Rain clouds disappeared for the 3rd annual Tacos “N Tequila Fiesta, where Greenville bartenders and chefs exemplify, just how good this Mexican food pairing can be.
Tacos originated in the Mexican silver mines of the 18th century. “Taco” refers to the small pieces of paper, wrapped around gunpowder, and used as an explosive device, within the mining cave. Which is very similar to meat being placed in a dough tortilla and dribbled with hot sauce.
First produced in the 16th century, tequila is made from the blue agave plant, primarily found in the city of Tequila, Mexico.
Tequila is a type of mezcal (a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave plant). However, in order to be labeled as tequila, it must exclusively use blue agave plants rather than any other type of agave.
At Tacos ‘N Tequilia, over 24 local mixologist poured their tequila creations and were judged by attendees, as well as a set of drink connoisseurs (Keaton Wiley, Sam Slaughter, Luigi Bravo and Morgan Allen).
Each concoction contained some type of Lunazul 100% Agava Tequila. Which could be:
Attendees voted online. Almost all the entries had some sort of “spicy” element to the drink.
Although they did not win the competition, my vote went to Taco La Barra and Rachel Miller’s “Lose Your Rind Lunazul – a tasty combination of Lunazul Blanco tequila, watermelon juice, jalapeno puree, lime juice, agave and a jalapeno slice for garnish.
Yes, it sounds like it would be a hot flaming torch on your tongue, but it was not at all! It had a slight kick on the back of the throat, but it was very smooth and tasty.
My husband’s favorite was Madelaine Hoptry of El Thrifty; a blend of Lunazul Reposado tequila, passion fruit, hibiscus, lime, agave, mint and Habanero. “This drink taste like you are on a beach in Mexico,” he said.
Rachel, getting ready to mix up some cocktails for Taco La Barra.
Chef’s Best Taco Challenge
At least 17 different Greenville restaurant chefs tested their creative culinary skills for the best taco bragging rights. Many chefs used “out of the box” ingredients for their samples, including – octopus, duck leg confit, lamb, and beef tongue.
Willy Taco’s blackened salmon, arugula, avocado crema, with a charred cherry tomato salsa was impressive because of the large portion of salmon on each sample, but it tasted so light and refreshing.
The Bohemian Cafe prepared a pulled pork, mango slaw, roasted garlic herb sauce and queso fresco, which was fresh and delightfully mild.
However, it was Taco La Barra’s “blazing brisket” taco, Tony Aponte, that had us going back for seconds. A scrumptious balance of heat with a sweet barbecue sauce and tangy slaw.
Greenville Foodie Fiesta
Many enjoyed the 2019 Taco ‘N Tequila festival, over 1,200 people in attendance. Surprisingly, a significant portion of the attendees were middle-aged or older (closer to my age group) – LOL.
All were entertained by the Lucha Libre! Lucha libre is the term used in Mexico for professional wrestling. It was hilarious. The wrestlers seemed to enjoy the sporadic heckling by the crowd.
Looking for more delicious cocktails in Greenville?
Read my post: Cocktail Crawl in Greenville
High Spirits Events created a festive environment with plenty of food, drinks and lively entertainment. Bringing together some of Greenville’s best chefs and mixologist to create some delicious tacos and Lunazul cocktails.
Golden Sombrero Award Winners included:
Best Overall Lunazul Tequila Cocktail: Tacos & Mas, Hector Batista (Lunazul, tamarind, sour mix, black lava, with a salted rim)
People’s Choice Lunazul Tequila Cocktail: On The Roxx, Jeremy Krauze (Lunazul, carrot juice, apple juice, lemon juice, fresh ginger, turmeric & cayenne, honey & agave) – this one set me on fire!
Most Creative Lunazul Tequila Cocktail: Nose Dive (Pineapple Habanero infused Lunazul Blanco, passion fruit, ancho reyes verde, lime juice, pineapple juice, agave)
People’s Choice Taco: Chuy’s Tex Mex, Amanda Nubson (Pork with pineapple, green chile marinade)
Most Creative Taco: Restaurant 17, Haydn Shaak (Octopus, chorizo chipotle crema, brussels sprouts slaw, smoked cancha)
If you missed the 3rd annual Tacos ‘N Tequila event, make sure to be on the lookout for Tacos ‘N Tequila 2020! Tickets sell out quickly!
Ticket purchase includes drink tokens, unlimited tacos, live entertainment and games. This year’s event donated $1 for every ticket sold to the Greenville Technical College’s Culinary Program.