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Oyamel Cocina Mexicana Celebrates Its Seventh-Annual Tequila & Mezcal Festival

February 18, 2014

Washington, D.C. (February 18, 2014) – James Beard Award-winning Chef José Andrés, and partner Rob Wilder, are pleased to announce Oyamel Cocina Mexicana’s seventh annual Tequila & Mezcal festival, which celebrates the heritage of these unique Mexican spirits. From March 10th to March 23rd, Oyamel will feature special dishes created by Head Chef Colin King, which highlight the flavors of Oaxaca and Jalisco, Mexico. The festival also includes new Tequila and Mezcal cocktails, as well as a kickoff party, complimentary tastings, and a dinner pairing series.

The fun begins with Oyamel’s Tequila & Mezcal Kickoff Party on Monday, March 10th from 6:00 PM-9:00 PM. The spirited event will take over the entire restaurant and feature all food stations that pay tribute to Mexico’s thriving street food culture including guacamole with comal-fired tortillaswhole baby pig cochinita tacosstreet-style cevichesgoat leg barbacoaesquites and comal-fried quesadillas. Beverages will include the signature Oyamel Margarita and a tempting assortment of Tequila & Mezcal specialty cocktails, as well as Tequila & Mezcal tastings featuring– Del Maguey Mezcal with founder Ron CooperSiembra Azul Tequila with founder David Suro, as well as Maestro Dobel Diamone Tequila, Pierde de Almas Mezcal and Tequila Ocho.  This festive kickoff party will feature live Latin music from the band Montuno. Tickets will be available for $60 (all inclusive) online at

Next up are the complimentary Tequila & Mezcal tastings, which will be held from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on March 11th-13th and March 17th-20th. These tastings will take place in the butterfly bar area where representatives from the featured brands will share their knowledge on the spirits and answer questions from guests. Following the tastings, Oyamel will host an intimate dinner series with featured guests. The special tastings and dinner schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, March 11th: Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Mezcal and David Suro, Siembra Azul Tequila, host a tasting and dinner focusing on Tequileros and Mezcaleros:  their tradition, history, current struggles and future possibilities.

Wednesday, March 12th: David Ravandi, Tequila 123 tasting with dinner to follow.

Thursday, March 13th: Lauren Richmond, Herradura Tequila tasting.

Monday, March 17th: Raza Zaidi, Wahaka Mezcal tasting.

Tuesday, March 18th: William EricksonFortaleza Tequila tasting.

Wednesday, March 19th: Fausto Zapata, founder of El Silencio Mezcal, tasting.

Thusday, March 20th: Arik Torren, Fidencio Mezcal tasting with dinner featuring La Venenosa Raicila.

The post-tasting dinners will begin at 8:30 PM in the Private Dining Room. The price is $90 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity) and will include the chef’s featured dinner menu and a cocktail pairing. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased by calling (202) 628-1005.

Guests won’t want to miss menu specials including Ostiones con Salsa Piquín, oysters on the half shell, topped with salsa piquín, onion and cilantro; Ceviche Estilo Culiacán, marinated bass with Serrano, lime, onion, cilantro, tomatillos and house-made hot sauce; Ceviche de Chamoy, sliced Hawaiian Ono dusted with chile piquín, with mango and chile mulatos, chamoy, peanuts, cucumber, onion, lime and cilantro. Other highlights include Encurtidos, a variety of pickled winter vegetables with tomatillo, queso cotija and chile piquín; Cueritos, pork skin and chicharrons dressed with lettuce, lime, cilantro and salsa Cascabel; Veal Breast Birria, a braised veal breast with refried Rebosero beans, salsa guajillo, lettuce and radish, as well as Jalapeño Escabeche Relleno con Carne Seca, pickled jalapeños stuffed with dried beef and topped with chopped tomatillos. Prices range from $9 to $14 each.

For the two weeks, Oyamel will feature special tequila and mezcal inspired cocktails including the Naranja Dulce, Limón Partido, made with Reposado tequila, chamomile, orange blossom honey and roasted lemon; the El Jarocho, with Añejo tequila, house-made ancho chile pepper liquor and Cocci Americano Rosa; the Rosa de Oaxaca, made with Mezcal, hibiscus, raspberry and lemon, and the Agave en Leñawith Mezcal, Benedictine, agave nectar and house-made Oyabitters. Cocktails range in price from $11 to $14.

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana has been recognized as one of the top ten Mexican restaurants in the world by Reforma newspaper, Mexico’s highest circulation daily in the country. In 2011, the restaurant was named Washington DC’s Best Latin American Restaurant by Washingtonian.  Oyamel has also received the coveted Agave de Orofrom the Consejo Regulador de Tequila in 2008, and was presented with the Sabores de Mexico prize from the Mexican government awarded to restaurants outside of Mexico that serve authentic Mexican cuisine. 

Part of Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, Oyamel is located at 401 7th Street, NW, 20001 in Washington, DC.  Oyamel can be found online at and on twitter @oyameldc. For more information