka and upgrade to Azuñia tequila to create the Mexicali Mule – a fizzy cocktail you can enjoy any time of the day.

It All Adds Up

You’ve set the table, planned the menu, and now you even have the formula for the best mixed drinks. So, put on that playlist and get busy making cocktails.

Think you have created the perfect balance in a glass?  Tag us on Instagram to show us what you’re mixing up!

Essential Home Bar Tools

7 Bar Tools Every Home Bar Should Have

By | Blog

Essential Home Bar Tools

We love to share information about all things cocktails – drink recipes, margarita history, tequila food pairings – and more. Now we want to help our fellow tequila lovers like you choose the essential home bar tools so that to be the best home mixologist you can be.  

Whether you’re mixing up a happy hour cocktail for co-workers, or hosting a soiree with friends, being confident behind the bar elevates your guests’ experiences. Having a well-stocked bar not only makes you an esteemed bartender, but it can also save you time and money. With this list of the seven essential tools for your home bar, you’ll be more than ready to mix up your favorite drinks at any time!

Bar Tools - Cocktail Shaker

Shaker: The Foundation Home Bar Tool

We asked our experts, and they agree, a bar shaker is the foundation for home bar tools. The shaker you choose doesn’t have to be expensive; it just needs to fit your budget and style. The shaker is fundamental because the shaking blends the flavors of your cocktail ingredients. The shimmy and shake also give your drink an airiness to lighten and brighten the flavors. During shaking, the ice cools the liquids to create a consistently cold cocktail to serve sans ice. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s tin on tin or glass on tin shaker sets, find your preference and start shaking up cocktails!

Hawthorne Strainer: Don’t Strain Yourself

To get that cold cocktail into a glass without ice or other solid form ingredients like citrus, you should (must) have a Hawthorne Bar Strainer and a Julep Strainer. Both strain liquid from the ice or muddled fruits, herbs, or other non-liquid ingredients into your glass. But bartenders use them in different instances. 

The Hawthorne Strainer has a flat disc with tabs that keep it in place when pouring out the drink. And that coil holds back anything non-liquid when pouring from the shaker to your glass.

Bar Tools - Mixing Glass

Mixing Glass: Stirred, Not Shaken

Some drinks should be shaken, while others are meant to be stirred. As long as you use the proper bar tool, feel free to shake or stir your cocktail – whichever you prefer. For the stirred variety of cocktails, the home bar tool we recommend is a high-ish quality mixing glass. The mixing glass is typically a heavy-duty glass with a one to two drink capacity. With all of the essential home bar tool options available, we suggest picking a mixing glass that fits your style.

Bar Tools - Bar Spoon

Bar Spoon: Knives Out, Spoons In. 

You’ve got the glass. Now you need the spoon. Once again, the options are endless, but a good bar spoon should have a long enough handle to reach the very bottom of the mixing glass. Most of the bar spoons we favor have swizzle stick-like stems and are very light and easy to grip. The best mixologists make stirring art, and with the right spoon (and training and experience), you can mimic the masters.

Bar Tools - Jigger

Muddler and Jigger: Time to Muddle and Jig

Muddled fruits and herbs are a dynamic way to layer flavors in your cocktail. But how do you muddle?  Start with the right muddler and your mixing glass. Next, grab your ingredients and begin to muddle. Then, it’s time to add your spirits with a jigger.

A bar jigger is the most necessary of the home bar tools we suggest. It’s a fancy measuring tool that has one side with a one-ounce pour and the other with a half-ounce pour. A jigger is the preferred way to measure (over the classic “counting pour”) because it gives you the exact measurement of spirit to add. Much like baking, mixology needs accuracy in measurements to ensure the balance of ingredients is right.

Julep Strainer: the “Other” Strainer

The Julep Strainer gets its name from the Mint Julep, a drink with layers of muddled mint. We love the muddling in the Silk Road. It fits into the mixing glass and holds back the muddled ingredients, straining liquids in the drinking glass. It’s a timeless home bar tool essential for a home mixologist’s toolbox.

