The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

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In choosing jalapeño, chocolate and tropical fruits as flavor infusions for his new tequila, Tanteo Spirits Company co-founder and CEO Jonathan Rojewski says he wanted to offer modern interpretations of traditional Mexican cuisine. The former financial portfolio manager has deep roots as a foodie, having trained for nearly four years with an executive chef at the Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C. His frequent trips to Mexico and love of the cuisine eventually led him to tequila, and when the Consejo Regulador del Tequila, Mexico's tequila regulator, lifted restrictions on infusions, Rojewski jumped in and brought Creative Director Lincoln Mayne along with him. "There were already some great blanco and reposado tequilas on the market, but there is a reason for all three Tanteo products to exist," Rojewski says. Working with two chemists for more than two years, he settled on the flavors he felt most resonated with Mexico. All three tequilas, made from 100 percent Weber blue agave, have jalapeño as a base note. The jalapeño spirit—"a no-brainer for tequila" says Rojewski—features four infusions of or- ganic peppers and heats up the mouth without overwhelming it. The chocolate spirit, a modern-day interpretation of mole, is earthy and sweet, expressing malted, roasted and raw cocoa. For the tropical tequila, the Tanteo team chose mango, pineapple and guanábana. Rojewski is targeting bars and restaurants in New York that "already have great cocktails on the menu, but don't want to make them their business model. We don't spend time chasing cocktail junkies. We're focused on the influencers and tastemakers." —Lana Bortolot SRP $45 in New York City; Tony Abou-Ganim is the new Director of Judging for the San Francisco World Spirits Competition W ith a palate able to distinguish characteristics of individual single malt whiskies and a comprehen- sive knowledge of the history of spirits and the origins of many cocktails, one of the most sought-after mixologists in the world, Tony Abou-Ganim, has been selected to be Director of Judging at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, an appoint- ment that will elevate the reputation of the competition to a whole new level. His new position comes just in time to commemorate the competition's 10th anniversary in 2010. Abou-Ganim will join the competition's founder and Executive Director, Anthony Dias Blue. "We are so pleased to have Tony take a lead position with the spirits competi- tion. His addition solidifies the San Fran- cisco World Spirits Competition as the most prestigious spirits competition in the U.S. thanks to the caliber of our judges and the vast array of international spirits submitted for our evaluation," said Blue. Abou-Ganim joined the San Francisco World Spirits Com- petition as a judge in 2005. Abou-Ganim noted, "It is a great honor to accept this opportunity. I believe the San Francisco World Spirits Competition has the finest collection of spirits palates in the U.S., and it is a privilege to work with such an esteemed group of my peers." From cocktail program pioneer at Steve Wynn's Bellagio in Las Vegas to mixolo- gist extraordinaire of Iron Chef America, Abou-Ganim is considered progressive and influential in the industry. Founder of The Modern Mixologist, a beverage consulting firm that specializes in bar-staff training, product education and cocktail develop- ment, his new book, The Modern Mixolo- gist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails, will be released in February. Hot Topic Tanteo infused tequilas heat up the New York market with three flavors PHOTO: LANA BORTOLOT Tanteo Spirits Company co-founder and CEO Jonathan Rojewski. 36 / the tasting panel / november 2009 What's New

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