Official ‘Home is Where the Heart is’ Cocktail Competition Winners and Recipes

By | Blog

Our “Home is Where the Heart Is” competition sought the stories and flavors of tradition expressed in a cocktail. We asked for expert mixologists to show us the flavors, memories, and traditions of their hometown, reflecting their roots, home, and the traditions that make it special. And the entrants answered our call.
Video Courtesy The Cocktail Portal

On December 10th, the Elite 8 competitors gathered at Mi Corazon in Los Angeles to mix their drinks and to tell the story that inspired it. Clare Ward, of Hippo LA, walked away with the Grand Prize pack including a SaloonBox Cocktail feature, a Licensed to Distill video feature, and a $500 VISA gift card.  In second place, taking home a $250 VISA gift card and a bottle of Azuñia Black, was Mike Nardelli of Toca Madera.  Rounding out the top slots, were Sherwood Souzankari of Bar Tiki Tiki, and Christopher Barragan of Petit Trois Le Valley, who impressively tied for third, each taking home $100 VISA gift cards and bottles of Azuñia Black.

A Big Thank You to Our Judges

This cocktail contest wouldn’t have been possible without our fantastic industry experts, Charity Johnston, Beverage Director for the Madera Group, Charles Lew, Restaurateur, and Aida Mollenkamp, founder of Salt and Wind Travel. They lent their expertise – and refined palettes – to determine the winners based on visual appeal, creativity, and of course, taste. 

“That’s a Perfect Mix!”

Steve Hytner, host of “That’s Gold” podcast, stopped by to talk all things tequila and interview the contestants. Relive the revelry with Steve and Rich on their episode “That’s a Perfect Mix!

That’s a Perfect Mix – That’s Gold Podcast with Steve Hytner

Introducing the Elite 8

Our cocktail contest finalists created 8 very inspired drinks and told heartfelt and meaningful stories through their drinks.

Here are there Elite 8 finalists and their cocktails, in order of competition appearance.

Chad Austin – Lono / Instagram: @ChaddAustin 

Growing up in the California desert and spending much of my time with friends, their families took me in like their own, and I got to experience a lot of great Mexican culture. As a young fat kid, Sundays at the raspado shop was my favorite.

One Eleven


  • Whip shake with crushed ice.
  • Dump into the cactus.
  • Top with fresh ice.
  • Garnish with spent lime and cherry.

Jeff Wang – L’Orient / Instagram: @Jeffeffect 

Jeff Wang - Cocktail Contest

Home to me both has to speak to the ingredients of my ethnicity and what I experienced as a child. I feel you can’t describe “home” without what your parents gave you growing up, and those ingredients will best bring back nostalgic feelings of home after the years you spent away from it. My cocktail is based off hot chocolate. Though possibly terribly made from my parents, it is core to what I associate to the warmth of “home.” Also, for my ethnic twist, I’m going with Szechuan peppercorns. Spice in spiked hot chocolates isn’t uncommon, but I feel I can elevate that idea to a higher level with Chinese spices. 

Hua  Jia 

  • 2.0 oz Thai Chili Infused Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila* 
  • 1.0 oz Condensed Milk 
  • 1 packet Swiss Miss instant Dark Cocoa 
  • 6 oz Boiling Water 
  • 1 part Szechuan Peppercorn 
  • Torched Marshmallow with Black Peppercorn Garnish 
  • Serve in a coffee cup.

*How to prepare Thai chili infused Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila

  • 1 ltr Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila 
  • 100 grams Thai chili 
  • Sous-vide at 150 degrees for 3 hours 

Christopher Barragan – Petit Trois Le Valley (3rd Place) / Instagram: @ChristopherAllenBarragan

One of the best family stories centers around my Great, Great Grandmother Petra. Even into her 100’s she would take a shot of Tequila and start stomping her feet from the wheelchair when the music started. The family would say, “mira su zapateando” (look at her stomping). After her second shot, she would rise and dance!

The second part of this cocktail inspiration centers around my Grandmother Nina, Petra’s Granddaughter. Granny, my endearment for Nina, would often take me into Old San Fernando for various treats. On hot days, we would seek out a Raspado or Snow Cone. During one of these trips, I asked about a peculiar candy on the shelf. She explained it was a Tamarindo Candy Spiced with Chili Pepper. I couldn’t fathom a candy with spice, but I was intrigued. It shocked and disgusted me. I pondered the unique flavor for weeks, and upon our return, I asked for another candy. She snapped at me, saying, “you spit out the last one,” I told her this time would be different… I have been hooked ever since!

Zapateando (The Stomping)

  • 2.0 oz Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila 
  • .50 oz Hibiscus Infused Combier* 
  • .50 oz Blood Orange Juice 
  • .75 oz Lime Juice 
  • .75 oz Arbol Chili Tamarindo Syrup** 
  • Tajin for a Crusta Rim 
  • Espelette Spiced Candied Blood Orange***


  • In a mixing tin, add all liquid ingredients and shake for proper dilution. 
  • Double strain into a Tajin Crusted Double Old Fashioned Glass with hand-cut ice. 
  • Garnish with the Spiced Candied Blood Orange

*Hibiscus Infused Combier: 

  • Steep 1/2 cup Hibiscus with 375ml of Combier for 2 hours. Strain and set aside.

**Arbol Chili Tamarindo Syrup: 

  • 2 cups water, 2 cups Demerara Sugar, 8 cleaned Tamarindo Pods, 6 Arbol Chiles. 
  • Boil water and dissolve sugar. Lower heat to simmer and add Pods. Allow softening for 45 minutes. Strain out undissolved pieces and return liquid to a low simmer. Add Arbol Chiles and simmer for 10-15 minutes and check for a medium Scovel heat level. Strain and set aside.

***Candied Blood Orange Garnish:

  • 0.25 inch Blood Orange Slices, 1 cup water, 1 cup cane sugar, Espelette Pepper. Boil water and dissolve sugar.
  • Lower heat and simmer with sliced blood oranges for 45 minutes. Stir gently so as not to ruin fibers of the oranges. Remove and place in warm area to air dry overnight with a light cane sugar dusting and a pinch of Espelette Pepper.

Sherwood Souzankari – Bar Tiki Tiki  (3rd Place) / Instagram: @Goodcocktails

To me, home is where I learned to love hospitality, coming from a middle eastern household, there’s a lot of emphasis on treating people who come into your home correctly, almost as if it is their house. That being said, growing up I watched my parents host many many times inviting people into our house and bringing out either tea, or a bowl of fruit, or pastries, for them to enjoy while conversing.  That being said, I heavily relied on my experiences as a child and a palate that’s heavily reliant on middle eastern flavors to create my cocktail. 