Bar Tools

Your Tool Box is Full

You have your home bar tools: the shaker, the Hawthorne Strainer, the mixing glass, the bar spoon, the muddler, the jigger, and, last but not least, the julep strainer. Now it’s time to put your skills to the test! Select one of your favorite cocktails and start practicing with your new bar tools. You’ll be a master at-home bartender before you know it.  Follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with the tools of the trade. 

Valentine's Day Menu - Aphrodisiac Foods

Valentine’s Day Menu: Tequila + Aphrodisiac Food Pairings

By | Blog

Valentine's Day Menu - Aphrodisiac Foods

Every year, the surge of red and pink heart decor gives way to the most commercial holiday of the year: Valentine’s Day. While some mark this romantic day with roses, chocolates, and a reservation at the most expensive restaurant in town, we have a different idea to make your celebration more intimate. We’ve compiled our top aphrodisiac tequila food pairings to create a Valentine’s Day menu that’s sure to turn up the heat.

Valentine's Day Menu - Aphrodisiac Foods

Valentine’s Day Menu: Appetizer Course

Oysters are one of the most popular aphrodisiac foods on this menu. Beautiful, salty, chewy, and creamy, the oyster’s romantic effects are valid, making it the perfect start to your Valentine’s Day menu. Each oyster is packed with zinc, an amazing mineral that counts increased energy and boosting your sex drive as side effects. If slurping the briny shellfish and staring longingly into your intended’s eyes isn’t sexy enough, the zinc will give your libido a leg up. 

For this tequila food pairing, pour Azuñia Black. The 2-year, extra-aged special reserve Añejo has sarsaparilla and spicy notes to complement the salty of the oysters.

Valentine's Day Menu - Aphrodisiac Foods

Valentine’s Day Menu: First Course

After the appetizer, it’s the pre-dinner first course. Grill a fillet of salmon with lemon butter and serve with a few rods of the fleshy green aphrodisiac food, asparagus. Add in the decent dose of Vitamin E, known for its sexual healing properties, and your date will be eating this pairing food with tequila out of the palm of your hand. 

For this tequila food pairing, serve up the Cucumber Fizz. It’s a bright and fizzy cocktail combining Azuñia Blanco organic tequila, cucumber, elderflower, and agave nectar. The light cocktail won’t overpower your romantic interlude first course. *Bonus: the cucumber is also said to be an aphrodisiac food. Its shape, as well as the scintillating scent, is said to stimulate even the coldest of dates.

Valentine's Day Menu - Aphrodisiac Foods

Valentine’s Day Menu: Main Course

Few things are more satisfying than a beautifully trimmed piece of meat. That’s why we recommend heating things up with a juicy steak. While steak itself isn’t an aphrodisiac food, rubbing Carne with dry spiced chilies will get the fire burning even hotter. The warmth from the chile will not only plump your lips, making them that much more kissable, but they’ll also speed up your heart rate. 

You’ll pucker up all night if you add a few slices of the manly avocado to your meal. The avocado tree, known in Aztec time as the “testicle tree” produces the luscious, creamy fruit in low-hanging pairs. Avocados may not be proven to put your desire into overdrive, but they do go with chile-rubbed meat perfectly.

For this tequila food pairing, cook up the Argentine Old-Fashioned. This decadent cocktail combines Asada-infused Azuñia Añejo tequila, vermouth, Amaro Montenegro, and Angostura Bitters. Curious what other cocktails may pair well with this dish? Discover our top 12 Valentine’s Day tequila-cocktail recipes. 

Valentine's Day Menu - Aphrodisiac Foods

Valentine’s Day Menu: Petit Four

Petit Four, or pre-dessert, is the spicy interlude before the final act. For this course, we recommend the tasty, sugary confection, black licorice. It seems odd that the candy that some describe as eating car tires is an aphrodisiac. But it’s true. It lifts the libido. The scent of sugared anise drives some people wild. Olfactory senses have a significant impact on what people find attractive. Black licorice is especially pungent, which may speed up that romantic feeling.

For this tequila food pairing, slice up the We Make a Nice Pear. It marries Azuñia Reposado organic tequila, cognac, spiced pear liqueur, lemon juice, and honey. It’s one good cocktail that is plenty enough to bring your romantic evening to a beautiful crescendo.

