18 August 2019

From the bartender’s corner – Mezcal #9: Aztecali

This is a very different mezcal from any other mezcal that I have had till date. For starters, this is the first mezcal I had that is not from Oaxaca. In fact, this is from Zacatecas (one of the other nine states that can claim to call it mezcal).

My good friend from office – Luz Barajas was visiting her family in Mexico. She knew about my interest in Mezcals. Her husband who is from the Zacatecas area got this for me! Thank you Luz !!

The remarkable thing about this mezcal is that it has absolutely no smokiness to it. In many ways, I am surprised that they even call it mezcal. The agave is NOT simmered in fire underground – which I thought is a must for any mezcal. Also, instead of espadin (the most commonly used agave in Oaxaca), this uses the blue agave – which is what Tequila is made from.

Finally, the variety I had is Anejo – so this has been aged for 18 months in American white oak barrels unlike the Joven or Blanco mezcals that I have.

Made by Real de Jalpa, this has a different production process from traditional mezcals. Like I mentioned, it does not do the underground fire thing. Also, it uses stainless steel stills instead of copper ones. However, it does do double distillation which is a must for mezcals. At least to me, this is closer to a tequila than a mezcal.

Folks who do not like smokiness (like Sharmila) and those who would love to have keto-compliant drinks (low glycemically), this would be a great choice. I also think this will make for some great cocktails…

10 August 2019

From the bartender’s corner – Division Bell

I got this from Food and Wine magazine where they featured New York’s renowned bartender Phil Ward. This cocktail was one of the signature ones when Mayahuel opened in East Village.

Mezcal, Aperol, Maraschino Liqueur and Lime juice. I am not usually a mezcal cocktail person (like it neat), but this was somewhat of an exception. Loved the bitterness as well as the earthy tones that got stronger the more you held the sip in the mouth. I am also not a big citrus (lime specially) person in my drinks. The prescribed proportions was too much for me. I will go with far less on the next one.

10 August 2019

That was a funny stewardess!!

We had an extremely funny stewardess on our Delta flight from Chicago to Atlanta last evening. Anna seemed to have a slight East European accent and she kept us entertained throughout the flight with various chit chats. Some of her announcements had us in splits. A few of them I had heard before but a few were unique (or at least first time for me).

Here are some that I can remember…

Initially, we were taking a little time to get everybody settled down and there was a long queue of people inside and outside the plane as people were sorting out their seats. Anna came on the PA system and went “People! People! People! We are not furniture shopping here. No need to spend time choosing your chairs. They are all the same. They are blue!”

Finally, after the doors were closed, she announced “The doors have been closed. We are ready to push out. If Atlanta is not in your travel plans… well, now it is!”

Sometime later, she went “Delta has four of the world’s best Atlanta based stewardesses”. And then she added “None of them are on this flight…”

During the safety instructions, she explained how to inflate and operate the safety vests. “And after you reach the shore, the vest is yours to keep”, she explained further!

After landing, she announced “Our pilots are excellent in flying airplanes. But they are terrible drivers. So, please stay seated with your seat belts on.”

The best was for the last. The plane slowly rolled up to the gate and then came to a halt. Usually there is a ding you hear after that and that means you are ready to get up and move around. However, in that split second of pregnant pause after the plane came to a halt, she came back on the PA system and with the grave voice of a court bailiff solemnly announced “All rise!”

Most of us stayed seated laughing our heads out.

Well done, Delta and Anna! That made the flight really enjoyable!

10 August 2019

Saturday morning run

Lia organized it but unfortunately had to leave early due to a knee injury. Ran most of the 10Kish distance with Valerie. It seems like I put in a run with Val once every 3 years or so!! Was great to catch up with her. Also got to meet another runner – Susan. She stayed back to do 20 miles (32K). That is some tenacity!!

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