Tequila Fest

Love tequila? Then you will want to attend the fourth annual Phoenix Tequila Fest from 1 to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16, at US Airways Center in downtown.

At the festival, there will be tastings and samplings of some of the world’s finest tequilas. Tequila experts and mixologists will showcase trends in tequila that show how tequila can be used for much more than standard margaritas.

At a pre-show event, I sampled a smoked and roasted beet tequila drink. It sounded scary, but it tasted really good. I even tried a tequila-flavored cream that would be fabulous dolloped over a piece of pie.

If you have only tried standard tequilas, you will be astonished at how good tequilas can be. Personally, I always found tequila to be harsh. However, at the pre-show, Cruz Tequila, a local company, discussed various types of tequilas, including reposados, añejos and blancos. Just as with wine, tequila can be aged in barrels to enhance the flavor. Made with blue agave grown in Mexico, these high-end versions are considered “sipping tequilas.”

Some of the Valley’s favorite Mexican restaurants will be there with samples of dishes such as carne asada, shrimp ceviche, taquitos, chimichangas and salsa. Food and tequila tastings are included with your ticket price.

There will also be live entertainment throughout the event.

If you are concerned about driving, know that Metro Light Rail will offer a Tequila Express. With your Tequila Fest ticket, you’ll get free light rail transportation four hours before the event through the end of the transit day.

Tickets, $48, are available at the gate and online at PhoenixTequilaFest.com.

• Judy A. Toth is the owner of Simply Impressive Cooking School. Reach her at (480) 654-1981 or SimplyImpressive.com.

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