The Jamaica Food and Drink Kitchen has earned its status as the epicentre of the city's vibrant food and drink scene. And the mezcal tasting fiesta held Wednesday, May 3 under the patronage of the Mexican Embassy and Tacbar that kick-started the countdown to Cinco de Mayo lent further credence.
Patrons on arrival at the mid-week event stepped into a setting that transported them to the united Mexican states known for their vibrant culture, rich, ancient history cuisine and, of course, tequila. With the signature 'Al Miguel' cocktail — a popular mezcal-based drink, traditionally served with grapefruit soda and lime and copious amounts of beef and ackee empanadas drizzled with Chipotle Aioli — it was time for the formal tasting session where Mexican Ambassador to Jamaica Juan José González Mijares unearthed the history of mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant, just like the more famous tequila. However, mezcal is made from a wider variety of agave plants and is produced in a more traditional, artisanal way.
A tutorial would follow led by mezcal sommelier Antonio Sanchez, from Conejo en la Luna, Mexico, who guided patrons in the creation of their own version of the 'Al Miguel' cocktail complemented with stout-braised oxtail (soft shell), sautéed shrimp (hard shell), and fried chicken (gordita) tacos courtesy of Tacbar.
The immersion session continued two days later on Cinco de Mayo with a tequilas, beers and mezcal party featuring cocktails, shots and make-your-own margaritas from Select Brands, CPJ, Heineken, Conejo en La Luna and Chas E Ramson. Chefs Celeste Gordon and Charissa Skyers meanwhile led the team in delighting everyone's palates with an array of mouth-watering dishes.
Prepared by: Chef Celeste Gordon
Chipotle Shrimp and Cheese Quesadillas with Pico de Gallo and Sour Cream dips
Chimichanga - Salmon, PepperJack cheese, Salsa verde
Mexican Rice Bowl - Mexican Rice, Blackened Chicken, Plantain, Pickled Jalapeños
Tex Mex Pasta with Corn and Black Beans
Prepared by: Chef Charissa Skyers
Mini Eloté Cups
Pork Birria Quesadillas with Cilantro Onion Relish and Consommé dipping sauce
Pollo Asada Tacos
Fried Churros with Chocolate Ganache and Dulce De Leche