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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | Last updated: 9:27pm

Kick off Cinco de Drink-o with tequila



Cinco de Mayo, also known as Cinco de Drink-o, is a weekend dedicated to tequila and celebration. The Sixth Annual Agave Fest, hosted by Hotel Congress on Friday at 7 p.m., promises to help partiers start the weekend off right.

The event, sponsored by Milagro Tequila, will offer tastings of more than 50 Agave distillations as well as music, tasty tacos, salsa and a cocktail competition featuring the top mixologists from Tucson.

“This is a celebration of all beautiful things Agave,” said David Torkko, beverage director at Hotel Congress.

Four major spirits are distilled from the Agave family: Mescal, better known as “the father of Agave,” Tequila (the most popular), Sotol and Bacanora. Variations of each of these four distillations will be featured in the grand tasting.

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By Cecilia Alvarez / The Daily Wildcat
Hotel Congress is hosting the Sixth Annual Agave Fest this weekend. With the purchase of a ticket, patrons can sample up to 12 of the 50 different kinds of tequila offered.

Each ticket will get you 12 tastes of choice from the 50 different offerings, but the Agave tasting doesn’t stop there.

The night will also feature a competition between the top eight bartenders in Tucson. The contestants will include last year’s returning champion, John Herrera, 2012’s winner, Alli Baron, and other talented mixologists from bars and restaurants such as 47 Scott, Casino Del Sol and Penca.

Every guest will have the opportunity to taste each of the competitors’ cocktails, then vote on who will receive the $500 grand prize. The only rule: every cocktail must be concocted using Milagro Tequila as the base ingredient.

“I usually think margarita when I think tequila, so I’m interested in what different cocktails will be made,” said Garrett Doughty, an agribusiness, economics and management junior.

Last year’s winning cocktail, which combined savory flavors with cinnamon elements and sweet undertones, suggests there will be no limit as to what may be produced in this year’s competition.
In addition to great cocktail tastings, the evening will be feature an El Tambo music and dance after-party, a taco and salsa bar and a Milagro souvenir shot glass for each guest.

“It’s a great value for what you pay,” said Logan Wreschner, a business management junior. “Just imagine all of the tequila.”
Tickets are on sale now for $40. The event has sold out every year so far at 400 people.

“For those looking to start the weekend right,” Torkko said, “the Agave Fest is a great time, guaranteed.”

@KiaGardner


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