Tequila in the United States has come a LONG way from the days when it was a rough, cheap spirit that gave you wicked hangovers. Today, there are some spectacular brands out there that are truly world class spirits that are are as good to sip as they are to mix into a cocktail. I've been blessed to have assembled a collection of bottles from press samples that now includes almost a dozen tequilas. Partida though is one of the few that I truly enjoy to share with friends as it is equally good to sip slowly as it is in a margarita.
To learn more about this amazing spirit, we had a chance to chat with Partida's bartender ambassador Jacques Bezuidenhout.
As Partida's bartender ambassador, what do you do and how did you start?
I am the Brand Ambassador for Partida. I educate on Tequila and Partida. I work with bartenders on cocktails and help with understanding Tequila and Tequila cocktails. Then somewhere along the line I enjoy a little Partida Tequila! I got started at Partida when I worked at Tres Agaves in 2005. I met the owner Gary Shansby and really loved what he was creating so I joined the team.
With Cinco De Mayo coming up, a ton of non-tequila drinkers will be trying tequila. What do they need to know about this spirit?
They need to know that Tequila is one of the great spirits of the world. It has a very special sense of place. It has lots of history and tradition. They need to know that when a distiller makes great Tequila (like Partida), that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But at the end of the day, Tequila makes you happy and touches your soul so enjoy it with special people.
How do you prefer your tequila? - sipping, shooting, margarita or a signature cocktail?
I like it all depending on my mood. I don't really "shoot" Tequila. I like to sip on it as well as enjoy it in cocktails and a very fresh margarita.
When and where did the Margarita first appear?
There is still no hard evidence as to one place or specific time that it was created. There are plenty of stories out there and none have been proven, but we started seeing it in the 1930's. However the margarita was probably created before then, and then popularized.
What's your favorite Margarita recipe?
I love the Partida Margarita, which came from the famous Tommy's Margarita which was created at Tommy's Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco. It is a margarita that uses fresh squeezed lime juice, agave nectar and a high quality 100% agave Tequila like Partida.
You get to travel quite a bit, what's your pick for an ultimate guys weekend and what would you and your buddies be doing?
It would be Puerta Vallarta. We would get a nice house on the ocean with a pool and just relax and drink Tequila and cold beer with great food and stories.
Best City to Drink Tequila?
San Francisco and New York. London is also a lot of fun for drinking Tequila too.
Why Partida? What makes it special?
Partida has a sense of place to me, from the town of Tequila and the Amatitan Valley - you can taste it. I love Partida because the team that makes it and our Master Distiller Jose Valdez works really hard to make a great Tequila day in and day out. They don't cut any corners and do things the slow and difficult way and ultimately it shows as a great Tequila.