This March marks the seventh anniversary of James Beard Award-winning Chef José Andrés, and partner Rob Wilder’s Tequila and Mezcal Festival at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, an award winning authentic Mexican restaurant. And we gotta say that they’re celebrating the heritage of these unique Mexican spirits in festive style. Throughout the two week celebration guests can expect a festival kickoff party, complimentary tastings, a dinner pairing series, new cocktails, and special dishes.
Menu specials include Ostiones con Salsa Piquín (oysters on the half shell, topped with salsa piquín, onion and cilantro), Ceviche Estilo Culiacán (marinated bass with Serrano, lime, onion, cilantro, tomatillos and house-made hot sauce), Ceviche de Chamoy (sliced Hawaiian Ono dusted with chile piquín, with mango and chile mulatos, chamoy, peanuts, cucumber, onion, lime and cilantro), Encurtidos (a variety of pickled winter vegetables with tomatillo, queso cotija and chile piquín), Cueritos (pork skin and chicharrons dressed with lettuce, lime, cilantro and salsa Cascabel), Veal Breast Birria (braised veal breast with refried Rebosero beans, salsa guajillo, lettuce and radish), and Jalapeño Escabeche Relleno con Carne Seca (pickled jalapeños stuffed with dried beef and topped with chopped tomatillos) all highlighting the flavors of Oaxaca and Jalisco, Mexico created by Head Chef Colin King.
March 10 welcomes the beginning of the festival with the Oyamel Tequila and Mezcal Kickoff Party. The entire restaurant from 6pm to 9pm will feature live Latin music by Montuno to set the vibe, and food stations all paying tribute to Mexico’s street food culture. Attendees will have opportunities to enjoy guacamole with comal-fired tortillas, whole baby pig cochinita tacos, street-style ceviches, goat leg barbacoa, esquites and comal-fried quesadillas.
However a Tequila and Mezcal Festival is nothing without its libations. The festival will also feature the signature Oyamel Margarita, and specialty cocktails including the Miramar (Herradura silver, Yellow Chartreuse, lime, pineapple and a salt water mist), Naranja dulce limón partido (Tequila reposado, maraschino liqueur, chamomile, roasted lemon, orange blossom honey), El jarocho (Añejo tequila, housemade ancho chile liquor, Cocchi Americano Rosa), Rosa de Oaxaca (Mezcal, hibiscus, raspberry, lemon and a mist of tuberose), and the Agave en leña (Mezcal, Benedictine, agave syrup, housemade Oyabitters served with a cedar plank smoked ice sphere). Tequila and Mezcal tastings will be available during the kickoff and will include Del Maguey Mezcal with founder Ron Cooper, Siembra Zul Tequila with founder David Suro, and Maestro Dobel Diamone Tequila, Pierde de Almas Mezcal and Tequila Ocho. Tickets for the Tequila and Mezcal Kickoff Party can be purchased for $60 and are all inclusive.
For those who couldn’t make it to Oyamel’s kickoff party, or those who just prefer to keep on celebrating (because, why not?), Chef José Andrés, and partner Rob Wilder have several more days of special celebratory offerings. From March 11-13 and March 17-20, Oyamel is offering complimentary Tequila and Mezcal tasting in their butterfly bar. Each brand will have their own representative to share their knowledge and answer any questions guests may have. Tastings will be held on these dates from 4pm to 6pm.
We’re most excited for the hosted dinners with featured guests to be held post-tastings beginning at 8:30pm. Guests can purchase dinner tickets for $90 (tax and gratuity not included). On Tuesday, March 11 Ron Cooper (Del Maguey Mezcal) and David Suro (Siembra Zul Tequila) will host a tasting and intimate dinner that will focus on Tequileros and Mezcaleros: their traditions, history, struggles, and future outlook. March 12th’s tasting and dinner will be hosted by David Ravandi (Tequila 123), and March 20 guests can expect a tasting with Arik Torrn (Fidencio Mezcal) and a dinner to follow featuring La Venenosa Raicila. Purchase dinner tickets by calling (202) 628-1005.
Whether you go for the kickoff party, the complimentary tastings, or the dinners, the Oyamel Tequila & Mezcal festival should make it to your list of things to do this March. Great food, equally awesome drinks, and a chance to learn a little more about Mexico’s Tequila and Mezcal. Sounds like a great time to us!
401 7th Street, NW,
20001 Washington, DC
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