Valentine's Day Menu - Aphrodisiac Foods

Valentine’s Day Menu: Dessert

We commend you if you’ve made it this far into your evening, and you’re still going. Between the aphrodisiac foods and the tequila, we understand if you indulge in the final course lying down. For the perfect treat between the sheets, we recommend tequila-infused chocolates. Tried and true, chocolate is the world’s most famous aphrodisiac food. That’s why American’s alone buy 58 million pounds of the confection during Valentine’s week. The cunning combination of spice, tequila, and chocolate is the nightcap of all nightcaps.

Wake Us in the Morning

Just because Valentine’s Day is over doesn’t mean the romance has to end. Visit our Instagram to learn more about the tantalizing tequilas we offer and get your next date night on the books.

Pick up a Bottle

You can find Azuñia tequilas at various retailers across the country to make your Valentine’s Day a night to remember.

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12 Easy Valentine’s Day Cocktails with Tequila

By | Blog

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Looking for some fun Valentine’s Day cocktail ideas? Whether you’re having a party at home or staying in with your special someone, impress your sweetheart and your guests with Valentine’s Day cocktails made with Azuñia Tequila. You’ll fall in love with these delightful drinks that are fun, flirty, and delicious. Most importantly, they’re easy-to-make!

Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Ruby Rojo

Red cocktails make for a perfect Valentine’s drink and are a must-have for your stay-at-home-date night. The Ruby Rojo was created in celebration of Port Wine Day and named by an adoring Azuñia fan. This luxurious libation combines ruby port, Amaro Montenegro, and bitters along with Azuñia Reposado, an award-winning organic tequila that’s aged in American Oak barrels for up to 8 months.

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Reppoccino

The Reppoccino is truly a coffee and tequila love affair that will warm your heart and soul. Combine black coffee, sugar, and Reposado tequila, and this cocktail is guaranteed to keep your night grooving. Whipped cream, a shortbread cookie, and a sprinkle of cinnamon make the Reppoccino a delicious dessert cocktail.

Happenstance

The best things happen through Happenstance, including love and romance! A beautiful marriage of apricot liqueur, Yuzu, lemon juice, green tea syrup, and Blanco tequila. This award-winning tequila offers a hint of lemon, tropical notes, and light pepper. Don’t forget the orange bitters, and be sure to add a sprig of thyme for a fresh note. Of course, this delightful green cocktail will be sure to impress.

Raise to the Fraise

Valentine’s Day is the ideal occasion for bright and flavorful pink cocktails and strawberries. Therefore, the refreshing Raise to the Fraise is an excellent choice to indulge in with your sweetheart. This fruity cocktail is made from mesquite honey syrup, muddled fresh strawberries, Lillet Rouge, Angostura Bitters, a squeeze of lemon, and features our award-winning Añejo tequila.

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Amatitán Old-Fashioned

Timeless, classic, and luxurious, the Old Fashioned is a drink with a long history. Likewise, our Amatitán Old Fashioned leaves a lasting impression. This Valentine’s Day, this traditional drink represents old fashioned love, romance, and longing. This mix of Añejo tequila, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum, Angostura Bitters, and sugar will surely make it a night to remember.

Cerveza Fresa

Looking for a pink cocktail that’s refreshing, exciting, and amazingly delicious? The Cerveza Fresa is a delightful tequila beer cocktail. Combine your favorite Mexican-style lager with a little Blanco tequila, strawberry, lemon, and bitters for balance. Pretty in pink with just the right amount of fruit!

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Red Velvet

A simple twist on a traditional Manhattan, the Red Velvet is smooth and straightforward. To make this cocktail, you only need three ingredients: Apertivo Select, vermouth, and aged Añejo tequila. This ravishing red libation complements any course, including sweet desserts like strawberries and chocolate.

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Rosalee’s Downfall

Of course, what’s better than a lovely bouquet of roses on Valentine’s Day? Rosalee’s Downfall is a gorgeous tequila and rose cocktail you’ll fall in love with. Incredibly alluring and tempting, this drink is comprised of Azuñia Blanco organic tequila, house sour, rose petal mango liqueur. Lastly, the rose petals for garnish to make this cocktail extra romantic.