An Open Door

  • 1.5 oz Azuñia Blanco Organic Tequila
  • .75 Persian Black Tea/Orange Blossom Syrup* 
  • .50 Lemon Juice 
  • 1 Small Egg White


  • Combine all listed ingredients above in shaker tin.
  • Add ice and hard shake for 10 seconds.
  • Strain out ice.
  • Continue shaking to whip egg white inside a cocktail shaker. 
  • Fine strain into tea glass.
  • Apply orange oils from peel to top of the cocktail and serve alongside an orange slice.

* Persian Black Tea/Orange Blossom Syrup*: Combine 1 tablespoon of black tea and 2 dashes of orange blossom water with 8 ounces of boiling water, allow to steep for 25 minutes. Strain liquid and add 8 ounces of sugar to create a 1:1 syrup.

Mike Nardelli – Toca Madera (2nd place) / Instagram: @mikenardelli17

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Today was such a special and different day for me. I got to represent @tocamaderala with a cocktail I created for @azuniatequila Home is Where the Heart is Cocktail Competition and placed Second! It was an honor to see all of the finalist and their amazing creations. I want to thank @azuniatequila for including me in such a talented group of bartenders. A special congratulations to @cocktails_by_clare who took first place. Thankyou @aidamollenkamp @charitykjohnston @thecharleslew @micorazon_silverlake @thatsgoldshow The New Old World 1 Oz Lime 1 Oz Simple A clap of Basil .5 Oz of @pimmsgb 1.5 Oz of Azunia Reposado A float of @chateaumoyawine Rim glass with Chia Seeds #losangeles #azunia #azuniatequila #craftcocktails #mixology #homeiswheretheheartis #cocktails #thenewoldworld

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When I think of flavors that remind me of home, I think of biking to my local corner store in New Jersey after school and getting Lemon Lime Italian ice. I wanted to create a cocktail that had the nostalgia of my roots on the east coast with a nod to my Italian heritage by adding basil because there has never been a shortage of basil in any home I’ve lived in. Pimm’s represents the endless summer, paying homage to my life in Los Angeles.

I incorporated my two favorite drinks of choice, Tequila, and Wine. Azuñia is a special brand to me since they use organic farming practices and I thought what could be better than pairing it with one of my favorite Organic reds, Chateau Moya, an old world wine with a new world flavor profile from Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. The Chia seeds represent my growth wherever I am planted I am able to establish roots. All of the ingredients mentioned are things that can always be found in my home wherever that may be and undoubtedly where my heart is. 

The New Old World

  • 1.5 Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila 
  • 1.0 oz Lime 
  • 1.0 oz Simple Basil clap 
  • .50 oz Pimm’s 
  • Chateau Moya Bordeaux Float 
  • Chia Seed for Garnish 


  • Add ingredients into a shaker and strain into a Collins glass. 
  • Chateau Moya Bordeaux Float 
  • Chia seed Rim 
  • Garnish with a Basil Sprig

Clare Ward – Hippo (1st place) / Instagram: @cocktails_by_clare

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Thank you @azuniatequila for putting together such a fun and unique competition! And thanks for making such a delicious tequila, when the juice is that good it’s hard to make a bad a drink! Thank you @charitykjohnston @thecharleslew @aidamollenkamp for being awesome judges and laughing at my silly jokes, it was an honor to make drinks for such bad ass industry folk! And thank you @theebarninja and @micorazon_silverlake for hosting a killer day for all of us! And huge congrats to all the competitors, always fun to meet new people and see all their creations! This was my drink! Talk Derby to Me! An homage to my state and my favorite time of year! • Azunia Reposado Tequila • Nocino • Lime & Orange • “Derby Pie” Cordial (Salted Butter, Chocolate, All Spice, Brown Sugar) • • • #drinks #draaanks #cocktail #cocktails #bar #bartender #talkderbytome #derby #tequila #agave #azunia #tasteslikehome #imbibe #barfam #barlife #losangeles #highlandpark #cocktailsofinstagram #tiki #azuniatequila #reposado #cali #garnishgame #bars #shakeitup #pearldiver #silverlake #hippo

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Louisville, Kentucky despite being a reasonably large city rarely makes national news. Except for one day every year. Kentucky Derby Day. The nation tunes in to watch ‘the most exciting two minutes in sports’ and take part in the fanfare. Most people don’t know that There is a 2-week long festival leading up to the race which brings together everyone in the community to participate in one big party. Whether it be watching fireworks, or the steamboats race, going to the chow wagon down at the river, or going to the Pegasus parade to see the marching bands, people from all over the city and the state come together to have a good time and celebrate our favorite time of the year.

Everyone consumes “Derby Pie,” and everyone’s mom and grandmother have a recipe they hold dear. It’s a fairly simple dish, a chocolate and walnut pie loaded with butter. But nothing takes me back to all the memories with friend and family over the years quite like the sweet buttery chocolatey taste. The Azuñia Reposado is the perfect canvas with its caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch notes. To achieve the buttery, creamy texture I made a “Derby Pie Cordial” with softened butter, brown sugar syrup and allspice. A bit of Nocino, a liqueur made from walnuts and orange and lime juice to balance out the sweet. This drink reminds me not just of my family but my whole community and the joy of the time of year that Derby Season brings.

Talk Derby to Me

  •  1.5 oz Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila 
  • .50 oz Walnut Liqueur (“Nocino“)
  • .50 oz Fresh Orange Juice 
  • .50 oz Lime Juice 
  • 1.0 oz “Derby Pie Cordial*”


  • Whip Shake with a small handful of crushed ice. 
  • Pour over crushed ice in Classic Pearl Diver Glass. 
  • Garnish with Small Rose and Mint Bouquet.

*To Make Derby Pie Mix:

  • 1 oz melted chocolate, 1 oz softened butter, 1/2 oz brown sugar syrup, 1/4 oz allspice.
  • Whip all ingredients together until smooth.

Austin Buscher – Viva Madrid / Instagram: @gentlemanandaballer

Austin Buscher - Cocktail Contest

The smell of fresh-cut pasture grass always reminds me of the farm I grew up on in Illinois. The slightly sweet, slightly bitter smells of cut grass immediately bring back memories of being younger in the middle of summer and helping my dad and neighbor bring in the hay. I tried to emulate this smell by incorporating fresh watermelon and paprika.

It’s a weird combination, but something about the matrixing effect of these two smells always takes me right back to the family farm, listening to cicada’s hum and hearing the drone of a hay mower in our back pasture. If you’ve ever been to Tom Sawyer’s Island in Disneyland, they do a fantastic job of piping in this smell to recreate the experience of being on a Midwestern farm in the summer. I think that Azuñia Reposado does a great job of starting to re-create this experience, and I tried to encapsulate the whole sensory feeling of being on the farm where I grew up in a glass.

