Tequila Time: Sandia Resort, Chamucos pairing dinner

For the first time in New Mexico, Tequila Chamucos will be highlighted as part of a pairing dinner.

Chamucos owner and master distiller Mark Howard has teamed up with Bien Shur Rooftop Restaurant at Sandia Resort & Casino for this dinner on May 4. Howard will attend the event and bring a special tasting gift for guests that no one else in the country will get to experience for the next couple years.

“Chamucos is grown and cultivated in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico, using organic farming practices since 1995,” according to its importer Palm Bay International’s website. “It is the true expression of tequila. Its amazing purity, aroma and flavor is the result of careful small batch production.”

Bien Shur has received great interest in this event, which is expected to sell out.

“The food, the drinks, the environment and the incredible service all adds to the experience that no one is going to have because this is the first time in New Mexico with Chamucos, the first time with these cocktails, and the service is flawless at these dinners,” Bien Shur manager Bill Howley said.

Mixologist Victor Acoya will be creating one-of-a-kind cocktails using Chamucos Blanco, Chamucos Reposado and Chamucos Añejo. Acoya said he wanted to use traditional flavors of Mexico in his cocktails, including horchata in his Piña and hibiscus in his Hibiscus Fresca.

“I like using hibiscus. It’s just a great natural flower that brings out so much flavor, adding a little bit of ginger to the infused (Chamucos) Blanco, just brings it out with the pairing of the fresh lemon- and mint-infused ice spheres,” Acoya said of his Hibiscus Fresca. “I think it’s going to make a great balance to the cocktail.”

The Hibiscus Fresca is part of the intro and accompanies a seared diver scallop.

“The diver scallop is going to be a lot of fun, because we’re going to do marinated avocado and papaya salad with this amazing Chamucos citrus foam where we’re actually going to use the Chamucos hot sauce where they age it in reposado barrels,” Bien Shur head chef J. Martin Torrez said.

Torrez wanted to go lighter on the second course and went with a yellow wax bean and pea shoot salad. It will be “nice and light” with Acoya’s Paloma cocktail made with Chamucos Blanco, fresh grapefuit, fresh lime juice and honey. The main plate will follow and be paired with Acoya’s Cham Thyme, which features Chamucos Reposado, blueberry syrup and an infused lime ice sphere.

“I wanted to go a little bit gamey because when I think of Chamucos Reposado and blueberries, I think about heavier flavors so that’s why I wanted to do flavors from that drink that go with the duo of lamb,” Torrez explained. “We have a lamb chop with a thyme demi-glace and a lamb loin with a blueberry balsamic caviar and some starch action with some local Tucumcari and Hatch green chile tater tots.”

The dinner will end on a sweet note of mango panna cotta paired with Acoya’s Piña featuring Chamucos Añejo.

“I am excited about the Piña,” Acoya said.”It is actually a grilled infused pineapple with brown sugar tequila. I let it sit there and create these amazing flavors, from the sugar to the sweetness of the pineapple and the cinnamon added for a little bit of spice. And (I’m adding) some horchata, one of Mexico’s favorite (aguas) frescas made with rice water, which is amazing.”

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