Adonis Chariot

In Greek mythology, Adonis was known as the god of beauty and desire. Embrace your inner Adonis with a sophisticated Valentine’s drink. Certainly, the Adonis Chariot fits the bill nicely. This cocktail is made with Azuñia Reposado organic tequila, Amontillado Sherry, Spanish Vermut, and orange bitters. This cocktail is the perfect combination of vanilla and mild oak flavors along with a sweet nuttiness.

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Añejo Tequila Manhattan

When it comes to cocktails, it doesn’t get more classic than Manhattan. For a passionate twist on the original version, try the Añejo Manhattan. Made with tequila instead of bourbon, this drink boasts a richness you’ll love. Plus, it’s a gorgeous reddish hue—perfect for a festive cocktail.

Valentine's Day Cocktails

Strawberry Basil Martini

Strawberries and basil go together beautifully, and they join forces in an amazing Strawberry Basil Martini. Sophisticated and delicious, this pink cocktail features Azuñia Blanco organic tequila. Then, combine muddled strawberries, fresh basil, and lemon juice. Lastly, this cocktail is sugar-kissed with homemade simple syrup.

Valentine's Day Cocktails

21stCentury

White chocolate is synonymous with Valentine’s Day. So, what better way to enjoy both than in a simple cocktail? Sophisticated and decadent, you only need four ingredients to create the 21st Century: Azuñia Blanco organic tequila, White Crème de Cacao, fresh lemon juice, and absinthe. Cocoa and vanilla flavors make this an ideal after-dinner drink.

You don’t need to go out to have a wonderful time—there are plenty of Valentine’s Day date ideas if you want to avoid the crowds. Still looking for a Valentine’s Day gift? Azuñia tequila makes the perfect gift for him or her.

Reach Your Fitness Goals Without Giving Up Drinking 

By | Blog

Reach Your Fitness Goals without Giving Up Drinking

Caitlin Barth is a CrossFit Coach at CrossFit PHX in Scottsdale, AZ. In this guest blog post, she discusses how to reach your fitness goals without giving up drinking.

As a fitness and nutrition coach, one of the first things people like to tell me about in regards to their current eating habits are all of the things they don’t eat or drink. You can imagine that alcohol comes up a lot on those lists! And since we are all elbows-deep in our first couple weeks of New Years’ Resolutions, I figured I would help guide our readers in a more fun direction – the fact is, you CAN still smash your fitness goals without giving up drinking! 

I coach CrossFit at the CrossFit PHX gym in sunny Scottsdale, AZ, and run my own nutrition coaching business, Macros & Metcons. Between hitting intense, sweaty workouts and regularly eating pretty healthy, I think there’s a big misconception that we fitness people never drink! On the contrary – even fitness trainers like me enjoy cocktails, beers, and wine, just like everyone else. 

Do I have to stop drinking alcohol? 

In my years of nutrition coaching, the most common question I get is, “Can I still drink alcohol?” There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. At Macros & Metcons, we emphasize tracking macronutrients, which are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and the amounts of each are different for everyone based on their lifestyle and goals. This is known as flexible dieting. By tracking these macros consistently, we can achieve changes in body composition, strength, energy, and more. 

Now, alcohol doesn’t contain macronutrients – but don’t get too excited, it still has calories! This is why most diets either suggest you keep drinking very limited or none at all. Alcohol provides no nutritional value – the very definition of “empty calories.” 

That’s not to say my training clients don’t drink, though! Before I devoted myself full-time to Macros & Metcons, I bartended and served for over 10 years. While studying nutrition, I started to figure out how to enjoy my beer (and a shot of tequila) after work and still reach my own health and fitness goals. 

Reach Your Fitness Goals Without Giving Up Drinking

Calories in Alcohol 

Think of nutrition like your financial budget. There’s a certain amount of food and nutrients you should consume every single day to reach your weight loss and nutrition goals, so you want to spend those calories wisely. If your goals are to lose a couple pounds and feel better in your clothes, you might have more “flexible spending” to enjoy a cocktail or two. If your goals are more specific, like training for a triathlon or competing in a sport at a particular weight class, your nutrition “budget” might be a little tighter. 