Pasture Eyes

  • 2.0 oz. Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila 
  • 0.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice 
  • 0.75 oz. Paprika Syrup* 
  • 4 bar spoons (about 2 oz.) fresh-cut watermelon cubes or spears 
  • Spritz of orange blossom water 
  • Lime peel garnish


  • Add all ingredients to a Boston shaker except for the orange blossom water. 
  • Muddle the watermelon into the liquid ingredients. 
  • Add ice. 
  • Shake for about 20 seconds. 
  • Spritz the inside of a chilled daiquiri glass with orange blossom water. 
  • Strain the cocktail through both a Hawthorne and a tea strainer into the prepared glass. 
  • Garnish with a fresh lime peel cut to look like blades of grass. 

* To make the paprika syrup, set 500 grams granulated sugar and 500 mL water on the stove top. Simmer until clear. Add 2 tablespoons of paprika (about 20 grams), 1 teaspoon of dried marjoram, and 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper. Simmer (but don’t boil) for about 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Take away from heat and let sit for about 20 minutes. Strain through a tea strainer to remove spices.

Ramon Aguirre – Nuno’s Bistro & Bar

Growing up in my hometown of Puerto Vallarta my mom made homemade jarabes from the tropical fruit in our backyard. One day I was tired of picking fruit, helping her and taking the jarabes to the local paletaria (ice cream shops) and she told me “one day you’ll thank me for teaching you how to make the jarabes.” As a tribute to her and what she tough me, I call this cocktail La Reyna del Sur.

La Reyna del Sur

  • 2.0 oz Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila
  • 1.5 oz Azuñia Organic Agave Syrup
  • 1.5 oz Fermented Lime Juice Mother Vinegar 
  • 1.5 oz Unforbidden Soursop 
  • .50 oz Mandarin Orange Liqueur   
  • .50 oz Unforbidden Cream of Roasted Coconut 
  • Pinch of Peruvian Pink Salt 


Azuñia would like to thank Mi Corazon Mexican Restaurant for hosting this exciting event. Their bartenders created a delicious drink menu worthy of a prize. And the food was phenomenal, as well. Thank you for taking such great care of the Azuñia family. If you’re in the LA area, please stop by and give them some love.

To bring our line up of single-estate tequilas home, visit our Where to Buy page.

3 Simple Ways to Find Balance from a Fitness Expert

By | Blog

How to Live a Balanced Life

Maya Monza, a SoulCycle Instructor in San Diego, shares her insight with us how to live a balanced life in this guest post celebrating National Women’s Health and Fitness Day.

Life is all about balance, right? As a full-time SoulCycle instructor, it’s my business not just to teach others how to live a balanced life, but it’s my personal goal, too.

SoulCycle is a unique 45-minute indoor cycling experience. It is so much more than just the high-intensity workout, candlelit room, and one-of-a-kind playlists. It’s my job to support, coach, and push my riders to be their personal best. After teaching my classes, you can usually find me on a rooftop bar, surrounded by friends, with a margarita in one hand. Ok, maybe both hands! That’s where I like to be: surrounded by friends and reasonably close to some tequila.

Some people might assume that fitness instructors eat perfectly clean 24/7, never drink alcohol, always say “no” to staying out late, but that just isn’t me. My life is and will always be about balance. Work AND play. Fitness AND food. Going out with my friends some nights and staying in to get rest on other nights.

I have found the best way to stay happy and healthy is through BALANCE. No yo-yo diets. No depriving yourself of entire food groups. Plus, keeping up with a regular workout routine as much as possible. It is important to eat as clean as you can when you can while giving yourself the freedom to enjoy life to the fullest at other times. Finding that balance between health and fun is how I live my best life.

On National Health and Fitness Day, in celebration of all the all of you working so hard, I want to share with you my top 3 tips on how to live a balanced life.

Live a More Balance Life

My top 3 tips on how to live a balanced life: 

Life in Balance Tip 1 – Be Consistent

Our consistent behavior directly impacts our circumstances, bodies, and lives. Even if we can’t control everything, we have control over the things we put in our bodies and how often we work out. Small changes, like eating more plants and getting your body moving as much as possible, are a great start.

Experiment swapping in fruits, veggies, and healthier alternatives at every meal. Find a workout routine you enjoy and can see yourself sticking to. What you do consistently is going to have the most dramatic effect on your body composition, your mood, your energy levels throughout the day, what you look like, and most importantly what you feel on the inside.

Consistent actions get results. Being able to manage a lifestyle that is enjoyable and makes you feel good and feel fulfilled is key for longevity. We should all strive to be as consistent as we can in getting into a workout routine. However, when your best friend’s birthday comes around, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay to miss your fitness class or treat yourself to a margarita at happy hour. Building the schedule in your daily life doesn’t have to be constraining. Allow yourself flexibility when you need it, and then get back to consistently being a boss!

Life in Balance Tip 2 – Treat Yourself

Teaching multiple fitness classes 6 days a week is a demanding job, that requires me to invest in my wellness and health.  Bodywork, massage, acupuncture and cupping, chiropractic visits, facials, foot reflexology – are investments in my present and future wellness. Treating our bodies to massage is not just for people with physically demanding jobs. A massage can be a great way to relieve stress and muscle tension that can be caused by physical or emotional stress.

Seeing a chiropractor can drastically improve your mobility, overall pain, and reduce overuse injuries. Plus, doing things that you enjoy and make you feel good are ways we can all take better care of ourselves, no matter where you are on your wellness journey. It is my job to perform every day and to show up as whatever my riders need me to be for them at that moment. I have to make sure that I take care of myself from the inside out first and foremost so that I can be at my best for those who need me.

Life in Balance Tip 3 – Take Time Off

Remind yourself of the things that make you happy, feel fulfilled, and drive your passion. Take time to schedule your hobbies, social events with friends, and vacation time when you can. It’s possible to get so comfortable going through the motions of our work/home lives that we can become robotic. We forget that this is our one life to live.

A lot of my riders say it seems impossible for them to take time off work to make a mental reset. It’s not! We need to prioritize some time off, even if it feels impossible.  Not everyone can take a week off of work for vacation, but some people can take a half day or long weekend. Try to find more separation between work and weekends. Leave your phone behind for a walk on the beach or pledge to not obsess over work emails during the weekend.

Research day trips in your area, choose to stay home and enjoy drinks with family and friends or seek out your next worldly adventure. Giving ourselves some time off work allows us to reset mentally, gain perspective and inspiration, and be more productive when we return. We also contribute to our overall happiness when we seek out the balance in our lives.

