Margarita Tasting Events: Actionable Tips to Maximize Your Experience

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What’s not to like about margaritas? This tasty beverage, which dates back to the 14th century in Jalisco, Mexico, combines tequila, elements of sweet, sour, and sometimes salt, with a citrusy foundation. At its simplest, a margarita is tequila, fresh lime juice, and an orange liquor to add depth and a bit of sweetness. 

Or, with the addition of fruit, or blended with ice for a frozen treat, the margarita can go from simple to umbrella-drink fancy. 

With many margarita events to choose from, it’s easy to taste what’s new in the tequila and margarita world.

But with so many events, and so many renditions at each event to choose from, how do you maximize your time and enjoyment?

As fellow margarita fans, we’re here to help.

How to Rock Your Margarita Event

It’s easy to have fun at a margarita-tasting event, right? Simply take your tasting glass from booth to booth and taste everything offered. 

Not so fast. By taking a little time to prepare, you may enjoy your marg-centric experience even more.

A Few Days Before

  • Make a List of the Margaritas or Tequilas You Want to Try
Most margarita events have several tequila (and perhaps its cousin mezcal) producers who will be pouring. And each likely will be pouring more than one spirit and margarita. That’s a whole lotta marg. 

As adept as we know you are at sampling, it’s possible you’ll run out of time (or ability) to sample all the options at all the booths. 

🍹 Take life with a grain of salt… a slice of lime, and tickets to your favorite festival.

So to really enjoy the flavors, check out the event website and take a look at the vendors who will attending. Jot down your A-List (must try) and B-List (want to try) margaritas, and bring the list to the event.

This will help narrow down the field and help you target those you most want to taste while the day is still young.

  • Stay Curious, Open-Minded, and Adventurous

As you look through the vendor list, and during the actual event, keep a sense of curiosity. One of the best things about these events is the range of spirits and margarita versions available to taste. Take advantage of this broad selection and try a few tequila companies you either haven’t heard of or a style you may not be familiar with.

Along with curiosity, try to leave your expectations or preconceptions at the entrance. Just like with craft beer and small-production wineries, the joy of quality tequila is the unique expression each producer brings to the product.

A Quick Tequila Primer

Because tequila can only be made in certain regions of Mexico, the basic product is similar. Tequilarias harvest and roast the pina of the Blue Agave plant, extract and distill the juice, and bottle it.

Beyond this basic foundation, tequilas vary widely in quality (the best are made with 100% Blue Agave; lower-quality tequilas are blends, and sometimes have caramel color added to mimic the aging process that adds deep color and flavor to the finished spirit.

Regarding the aging, there are three main classification of tequila.

  • Blanco
  • Reposado
  • Añejo

The longer a tequila is aged before bottling, the smoother, deeper, and more complex it becomes.

  • Designate Your Driver or Reserve your Uber or Lyft

As you get your friends together to attend the event, designate your driver(s) ahead of time. And lavish them with gifts for the sacrifice they will make to get everyone home safely.

If you’re going to hire someone to drive, reserve a couple days ahead to be sure your ride is locked in.

Photo Attribution Margaritas Y Más Festival

The Day Before

  • Hydrate

A day before the event, start hydrating by drinking lots of water—8 oz. every hour. This will help you get hydrated before the event, which will help with both metabolizing spirits and dealing with the effects of a possibly hot day at an outdoor event or a room packed with fellow margarita lovers.

  • Weather

If the event is held outdoors, check the weather the day before and prepare either for unlikely rain showers or the more likely bright sun and warm temperatures.

Bring what the weather calls for: rain jacket or umbrella for a sprinkly day, or a hat, sunscreen (tip: apply to the tops of your feet and backs of your legs), sunglasses, and a large water bottle for a typical sunny day. And drink from your water bottle often.

Event Day

Finally! The margarita event you’ve been waiting for is here! And you can barely contain yourself. But be patient. The doors will open in just a few hours.

In the meantime…

  • Eat

Depending on when the event begins, eat a substantial breakfast or lunch, or both, before you arrive. Include protein, good fats (like olive oil or avocado), and some complex carbohydrates. This will help you maintain level blood sugar and better metabolize the margaritas and spirits you’ll be sampling.

"Sublime is something you choke on after a shot of tequila."
M. Danielewski

  • Keep Hydrating

Drink more water in the hours leading up to the opening. Especially if the weather will be hot, coming to the event hydrated will go a long way in helping you enjoy it.

During the Event

After you get your age-verified wristband and tasting glass, the fun begins. Here are few tips to have a blast for the next three or so hours.

  • Pace Yourself

Remember the A-List you created a few days ago? As you enter the event and survey the rows of producer booths, take a few minutes to review your list and see who’s located where. It’s really tempting to jump right in and start tasting at the first booth, but your patience will pay off by rewarding you with the margaritas you came to taste early in the day.

If there’s time and capacity after your A-List and B-List are checked off, you can always sample others.

  • Take Breaks

In addition to pacing yourself according to the margs you most want to try, take a couple breaks. Some outdoor events have lawn games, so play a game of corn hole. Listen and dance to the live music. Drink more water. Sit in the shade. If the event is held indoors, take a break and get some fresh air.

  • Meet the Makers

One of the best things about these events is the opportunity to talk with the producers and learn more about their process, their passion, and their products. Like any artist, most are excited to share their work and love to talk about the craft.

As you sample, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and then see if you can taste the results of their marg-making decisions.

  • Eat Again

Most margarita events include food, whether it’s great local food trucks, a catered lunch or dinner, or other options. Take a break about halfway through the event and enjoy a good meal. Find a place to sit down and enjoy good food, talk with people, and take in the vibe of the event. And try to accompany your meal with good old water.

From food trucks to multi-course catered dinners, drink events usually have great food options to keep you going strong.

  • Tasting Plan, Part Two

Make your plan for the second half of the event. Are you making progress on your A and B lists? Will you revisit a few margs or try some new ones?

  • Decide What to Take Home

The event may have a store where you can buy a bottle of the spirits you like the most. Your A and B lists will help you narrow down your purchases. Be sure to leave enough time to shop, as other marg lovers will be doing the same thing, especially at the end of the event.

Keep Up the Good Work

The next time you create, sip and savor a margarita or bit of quality tequila or mezcal, think back to this fun day of tasting, exploring, and learning more about the tequila world you love. And remember: by attending and enjoying the event, you helped create a successful outcome for the producers and organizers, and you’re helping to keep the industry strong and growing.

So, keep up the good work and keep enjoying the margarita lifestyle. We’ll see you at the next event.

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