Another thing I help my nutrition clients with is making better choices when it comes to enjoying a drink. For example, understanding the amounts of calories in different types of alcoholic beverages. A five-ounce glass of wine contains about 125 calories, a 12-ounce beer contains about 145 calories, etc. Distilled spirits, like Azuñia organic tequila, have about 96 calories per 1.5 ounces (a typical amount of calories in a tequila shot), so they’re going to be a better bang for your calorie buck! 

What about calories in cocktail mixers? 

When it comes to distilled spirits, choosing your cocktail mixers is super important. If you’re trying to keep the calories low, you’ll want to avoid adding sugar-laden liqueurs or aromatized wine, since they’re going to be higher in sugars, thus higher in calories. You would also want to be cautious about adding sugary sodas, ginger beers, and tonic for the same reason. Choose a smarter sweetener like Stevia in place of simple syrup for your paleo and keto-friendly cocktails. Stevia, for example, contain no calories, but they’re hundreds of times sweeter than regular sugar, so very little goes a long way! 

If you want to mix an alcoholic drink with the least amount of calories, try muddling in fresh fruits and herbs. Not only does this keep the calories low, but gives you the added benefits of vitamins and minerals. Sparkling water is another low-calorie drink option in place of sodas because it adds effervescence and texture without additional calories. Azuñia Organic Agave Syrup is another delicious, lower-calorie sweetener and adds a honey-like texture to your cocktails for only 30 calories per tablespoon. 

Azunia Organica Skinny Organic Margarita

What a CrossFit Trainer Drinks 

Beautiful weather almost year-round in Arizona means sitting on a patio enjoying a refreshing cocktail with friends after a morning CrossFit session. As a nutrition coach, I want to be able to enjoy my drink guilt-free, and the Azuñia Organica Skinny Margarita fits the bill. With Azuñia Blanco Organic Tequila, Azuñia 100% Agave Syrup, and fresh lime juice, this organic margarita comes in at only 134 calories and 9 grams of carbs. It’s also customizable, so it makes a great base to make it into a spicy margarita with jalapeños, or a fruity margarita with strawberries!  

So, whether you love a glass of red wine or a spicy margarita, figuring out what’s going to best suit you and your fitness and nutrition goals is the first step. What’s in your nutrition budget? We believe that life is all about balance, and that means you can still enjoy a cocktail every once in a while, and still make progress toward your health and fitness goals. Cheers! 

 

About the Author – Coach Caitlin B: 

A longtime Arizonan, I didn’t find my passion for fitness and nutrition until after college. I had quit sports in high school, and it took me a long time to fall in love with fitness again. Naturally athletic and competitive, I found CrossFit in 2012 and fell in love with the intense workouts and supportive community. 

Wanting to do more, I approached the owner of my gym, CrossFit PHX, about implementing a nutrition program to better help members achieve their strength and aesthetic goals. An experienced “flexible dieter” myself, I ate up everything I could about sport and exercise nutrition and got certified through Precision Nutrition. I then founded Macros & Metcons in 2017. I’ve learned through personal experience and working with clients that nutrition not only impacts performance and body composition but the overall quality of life. 

Running my own business has brought on many challenges but so much reward. I was able to leave the restaurant industry after over ten years of serving and bartending to run Macros & Metcons full-time and give all my attention to my clients. I’ve gained an incredible network of entrepreneurs to help guide and mentor me as I grow my business. My clients will tell you I’m their biggest cheerleader, that I meet them where they’re at, and that I’m tough but fair. More than anything, I want to assist as many people as possible in their journeys to healthier bodies, better relationships with food, and teach them that real nutrition does not mean restriction. Here’s to a life full of food (and drink!) freedom! 

Best Bar Foods to Pair with Tequila

By | Blog

 

The transition from summer to fall has begun – which means it’s time for the leaves to change, the temperature to drop, and football Sundays to commence. Although we look forward to a festive football party, our truly favorite aspect is the snack spread. When it comes to food pairings, we don’t discriminate. Beer and salty snacks like pretzels, peanuts, or popcorn may be “the classic”  bar food combos, but it’s time to upgrade to tequila-influenced noshes to fire up the fall season.

