I think I’ve finally reached a point where I’m getting drunk in a José Andrés restaurant at least once a week. I’m not upset about it. I’m not even starting to feel bored. I’m mostly just worried about my health. It can’t be good for me to be stumbling down 7th Street as often as I am. One of these days, the collective hangover is going to kill me and you all will be forced to send me out with a viking funeral on the Potomac. Fortunately, today is not that day.
There’s always a good reason to spend some time with ThinkFoodGroup. Sometimes it’s because they’ve decided to feed me nothing but truffles and sometimes it’s because they’ve decided to feed me nothing but dessert, but last night, it was because they wanted to feed me nothing but tequila and mezcal. From February 27 to March 12, Oyamel is celebrating it’s annual Tequila & Mezcal festival, which aims to highlight specialty liquors and brands you might not be able to find and enjoy otherwise. Between the paired dinners and the complimentary tastings, it’s a great stop regardless of your budget or prior knowledge.
I love mezcal, but I know little to nothing about it. I kind of hate tequila, but that’s mainly because I also know nothing about it. The Tequila & Mezcal festival didn’t make me an expert, I still know next to nothing about anything (thanks to the help of too many salt air margaritas), but it did open my eyes to brands that I legitimately enjoy. On the mezcal side, I widely enjoyed Wahaka’s offerings. From their sweet and delicate Joven Espadín to their tobacco edged Reposado con Gusano, I was impressed from top to bottom.
It’s harder for me to enjoy tequila outside of a well mixed drink. I like margaritas as much as the next living and breathing human (you have no idea how many times I have gotten drunk and ranted to my boyfriend about how dumb margarita mix and ‘skinny’ margaritas are… It’s happened a lot…), but I just can’t get hyped for the tequila itself. Like many of my peers, I’ve had too many regrettable tequila related experiences. The only time I’ve enjoyed the spirit was when a friend let me try some chilled Herradura and sure, it was great, but it only reinforced that unlike gin, whisky or vodka, there is no such thing as good middle of the road tequila. It’s all trash until you start shelling out the big money. And Oyamel didn’t prove me wrong. These are all nice brands with nice prices to go along with them, but the festival did serve as a good reminder that under the right circumstances, tequila can taste good. And I guess that is as noble a goal as any.
Look, it’s Oyamel. The food is great. The cocktails are great. It’s the best place to throw a party in D.C. You’re not going to have a bad time here no matter how you feel about tequila or mezcal, but if you’re looking to expand your palate and learn a little something at the same time, I’d get there sooner rather than later.