How to Live a Balanced Life

How I Live a Balanced Life

The universe has opened doors I never thought possible. I went from working at a job I no longer loved, to travel the world, to HUSTLING hard in NYC. All things that landed me here today. I am actively creating a life I love. Sometimes taking a risk and switching routines up, breaking out of your rut, can generate imbalance but lead you to a new equilibrium that is your best life. Cheers to all of you learning a little bit every day how to live a balanced life. I think this celebration of life calls for cocktails!

My friends and I say “Life is like a Spicy Margarita … you never know what you are going to get!” It’s so customizable, and you can make it however you please. Blended or the rocks? TAJÍN® rim or salt rim? Jalapeños or serrano peppers? My favorite margarita of all time is my best friend Tanya’s original Spicy Skinny Margarita recipe that we’ve dubbed “Living My Best Life.” Learn how to make it below.

How to Live a Balanced Life

“Living My Best Life” – Spicy Skinny Margarita
1.0 oz Azuñia Blanco Organic Tequila
Sliced Jalapeños to Taste
1.0 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 Handful of Fresh Raspberries

Add sliced jalapeño, fresh lime juice, and a few fresh raspberries in a shaker. Muddle ingredients so you get the spicy flavor of the jalapeño and the sweetness from the raspberries.
Fill shaker with ice.
Add Azuñia tequila and shake.
Strain all contents from shaker into a cocktail glass with an “aggressive TAJÍN rim.”  Just a little lime juice on the rim of the glass will help make the TAJÍN stick.
Garnish with lime, jalapeno and throw 1 or 2 raspberries into the top of the drink itself.

Variety can be a good thing. Add mint leaves into the mix to freshen up and give an unexpected minty kick. Or add agave syrup for a sweeter drink. No matter how you mix it, just make sure you’re taking the time to enjoy it!

How to Live a Balanced Life

About Me

The fun and balanced lifestyle is part of what drew me to San Diego. I moved here in 2012 from San Luis Obispo, to study Kinesiology at San Diego State University. The people here are always walking, running, riding their bikes around the bay, hanging out at farmers markets, or enjoying time by the beach drinking with friends. In the years after graduation, I felt like I was pouring a lot of myself into my work while also feeling uninspired by it. My life felt like it had been thrown out of balance. Go to school, get good grades, get into college, study hard, graduate, get a job, go to work, I felt like I was on that never-ending track. There was no passion in my life, and I wasn’t engaged with the world.

I had no idea what the next step in my career was going to be. Taking a chance on myself, I decided to take a 6-week backpacking trip through Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali. I remember being so scared to take time off work. During my trip, I realized that there was so much more out there than what I was stressing about every day back home. My final weekend in South East Asia, I got the phone call I had been waiting for.

After applying, auditioning, interviewing, and waiting for weeks, I was accepted into SoulCycle’s 10-week instructor training program in NYC. I’ve been leading classes at SoulCycle in La Jolla since they opened their doors. If I’m not on a bike, you can find me drinking in the San Diego sunshine. A few of my favorite San Diego spots for drinks are Fat Fish Cantina, Cafe Coyote, and Puesto. Hope to meet you there – or on a bike!

Connect with guest blogger, Maya Monza on Instagram and Spotify.

Join Us in Reducing Single-Use Plastic.

Enjoy Maya’s favorite drink strawless. Or be one of first 500 people to join our No Plastic Straws 365 initiative and you’ll receive a reusable stainless straw. Grab a friend and join the challenge here.

Pick up a Bottle

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


Eco-Friendly Cocktails Coming to a Bar Near You

By | Blog

Eco-Friendly Cocktails Land in LA and PHX

Eco-friendly cocktails have arrived in bars near you. We’ve teamed up with Fox Restaurant Concepts to bring a featured drink, the Rhubarbe Paloma, to The Henry in LA and Phoenix. As partners in our #NoPlasticStraws365 campaign, Beverage Director, Mat Snapp creatively curated the fruity libation to be served with a reusable and recyclable metal straw for you to take home. The Henry locations in Phoenix and Los Angeles will be giving away 2,000 of the metal straws to customers who order this featured cocktail, while supplies last.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with Fox Restaurant Concepts in such a fun and engaging program for the consumer”, said Azuñia Tequila Managing Director Joe Giansante.    “Producing organic, sustainably farmed tequila is extremely difficult and rare – but in doing so we ensure an authentic product and timeless brand for our customers. Partnering with a company like Fox Restaurant Concepts on a reusable straw cocktail is a natural for us given their engagement in the communities they serve and our collective ‘best in class’ practices when it comes to pure, fresh, real ingredients and extreme care in the overall process.

Eco-Friendly Cocktails

Azuñia’s Reposado was recently awarded the “Best in the World” designation with a Double Gold at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  Consistent with the organic and sustainable process, Azuñia launched its “No Plastic Straws 365” campaign in August to engage consumers in a fun and easy program challenging individuals to make a simple change that collectively would make a significant impact on unneeded plastic waste. FRC already offers sustainable straw alternatives – such as biodegradable corn-based straws at all of their concepts.

Snapp, who has led the beverage program for 7 years as part of his 14-year tenure with FRC, curated the “Rhubarbe Paloma,” to be the featured cocktail for the campaign. The Paloma-inspired beverage is the ideal drink to represent both Azuñia and FRC’s commitment to sustainability. The effervescent cocktail uses fresh and organic ingredients and comes with the Azuñia reusable metal straw for guests to take home. The straws are best used by carrying in a purse or in the car for daily consumption of any beverages. It is believed the American consumer uses an average of roughly 600 plastic straws per year.  2000 consumers taking the pledge would amount to the reduction of as many as 1,200,000 plastic straws, annually.

The Henry Arrow

The promotion, beginning September 22, 2018, is available at The Henry in Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ.  It will run through December or until supplies last.

To make the Rhubarbe Paloma at home:


1.5 oz Azuñia Organic Blanco Tequila
2 dashes Grapefruit Bitters
.75 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz Giffard Rhubarb Liqueur
1 Lime wedge
Splash Organic Club Soda
Hibiscus Salt for Garnish (25:1 Salt: Hibiscus Powder)

Moisten the rim of a Collins glass with the lime wedge and salt the rim with hibiscus salt.
Fill with ice.
Add all ingredients.
Top off with a splash of club soda.
Serve with a sustainable straw, such as metal.

If you aren’t in the LA or Phoenix areas, you can still participate. To get your straw, take Azuñia’s No Plastic Straws 365 challenge. The first 500 people to sign the pledge will receive a bent metal straw made from incredibly durable, smooth, non-allergenic food-grade stainless steel.