Best Bar Foods: Countdown to Our Favorite Apps

Food makes any hour better – but especially a happy hour. With a cocktail in hand, a well-suited snack can set the tone for the rest of your evening. That’s why we recruited our top 5 favorite bar foods to pair with our favorite tequila. Let the countdown begin…

5. Queso AKA Flaming Hot Cheese

Flaming hot cheese. Need we say more? 

The Queso Flameado from Liquor.com is no ordinary cheese dip. With chorizo, diced green chiles, 2 ounces of tequila, and (of course) cheese, this queso dip is en fuego – literally. Once assembled, the dip is set ablaze. Once the flames subside, grab a chip and dive in! 

If you’re like us, there’s no such thing as too much tequila. So, if you were to enjoy a tequila drink along with the queso, we’d suggest a simple, yet perfect, pour of Azuñia Reposado organic tequila. Why complicate such an elemental taste sensation?

4. Pop To It

Next to pretzels, popcorn wins as the most classic bar food. The buttery salty goodness pairs with just about any drink from beer to tequila. In fact, tequila and popcorn pair so well that the Citizen Public House in Scottsdale created an heirloom popcorn infused cocktail. The Agave Maize is a cocktail and bar food combo that you’ll want to pop up at any hour.

3.The Sensible Choice – Ceviche

When you want to lighten up your happy hour, one of the best bar foods is ceviche. Chopped whitefish, shrimp, plum tomatoes, diced onion, and chili peppers marinated in lime juice make this a snack worth dipping. Ceviche fish is actually “cooked” in a process called “denaturation” whereby the protein structure of the seafood is altered (cooked) by the citrus.

Try it yourself with this easy ceviche recipe from Chef Joanne Weir paired with a classic tequila cocktail like the Paloma. We think you’ll agree that this light, bright citrus combo deserves its spot at number 3 on the list of the best bar foods – the tequila edition.

4. Jalapeño Poppers – Covers Spicy & Cheesy App Categories

Jalapeño Poppers are a snack staple, but sometimes you may not have a fryer handy. Now you can enjoy this cheesy appetizer in a whole new, easier way. Introducing the Jalapeño Popper DIP. A creamy cheesy dip with roasted peppers is everything we love about jalapeño poppers, but it’s easier to enjoy. 

We suggest lightening up the spice and cheese with the El Arnoldo. The spiked Arnold Palmer is refreshing enough to cut the heat of the dip and sweet enough to balance the spice.

1. Nachos Reign Supreme 

It’s no wonder why nachos have claimed the number one spot on our countdown. With crunchy chips covered with melted cheese, loaded with guacamole, and a plethora of other toppings, this layered bar food is ideal for sharing. 

While the recipe is simple enough, nachos are even more enjoyable when you let someone else cook them for you. Lucky for us, Thrillist scoured the nation and compiled the top 21 nacho suppliers in America to make sure you know where to fulfill your next nacho craving. To cool your taste buds alongside the “nacho average” best bar foods, try the simple Organic Skinny Margarita. Because “balance” is everything.

Still Hungry?

If this high of caloric intake is too much for you to bear, we have some healthier options when it comes to happy hour cocktails on our blog. Take a look at our recent blog posts for some veggie alternatives. Or better yet, sign up for our newsletter and never miss a tequila trend again.

Want to connect on a more personal level?! You can find Team Azuñia on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

Pick up a Bottle

You can find Azuñia tequilas at fine restaurants, bars, and retailers across the country.

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6 Sangria Tequila Cocktails You Don’t Want to Miss

By | Blog

Tequila Sangria

One of our favorite ways to enjoy red wine is sitting in the sunshine with a glass of seasonal sangria. A rich, colorful combination of dry red wine, fresh fruit, and spices,  Spanish sangria first made its debut around 500 AD. However, sangria recipes have evolved quite a lot since then. Today, sangria cocktail recipes may include white wine, rosé, champagne, beer, and our favorite spirit, tequila.  

To start your summer off on the right foot, we’ve rounded up several of our favorite tequila sangria cocktail recipes. So take a look, pick your favorite, stir up a pitcher, and pour a glass.

