Mezcales + Tacos: A Pairing Experience
Chipotle shrimp and cheese quesadilla... (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

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

...and pico de gallo (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Sommelier Antonio Sanchez readied to guide mezcal enthusiasts through the tasting experience.Marcelino Miranda
Bottles of mezcals (from left) the Criollo, Michoacan; Cupreata, Estado de Mexico and Espadin, Oaxaca.Marcelino Miranda
Mexican Ambassador to Jamaica Juan José González Mijares (left) and Consular attaché Marcelino Miranda shared in the celebration.Joseph Wellington
Ingredients for the Al Miguel (clockwise) basil, black cherry, mezcal and limonchello. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)
The Al Miguel cocktail (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Tacos (from left) fried chicken (gordita), sautéed shrimp (hardshell) and stout-braised oxtail (soft shell) (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
The chefs responsible for the Cinco de Mayo fare: Charissa Skyers (left) and Celeste Gordon (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Fried churros (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
[USE TOGETHER]...with chocolate ganache and dulce de leche (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Chef Jevonie McLeod prepared the Tex Mex Pasta with corn and black beans. (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Pollo Asada Taco (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Mini eloté cups (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Pork birria quesadillas with cilantro onion relish (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Salmon and pepperjack cheese chimichangas with salsa verde (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Mexican rice bowl comprised of Mexican rice, blackened chicken, plantain and pickled Jalapeños (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Mixologist from Select Brands Brian Beechamp held a glass of mezcal mule(left) in one hand and a glass of beergarita in the other. (Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Heineken beergarita being poured(Photo:Garfield Robinson)
Chef Sean Lynch(left) and chef Jevonie McLeod teamed up to craft a delicious taco experience (from left) fried chicken (gordita), sautéed shrimp (hardshell) and stout-braised oxtail (soft shell) (Photo: Joseph Wellington)
The beef and ackee empanada with chipotle aioli (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?