7 Simple Steps to Reduce Single-Use Plastic

By | Blog

Single Use Plastic Ban

Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. It’s a phrase that’s been part of the lexicon for as long as most of us can remember. While the origins of the 3 “R”’s aren’t totally clear, there is no doubt as to the intent of the words. Few facts about modern life seem more indisputable than how busy we all are. That’s why it just seems easier to use single-use plastics that we can toss instead of wash, especially as we’re “on the go.” But, grasping for plastic straws and other single-use items has led to plastic-filled landfills and oceans.

We’re realists and recognize that we need options. Giving up single-use plastic entirely may not be doable for everyone. But we can slow down the stockpile of plastic waste by choosing sustainable alternatives, reusing and repurposing, and of course, recycling whenever we can. Together we can do more by using less. Let’s take a look at 7 simple tips to stop our dependence on single-use plastic.

Tip #1 – Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages.

Unless you’re in one of the few cities that expressly permit cocktails to-go, Step #1 only applies to your morning coffee, afternoon water break, or any other non-alcoholic beverage. Keep a clean, reusable cup in your car and pass on the plastic.

Tip #2 – Freshly squeezed juice instead of buying bottles.

Most cocktails call for fresh juice. Instead of buying a plastic jug of juice, grab a handful of fruit and start squeezing. Not only is fresh better tasting than from-concentrate juice, but you’ll also do your part to reduce your carbon footprint. Further your do-gooding and say “no” to the bag at the store, too.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

Tip #3 – Bring your own container for take-out.

Is it just us or are portion sizes at restaurants getting bigger all the time? We’re not complaining – in fact, we love it because leftovers, of course. Skip the Styrofoam to-go containers and BYOT (bring your own Tupperware).

Tip #4 – Cut out plastic cutlery.

Door dashing dinner tonight? Ask the driver to leave the plastic utensils in the car. You’re home after all and can access your silverware drawer. What should you do if you’re grabbing lunch to eat in your car on the way to your next meeting? Just like bringing your own mug to the coffee shop, keep a clean fork in your glove box. If disposable is a must, seek out sustainable spoons.

Plastic Free dinner party

Tip #5 – Party without the single-use plastic.

The sign of a good party has traditionally been the morning after – there’s trash everywhere, filling up giant plastic bags with waste. It’s time to shift the narrative and seek alternatives that minimize the waste. Let the evidence of a great time be your Insta feed blowing up with pictures of clinking glasses and a sink full of dishes.

Get a Free Azunia Reusable Straw

Tip #6 – Say “no plastic straw, please.”

We can make a big difference if we sweat some of the small stuff. Ditching plastic straws may be a small change, but the rate at which we use (and toss) them creates a ton of waste. If you can’t go strawless, opt for a reusable stainless steel straw for your Big Gulp. We know a place where you can get one for free.

Tip #7 – Please don’t flush your lenses.

45 million people in the United States wear disposable contact lenses. That’s a lot of tiny pieces of plastic. We know you need them to see and that’s really important. But how you dispose of them matters. When flushed in a toilet or tossed down a sink drain instead of a garbage can, they may end up passing right through the filters at the treatment plants straight out to the ocean.

For more tips on how you can show your love to our mother, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

Take the No Plastic Straws 365 Challenge

By | Blog

On average, U.S. Consumers use as many as 500,000,000 plastic straws daily.

We think we can do better – together! Join Azuñia Tequila, other leading beverage brands, bartenders, and friends and be a part of a small change that can lead to extraordinary results.

Why say “no plastic straws?”

  • Currently, an estimated 100,000 marine mammals, and many more thousands of sea turtles, fish, and birds, die from plastic debris each year.
  • The amount of plastic in the oceans can cover almost 500 million square miles and is growing.

Accept the challenge, and say “no plastic straws” every day for the next year to act against plastic pollution, one straw at a time! *

We can all make a difference.

At Azuñia Tequila, we’re proud to produce USDA-Organic products without chemicals or additives and have a deep heritage of sustainable farming.  We honor that heritage by doing our best to connect our values to yours. In keeping with our commitment to our artisan and honest process, we’re leading this initiative, with the hope of reducing millions of plastic straws that are thrown away across the U.S. every day by encouraging people to choose to make a small change.

Stainless steel straws are a great reusable, recyclable alternative to plastic straws*.

Take the #noplasticstraws365 challenge.

Twenty-one million and counting! Together, that’s how many plastic straws we’ve pledged to eliminate from our landfills and oceans. We hope you feel as good as we do about this because, without your participation, we couldn’t have made such a positive impact!

Not only have we reached our initial goal – we blew right past it! Thank you! We’ve already sent out over 1,000 Azuñia Tequila re-usable, recyclable stainless steel straws to the first people who signed up for the challenge. And we will continue sending out hundreds more of the environmentally-friendly straws as randomly selected from those who signed up after we met our initial goal.

We can’t thank you enough for your thoughtful participation in this challenge! Keep an eye out on social for more ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Accept our #noplasticstraws365 challenge by clicking “Take the Challenge.” Your action will encourage others around you to join in! Together we can reduce the unnecessary build-up of billions of straws in landfills and the ocean.

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While supplies last. We ship within the U.S. only at this time. 

Download and Share the Challenge.

Share the #noplasticstraws365 challenge with your friends! It’s an easy way to multiply our impact.

Download your image and share why you are saying #NOPLASTICSTRAWS365.

To download, click on an image, then right click the image on the new page and “Save Image As” to your computer.


Please, join us!

Are you with a bar, restaurant or brand who believes we can do better? Find out how to partner with us to bring the No Plastic Straws 365 challenge to your establishment.

We’re proud partners with:

Total Beverage Solutions  


We know many of our friends in the disability community require a straw to drink, and we are sensitive to this. Our program is voluntary, and we’ve ensured our partners have straw options available for everyone. We are also committed to providing a reusable, recyclable bent metal straw to any person with a disability, should they want one, by contacting us at


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Running total! Updated Weekly.

21,474,320 Less Straws*

*Azuñia Tequila’s #noplasticstraws365 seeks to reduce the number of single-use plastic straws. On average, every person in the U.S. uses 620 plastic straws per year. That’s 620 fewer straws for every one person who accepts the #noplasticstraws365 challenge.

7 Common Tequila Myths, De-Bunked

By | Blog

Tequila Myths

Tequila has been rooted in Mexican culture for centuries. Its origins date back to the 1600s when mass production of the distilled spirit began. Tequila production and its reputation have evolved a lot over the past 400-plus years. As with much pre-internet history, misinformation is often perpetuated.  While truth-seekers piece together tequila history, we want to delineate between fact and fiction when it comes to our favorite distilled spirit by debunking 7 of the biggest tequila myths.

