Hotel Congress Kicks Off Cinco de Mayo Weekend with Their 6th Annual Agave Fest

April 29, 2014

"I don't celebrate Cinco de Mayo too often, but when I do, I go to Hotel Congress' Agave Fest and make this face."

“I don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo too often, but when I do, I go to Hotel Congress’ annual Agave Fest and make this face.”

by James J. Jefferies

Tucson has a long and tremendously eventful history, indelibly linked with the bi-national destiny of this region and the cultural wealth that affords us as Americans and Sonorans. As such, Cinco de Mayo is a really big deal here. When talking about the history of the holiday, though, you gotta get it right: Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of an unlikely Mexican army victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, not, as is popularly misconstrued, Mexico’s Independence Day (actually September 16th). Don’t give yourself away as a Cinco de Newbie by uttering that.

Of course, even in a colorful outpost such as the Old Pueblo, you’d be hard pressed to find a more representative landmark of our storied city than the venerable Downtown institution that is the Hotel Congress. Leave it to their crack entertainment and event staff to create a terrific, engaging, and delicious way to usher in the Cinco de Mayo weekend with their 6th Annual Agave Fest! The festivities go down this Friday, May 2nd at 7pm on the spacious outdoor Hotel Congress plaza. This event is co-hosted by Milagro Tequila.

Dishing up all manner of fantastic agave-based libations, this year's event promises to be a spirited affair.

Dishing up all manner of fantastic agave-based libations, this year’s event promises to be a spirited affair.

The event is a hybrid of sorts, the first component of which is a fierce competition among some of Tucson’s best bartenders, to make the best possible cocktail using Milagro Tequila. The big catch: the cocktail cannot be a margarita!

Participating contestants include last year’s victor Jon Herrera (Tavolino), Ryan Sunderman (47 Scott), Allie Baron (La Cocina), Matt Talevra (USBG), David Clark (USBG), Aaron DeFeo (Casino del Sol), and the Hotel Congress’ own Cameron Fisher. The event will be officiated by Matt Russell, who hosts ‘On The Menu Live’ on KNST.

Your $40 admission to this event includes 12 tasting tickets, allowing you to sample an impressive array of more than 50 Agave tequilas, mezcals, sotols, and bacanoras concocted by Tucson’s finest, along with two Cup Cafe Agave Fest tacos, accompanied by a bottomless salsa bar, and tons of promotional schwag that will be given out by a variety of favorite tequila brands. Attendees will be casting their ballot to determine who has created the best cocktail of all, marking the rare occasion where the Hotel Congress is actively soliciting your snookered opinion!

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. That is a scorpion in that shot. Are we grasping the spirit of this rugged outing yet?

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. That is a scorpion in that shot. Are we grasping the spirit of this fiesta yet?

If all that wasn’t enough, in addition, there will be a free Agave Seminar at 5pm, well before the tastings begin. To participate in the seminar, register for it at the same link where you’ll purchase general admission. And after the competition winner is declared, DJ Dirty Verbs will be spinning some smokin’ cumbia and dub dance mixes at the El Tambo After Party, taking place right on the plaza. There is also a special hotel package available, which includes a night’s lodging at Hotel Congress along with two tickets for Agave Fest, and a hangover kit.

For more information on this fantastic fiesta, check out the Hotel Congress website here.

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