Agave Love Wrap Up

Agave Love, the largest tequila and mezcal conference in the Southern Hemisphere was held in Sydney last week.

Agave Love
Agave Central 

Organised by agave spirit legend, Phil Bayly of the late Cafe Pacifico, the two-day event consisted of tastings, talks and masterclasses as well as parties which were held across six neighbouring bars in Darlinghurst, Shady Pines Saloon, The Cliff Dive, Hello Sailor, Low 302, Casoni, The Winery and Mr Moustache in Bondi.

Below is a wrap up of the events that Gourmantic attended.

Agave Central

Agave Central in the Old Cell Block building at the National Art School of Sydney was the central hub for all 25 exhibitors displaying their various brands and spirits for tasting. Agave Central was also the location for the official opening with dignitaries from Mexico in attendance.

Agave Love
Phil Bayly

Top agave spirits that we tasted included Montelobos Mezcal Joven, L&J Tequila Blanco, Wahaka Madre-Cuishe, Tequila Corralejo Blanco, Mezcal Enmascarado 45 & 54 % ABV, Tequila Excellia Reposado and Tequila ArteNOM Seleccion 1580 Blanco, the range of Raicilla La Venenosa, Mezcal Zaguii and Mezcal der Rumbes.

Agave Love
Agave Love Official Opening

The afternoon session ran concurrently with talks and masterclasses which required fast hopping to venues and back to Agave Central in between.

So many agave spirits, so little time…

Agave Love Masterclasses, Tasting Sessions & Talks

Over the course of two consecutive days, 6 to 7 sessions ran concurrently across the seven venues. Below is a snapshot of some of the masterclasses and sessions Gourmantic attended.

Cooking with Mezcal

Andrea Rodrigues from Cooking Mexico food blog hosted a Talk & Taste session at Hello Sailor on cooking with mezcal, explaining various uses of the agave plant such as for housing material, agricultural tool, boundary delimitation and food such as barbacoa.

Agave Love
Andrea Rodrigues 

Maguey Pork Belly, the dish that was presented had been marinated in mezcal, agave syrup, sage and rosemary.

Tequila Mixology with Phil Ward

Agave Love
Phil Ward

Philip Ward of Tequila/Mezcal cocktail bar Mayahuel in New York City presented a mixology session at The Winery demonstrating the versatility of the spirit and its various styles. Consistency, balance and template are his key points to making good drinks. Several cocktails were on taste including Spicy Paloma.

Margarita? Yes please!

Agave Love
L-R: Julio Bermejo & Tomas Estes

Starting Day 2 with 6 different margaritas presented by Julio Bermejo (creator of Tommy’s Margarita) and Tomas Estes (Cafe Pacifico) may sound like a dream that came true to those who attended this tasting session. Various styles of Margaritas were presented, classic and Tommy’s, made with various spirits including Ocho Blanco, L&J Tequila, Herradura Reposado, Don Julio Reposado, Excellia Anejo and Milagro Anejo.

White Spirits of Mexico

Agave Love
L-R: David Suro, Tomas Estes, Houston Eaves, Esteban Morales Garbi

The White Spirits of Mexico session was led by Tomas Estes, David Suro, Esteban Morales Garbi and Houston Eaves and included comparison and tasting of different white agave spirits: Corralejo Blanco, Cabeza Tequila, Jose Cuervo Platino, Tapatio Blanco, Herradura Platino, Mezcal Durango, Nuestra Soledad Mezcal and Raicilla.

Mixology with a Twist

Agave Love
Naren Young and Julio Bermejo

Naren Young and Julio Bermejo hosted Mixology with a Twist class. Naren Young prepared a range of cocktails such as La Perla (Reposado Tequila, Manzanilla & Pear Liqueur), Red Pepper Daisy (Tequila, Lemon, Bell Pepper Juice, Chilli Tincture, Soda and Mezcal Mist) and Spiced Pear Collins.

Extra Anejo and Aging

Agave Love
L-R: Jesus Hernandez, Naren Young, Julio Bermejo, Sergio Mendoza, Jaime Orendain, Tomas Estes, Guillermo Erickson Sauza 

It was standing room only at the Extra Anejo and Aging session with Naren Young as moderator and Jesus Hernandez, Julio Bermejo, Sergio Mendoza, Jaime Orendain, Tomas Estes, Guillermo Erickson Sauza presenting viewpoints on aging tequila. On taste was a stellar line up of Don Fulano Imperial, Sierra Milenario Extra Anejo, Arette Gran Clase, Herradura Suprema and Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia.

Agave Love After-Parties

Agave Love
Lucha Libre

Two after parties were held on consecutive nights at The Cliff Dive in Darlinghurst. The first was a Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling match, followed the next day by the Agave Love Wrap Party.

Agave Love
Los Luchadores

Agave Love was held on Sunday 22nd and Monday 23rd March 2015.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.

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