Tequila Myth #1 – Tequila makes you crazy.

One of the most common tequila myths we need to debunk is the unfounded idea that tequila makes you misbehave. The hard-cold truth is that it’s not the tequila making you crazy. The setting, your mood, and sugar have more influence on how wild your night gets than the actual tequila.  By choosing a premium, organic tequila and using fresh, seasonal ingredients you can avoid one of these triggers.

Agave isn't cactus

Tequila Myth #2 – Tequila is made from cactus.

Agave may look like a cactus, with its spiny leaves and all, but, despite the rumors, it’s not. Succulent, yes. Cactus, no. Not to mention, they are actually part of the asparagus family. With over 130 species of agave native to Mexico, Weber Blue Agave was selected as the source of distilled spirits for its high natural sugar content and short maturity time. As a bonus, it’s also breathtakingly beautiful, relatively hearty, and drought-tolerant.

Tequila Myth #3 – All Tequila is created equal.

The label may say “tequila,” but that doesn’t mean it’s premium or distilled from Weber Blue agave. Unless the label reads “100% Blue Agave”, we recommend putting that bottle back on the shelf. Anything less than 100 percent blue agave is a “mixto,” which can add up to 49% of fermented cane sugar, the ingredient that adds to the likelihood of a hangover.

Mixto is a cheaper, less flavorful version of tequila and contains food dye to give it its golden hue. This mix of artificial coloring and higher sugar content is a certified headache-maker. Also, please pass on the bottle with the worm. The creepy crawler is butterfly larvae and serves no purpose other than a marketing ploy. Tequila brands started adding the worm in the 1950s to lure consumers to pick one tequila over another. Authentic tequila has been produced for over 400 years with no worm.

Lemon Hills

Tequila Myth #4 – Tequila is the only drink of Mexico.

Tequila may be the most popular of the agave drinks, but it’s not the one and only. The rising popularity of Mezcal, tequila’s smokier cousin, is vying for coveted space in the alcohol market. This is for a good reason. Mezcal can make a delicious cocktail, particularly when mixed with authentic tequila.

Agave drinks expand even beyond tequila and Mezcal. There are several alcohols made from the bountiful agave in the vast lands of Mexico. Pulque is undeniably the original agave drink of Mexico as it dates all the way back to the Pre-Hispanic period. This “agave wine” also known as Pulque is the fermented juice of the plant and was reserved only for a particular class of people. Pulque, Sotol, and Raicilla may not have the contemporary reach of tequila or mezcal, but they all have an integral role in the history of Mexican agave drinks.

Watermelon Cocktail

Tequila Myth #5 – Margaritas are the original and only tequila cocktail.

We don’t have to go too far to dispel #5 in our tequila myths countdown. While people are always searching for the best authentic margarita recipe, they’ll also come across tequila mules, Añejo old fashioneds and original craft tequila cocktails like the Spanish Daisy. As far as the margarita being “the OG” tequila cocktail, the not-so-straightforward history of the margarita will tell you that it actually evolved from “The Daisy.” But despite your newfound knowledge, we bet you don’t love the margarita any less. It’s refreshing, delicious and when you have a simple margarita recipe to start from, it can be endlessly inventive. Add your own local, seasonal ingredients to enjoy one any time.

Sangrita Recipes

Tequila Myth #6 – You can only serve tequila with salt and lime.

Lime isn’t the only pulpy fruit to squeeze into your tequila. We love lemons to enhance the flavor of our tequila, too. Or take it another step further and try a Sangrita. Not to be confused with Sangria, Sangrita is served alongside premium tequilas. Try one of our favorite Sangrita recipes made with seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Better yet, try them all to make sure to dispel this myth.

Tequila Myth #7 – If it’s gold, it’s got to be good.

Gold jewelry and gold medals are “the best” as it pertains to gold. However, gold tequila is not. Big tequila companies often add food coloring to get that “signature” yellow color, tricking you into believing it is top shelf tequila. More often than not though, it’s a mixto tequila and therefore not worth adding to your bar.

The distinct amber color of an authentic premium tequila like Azuñia comes from the aging process. Blanco tequila is not aged, and therefore clear. We age our Reposado and Añejo up to eight months and eighteen months, respectively, in American Oak barrels, to give them varied amber colors that darken depending on time spent in the barrels. An extra-aged Añejo like our Black is rested 2 years in American Oak resulting in a deep amber color, the embodiment of its richness and sophistication.

Flight of Azunia

Pic: Public 74

Just Call Us the Tequila Myth Busters

Have another tequila myth to bust? Let us know. Our primary job is to create honestly authentic tequila. And we hope that in doing so, we can also impart a little tequila knowledge.

Pick Up a Bottle

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
















Eternal Summer Found – 4 Tequila Tiki Drinks

By | Blog

There is something extraordinary about this time of year, and if it were up to us, summer would last all year long.

The days are longer. The sun is warmer. The water looks a little bluer. And the drinks are just better. We’re not saying the drinks you enjoy in any other season aren’t phenomenal. But, cocktails that embody an eternal summer are downright fun.

How can you not smile a little wider when you sit poolside with a tequila tiki drink in hand? That’s right, “tequila tiki drinks.” It’s not just rum (and a tiki mug) that makes a tiki drink.

It’s Not All About that Rum in Tequila Tiki Drinks

It seems like rum’s always been number one when it comes to tiki cocktails. Admittedly, it’s the spirit most typical of the island-inspired drinks. But it’s not the only one.

Gin makes an appearance in several traditional tiki drinks like the Rangoon Gimlet, the Suffering Bastard, and the Saturn.

Vodka shines in the most popular vodka tiki drink, the Chi Chi. And while we can appreciate the beauty and deliciousness of gin, vodka, and whiskey tiki drinks, it’s tequila tiki drinks that are the star of this story.

These are a Few of Our Favorite Tequila Tiki Drinks

Photo via Growler Mag

El Diablo
The devil is in the details in this tequila tiki drink. A tempting mix of Reposado tequila, crème de cassis, lime juice, and ginger beer, the El Diablo is a traditional drink that deserves to fill any tiki mug.

Make the El Diablo:
1.50 oz Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila
0.50 oz Crème de Cassis
0.50 oz Fresh Lime Juice
2–3 oz Ginger Beer

Combine all ingredients, except ginger beer, in a shaker and shake.
Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.
Top with ginger beer
Garnish with lime wedge, fresh blackberries, and candied ginger.

