Maestro Miguel Cedeño Cruz holding a glass of tequila
There is certainly a mild, if not extremely negative connotation with the word “class.” First, images of rows and rows of desks and memories of sitting in those desks with unfinished math homework in trembling hand flash through the brain. Then, so very foreign to the typical American tequila drinker, come images of the other kind of class: butlers, scotch on the rocks and pocket hankies.
Alas, there is another kind of class that may be a little more applicable to the easy-going Denverite. Filled with interesting facts about the history of the drink, its intertwined fate with the country of Mexico, and the proper way to judge and drink the spirit; welcome, the Maestro Tequilero tequila tasting class.
The event featured a thorough teaching on everything from the role of tequila in ancient Mexican cultures to how to properly gauge a sniff, sip and full blown shot given by none other than Maestro Miguel Cedeño Cruz, a master in the surprisingly convex world of tequila.
The hour long session was brought to Tambien Mexican restaurant and cantina by the Consulado General de México (Consulate General of Mexico) to educate the public about the prettier side of tequila not seen in your general bar or club. As the Maestro puts it, "most people's first experience with tequila was not a pretty one." Probabaly a safe bet Maestro.
However, by the time the class was over, students were able to identify (or at least have an awareness of) the different subtleties of say, pear or oak, in a given glass of tequila, and what region it may have come from. The Maestro also went over the various species of the agave plant and the differences between the products, both within the immediate tequila family and it's close cousins, such as the sotol or mezcal drinks.
The consulate doesn’t have a consistent set of classes, but it is fairly common for them to bring a Maestro in from Mexico to teach the class several times a year at various locations around Denver. Keep tabs on their website to ensure you don't miss the next one.
For more info: Tambien, 250 Steele St., 303-333-1763
See more on the tasting from the Denver Drinks Examiner