The Ultimate Tequila Sangria Recipe

We find this tequila sangria recipe from Isabel Eats to be the ultimate, most versatile tequila sangria recipe – and our personal favorite. Customize the recipe  with complementary fruit for each tequila expression with our suggestions from Azuñia mixologist, Kailee Asher.

Base Recipe

2 apples, diced into chunks

1 orange, rind removed and diced into chunks

2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon, juiced)

1 750ml standard bottle medium-bodied red Spanish wine, like Garnacha or Tempranillo

1/4 cup brandy

1/2 cup orange juice

Sparkling water, to serve (optional)

Variations:

White Sangria

Tequila: Azunia Blanco

Liqueur: Passoa Passion Fruit Liqueur (subbed for Cointreau)

Fruit: Peach, Pear

Citrus: Lemon, Lime

Wine: Sancerre

Rosé Sangria

Tequila: Azunia Reposado

Liqueur: Giffard Pamplemousse (subbed for Cointreau)

Fruit: Strawberries

Citrus: Cara Cara Orange, Lemon

Wine: Provence Rosé

Red Sangria

Tequila: Azunia Añejo

Liqueur: Cointreau

Fruit: Blackberries, Apples

Citrus: Orange

Wine: Tempranillo

Wheat Ale and Orange Sangria Tequila Cocktail via @FloatingKitchen

This herbaceous fruit cocktail from The Floating Kitchen, is a delightful blend of wheat beer, orange juice and liqueur, rosemary, thyme, and, of course, tequila. We suggest Azuñia Blanco organic tequila for this sunshiny drink. ¡Salud!

Pinot Rita Sangria Tequila Cocktail via @Katie_Clova (Wood and Spoon)

This award-winning sangria tequila cocktail from Wood and Spoon serves as the perfect blend of red wine and a margarita. Pinot Noir simple syrup is the base for this ruby red libation. Add Azuñia Blanco organic tequila, fresh lime, Cointreau, and rim the glass with margarita salt. Bottoms up!

Summer Sangria Tequila Cocktail via @TheFauxMartha

This nearly traditional sangria tequila cocktail from The Faux Martha was made for summer. Dry red wine, fresh orange, lime, strawberries, a dash of sugar, and a splash (or 3) of Azuñia Blanco organic tequila make up this sweet sangria. Pop on your sunglasses and enjoy!

Honeydew and Kiwi White Sangria Cocktail // via @FloatingKitchen

Lighter in color but certainly not flavor, this Chartreuse Chardonnay sangria tequila cocktail from The Floating Kitchen is delightful. Honeydew, kiwi and lime mix in with chardonnay, brandy, and Azuñia Blanco organic tequila. Finish it with a bit of fizz by adding club soda or seltzer, and you’ve got a perfect pitcher. Cheers!

Sangrita* {Margarita + Sangria Tequila Cocktail} via @OneSweetMess

There’s nothing messy about this simply sweet sangria tequila cocktail from One Sweet Mess. Its perky pink hue comes from slightly sweeter red wine, orange liqueur, fresh orange and lime juices, and Azuñia Blanco organic tequila. This cocktail is sure to liven and lighten up any party.

*In case you didn’t know,  “Sangrita” is technically a juice drink that uses orange, lime, and tomato juice as a palate cleanser when drinking tequila neat. In the case of the One Sweet Mess’ delicious drink featured here, it’s merely a play on words and fun name for a funky cocktail.

Sparkling Rose Sangria Tequila Cocktail // via @WithSaltandWit

This blushing beauty of a sangria tequila cocktail from With Salt and Wit is sure to brighten up your cocktail hour. Rather than using a dry red wine, this recipe calls for light Brut Rosé. Add fresh orange, lime, Azuñia Blanco organic tequila, and enjoy!

Thirsty For More?

If our sangria tequila recipe inspiration didn’t intrigue your palate enough, head on over to our cocktail page. With hundreds of recipes and a variety of ingredients in our searchable database, we’re sure you’ll find something to please even the most discernible tastes.

Pick up a Bottle

Serving freshly made Sangria isn’t ideal. Give it at least an hour for the flavors and fruit to meld. 

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