Photo via

Vicious Virgin #2
A quintessential blue tiki drink, the Vicious Virgin #2 proves that you shouldn’t judge a drink by its color. It’s a spirited blend of fresh citrus, BG Reynolds’ Orgeat, Blue Curaçao, rum, and blanco tequila. Be mindful, with that boozy mix; it’s a cocktail that bites.

Make the Vicious Virgin #2:
0.75  oz Fresh Lime Juice
1.50 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
0.50 oz B.G. Reynolds’ Orgeat
0.25 oz Blue Curaçao
0.75 oz Light Rum
0.75 oz Azuñia Blanco Organic Tequila

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake.
Strain into a rocks glass.
Garnish with fresh citrus slices.

Tequila Boxer
The Margarita’s Polynesian cousin, the Yellow Boxer, is a delightful tiki drink perfect for batching for your next pool party. Mixing tequila, fresh citrus, and BG Reynolds Lime Cordial with crushed ice makes it just like the boozy snow-cone you’ve always wished existed.

Make the Tequila Boxer:
1.50 oz Azuñia Blanco Organic Tequila
0.75 oz Each Fresh Orange and Lemon Juices
0.75 oz BG Reynolds Lime Cordial
8 oz Crushed Ice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake.
Pour into a rocks glass and top with more crushed ice.
Garnish with fresh citrus slices.

Trader Vic’s Matador
Trader Vic’s Matador is the simplest tequila tiki drinks on our list. With only three ingredients, Blanco or Reposado tequila, pineapple juice, and lime juice, it is quite possibly the best one to consume under a large umbrella (with a tiny umbrella) on a hot summer day.

Make Trader Vic’s Matador:
2 oz Azuñia Blanco or Reposado Organic Tequila
3 oz Pineapple Juice
0.50 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake.
Strain into a rocks glass.
Garnish with fresh citrus slices

Just Add a Tequila Tiki Drink Maestro

Now you have all of the ingredients you need for an eternal summer celebration. Invite some friends over, batch a refreshing tequila tiki cocktail, then relax, sit back, tiki and chill.

And if you’re lucky enough to be joining us in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail 2108, hit up our poolside event with American Beverage Marketers – “We’re more than just Diablos & Sunrises: Tequila in a Tiki Oasis”. World famous bartender, Jason Asher, will be mixing up drinks and talking all things tiki at the Hotel Monteleone rooftop pool.

Jason, a Scottsdale, Arizona-native, began his career working in restaurants throughout high school and college. His trajectory from bartender to mixologist crossed California and Arizona. In 2010, Jason won the prestigious GQ Bombay Sapphire’s “Most Inspired Bartender” nationally. He has been featured in numerous national publications, including Esquire, Imbibe, Tasting Panel, Food & Wine, GQ, and Saveur. In April 2013, Jason was awarded “Top 100 Culinary Trendsetters” by the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. He is an owner of Barter & Shake Hospitality Group, which and manages Arizona cocktail bars, Counter Intuitive, Pobrecito, and Undertow.

More Details – For details, visit the Tales of the Cocktail Events page and for a schedule of all the events at TOTC, visit the Tales of the Cocktail Schedule page.

Pick Up a Bottle

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














Estate-Crafted Tequilas Win Big at SF World Spirits Competition

By | Blog

Azuñia Reposado Wins SFESC Awards

What a year it’s been! And it’s only the first week of May!

First, we announced a new partnership with Total Beverage Solution that expands distribution of our tequila to the East Coast. And now we struck DOUBLE GOLD at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC). Our premium estate-crafted organic Reposado led the SFWSC awards with  “Double Gold – World’s Best” designation. Azuñia Reposado is expertly made with USDA-certified organic, 100-percent Weber Blue Agave. It’s then rested for eight months in American Oak barrels. Presented to the few entries that receive Gold Medal ratings by each of the 48-member judging panel, Double Gold is the highest honor.

Silver medals winners include our organic Blanco, a pure, un-aged tequila that offers a clean floral nose with hints of agave and lemon. Also awarded Silver is our Añejo, aged eighteen months in scraped and fired American Oak barrels for hints of vanilla and caramel. Rounding out Silver winners was our Azuñia Black – a premium extra-aged, double-barreled special reserve Añejo for the tequila aficionado.

A Truly Noteworthy Win

Our offices are still buzzing from the news. Over 2,200 brands entered their spirits at the SFWSC awards. These entries represent the highest number of entries in the 18-year history of the competition. Over 45 experts in the industry, including acclaimed critics, mixologists, and restaurateurs blind-judged each expression individually.

“We are thrilled to be awarded Double Gold at the world’s most respected and acclaimed spirits competition,” said Joe Giansante, managing director. “The entire Azuñia team takes immense pride in not only providing a premium tequila to our customers – but also one that is sustainably farmed, organic, and true to the heritage and traditions of the Tequila Valley region where our agave grows today. It is especially gratifying to be able to honor our partners at Rancho Miravalle in Amatitán, Mexico, where so many work tirelessly and meticulously to farm the best agave and make the best tequila in the world.”

Azuñia Wins at SFWSC Awards

Pic: The Cocktail Portal

SFWSC Awards Aren’t the Only Awards We’ve Won

Our multi-award winning organic Reposado is exceptional for sipping or mixing in cocktails. Cultivated from 100-percent Weber Blue Agave, it is the essence of an honestly authentic tequila. The agave roasted thirty-six hours in traditional clay hornos, fermented naturally with wild-borne yeast. Our Reposado is twice distilled and rested for eight months in American Oak barrels. As with all Azuñia tequilas, no additives or chemicals are added to speed up the process. The light agave aroma, hints of butterscotch and wood, and slight vanilla finish make the organic Reposado stand out against its competition. Check out all of the medals our Reposado has earned over the years.

Azuñia Reposado Wins at SFWSC Awards

Pic: Element Shrub

Take Home the Winning Reposado

With so many cocktail options, our Reposado belongs on your home bar. Our partners at have a perfectly appointed tequila set for you or the tequila lover in your life. Included in the gift set is a 750 ml bottle of Double Gold Reposado, a bottle of our 100% Weber Blue Agave Syrup, and a branded lime squeezer. Order one today. We can’t wait to see what award-winning cocktails you create.




Azuñia Tequila Announces National Expansion with Total Beverage Solutions

By | Blog

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and Glendora, Calif. – April 16th, 2018 – Azuñia Tequila*, a premium, organic, estate-crafted tequila and exclusive U.S. export of Agaveros Unidos de Amatitán has formed an alliance with Total Beverage Solution (TBS) of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina to manage the fast-growing brand’s national expansion throughout the U.S. Market. Through the arrangement, Total Beverage Solution will add all Azuñia products to their current robust inventory of brands for sale and distribution throughout the Midwestern, Southern and East Coast Markets.

“With Azuñia experiencing record growth in the West, and with increasing demand for our pure, authentic premium products, partnering with Total Beverage Solution to maximize a truly national presence was the next logical step in our nine-year evolution,” said Joe Giansante, Managing Director of Azuñia. “By working with an established and capable, full-service supplier like Total Beverage Solution, led by high character, industry veterans who share our beliefs and values, we are truly excited about the platform for growth and working with TBS to solidify our brand’s position as the leader in sustainably farmed, organic, authentic tequila.”

Azuñia’s U.S. distribution began in California and has since grown quickly to other western states including Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado. In the last two years, Azuñia has moved into Texas, and Florida and other states on a limited basis through a partnership with Landry’s, Inc. The partnership with TBS will expand the top shelf tequila’s availability to New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington D.C., the Mid-Atlantic states the South, Illinois, and the Midwest.

“We are excited to bring Azuñia’s high-quality tequila to our customers. Azuñia’s authenticity is evident in the flavor of its products, and we’re eager to add an Estate grown, organic tequila to our portfolio.” explained Dave Pardus, CEO of Total Beverage Solution.

The tequila brand offers four styles: USDA-Certified Organic Blanco, USDA-Certified Organic Reposado, Añejo, and Azuñia Black, its 2-year Extra Aged, Special Reserve Añejo. Each style showcases the crest of its second-generation, family-owned-and-operated Rancho Miravalle estate, which has created exceptional tequila for over 20 years on every label.

Azuñia joins other outstanding spirits in TBS’ portfolio, including cocktail essentials Amaro Montenegro, Select Aperitivo, Limoncello di Capri and Ron Abuelo. Azuñia tequila will soon be available nationwide through Total Beverage Solution’s distributing partners. For samples or more information contact

About Azuñia Tequila

Azuñia is smooth, clean craft tequila with authentic flavor from the local terroir in every sip. It is the exclusive export of Agaveros Unidos de Amatitán and its second-generation, family-owned-and-operated Rancho Miravalle estate, which has created exceptional tequila for over 20 years. Made with 100% pure Weber Blue Agave grown in dedicated fields of the Jalisco Valley, we harvest by hand and roast the organic agave in traditional clay hornos to ensure authenticity and depth of flavor. We then finish with a natural, open-air fermentation process and bottle onsite in small batches using a consistent process to deliver field-to-bottle quality. For more info, please visit

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on the web at

About Total Beverage Solution:

Total Beverage Solution has earned a reputation for the company’s market expertise and proven sales results by creating value and demand for exceptional brands. Total Beverage Solution provides full-service front and back of house support dedicated to helping both foreign and domestic alcohol brands enter and navigate the US beverage market. For more visit:

*Please drink responsibly.

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The Perfect Pairing: Best Bar Snacks and Tequila

By | Blog

When it comes to bar snack pairings, we like beer and pretzels or peanuts. Popcorn, too! Those combos fill a grumbling stomach.  And on some afternoons nothing beats the click-whoosh-fizz sound of opening a beer to pour into an ice-cold pint glass…with a bowl of salty snacks sitting patiently in front of you, waiting to be crunched. Beer and salty snacks like pretzels, peanuts, or popcorn may be “the” classic best bar snacks combos, but we seek tequila-influenced noshes to fire up Friday night.

Best Bar Snacks: Countdown to Great Apps

Snacks make any hour better. But they really amp up the happy hour. Who doesn’t want an amped up happy hour? Not us! The best bar snacks have been ranked, categorized, and ranked again. We got through hundreds of said rankings and noticed one terrible trend. They all talk about the best bar snacks as they relate to beer. While beer is beautiful (and wine is fine), tequila is terrific. We have no choice but to create our own tequila-tinted best bar snacks countdown.

5. Flaming Hot Cheese (Part I)

Yeah, we said it. Flaming hot cheese. Again. If you can’t tell by now, we love cheese. That’s why it takes up a couple of spots on our best bar snacks list. Spoiler alert: cheese is what makes our number 1 best bar snack so downright delicious, too. And given our love of queso, it’s too predictable that number 2 on our best bar snacks list would also be cheese.

The Queso Flameado from is no ordinary cheese dip. It’s muy caliente! Because it’s lit on fire! Being that the dip is made with tequila, you almost don’t need to have a tequila cocktail with it. But, if you were to imbibe, we’d suggest a simple, yet perfect, pour of Azuñia Reposado organic tequila. Why complicate such an elemental taste sensation?

Agave Maize

4. Pop To It

Next to pretzels, popcorn wins as the most classic bar snack. Your favorite bar is always popping up (or serving days old) popcorn. 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 snack combined in one that will pop up any hour, especially the happiest one.

3. Fish Dip

When you want to lighten up your happy hour, one of the best bar snacks is ceviche. Chopped whitefish, shrimp, plum tomato, diced onion, and chile peppers marinated in a lime juice make this a snack worth dipping. Food science is cool, and the science behind ceviche is no exception. 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 snacks – the tequila edition.

Best Bar Snacks - Cheese Dip

4. Flaming Hot Cheese (Part II)

Crusted crunchy-coated jalapeños bursting with molten lava cheese. What’s not to love about the number 5 best bar snacks? Except for the 3rd-degree burns suffered when the cream cheese inevitably squirts out the bottom. Leave it to us to find a solution to craving jalapeño poppers with our cocktails: Jalapeño Popper DIP. Come on now. A creamy cheesy dip with roasted peppers is everything we love about jalapeño poppers, without the burns.

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. Nacho Pile Up

Get in our bellies. NOW. Nachos are hands down the best bar snack ever. And no, we aren’t exaggerating. Crunchy chips. Gooey cheese. Fresh tomatoes. Spicy jalapeños. Cool crema. Loaded with guac. The best part of this best bar snack is that the layers of flavor ideal for sharing. Whether it’s a dynamic duo or a standing room only crowd, nachos please even the pickiest partygoer.

And while we’re talking about parties, check out this ridiculously awesome nacho pile innovated by none other than Guy Fieri. He created a nacho pile so big that it’s made in a trash can! To cool your taste buds alongside the “nacho average” best bar snacks, try the simple Organic Skinny Margarita. Because “balance”, of course.

Had Enough of the Best Bar Snacks?

Are you full yet? Without a doubt, we are. Nachos, cheese, more cheese, popcorn, and ceviche don’t make the healthiest of meals. Although we never suggested you eat them all in one sitting. That would be irresponsible. 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. Scoot on over and check out 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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