Audrey Formisano, Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa’s in-house tequilera (tequila sommelier), is a French native who you’d expect to be somewhere in France teaching all things wine, but instead, she enjoys all things agave and being in the sun.
Audrey utilizes an onsite garden where agave is grown and used to produce the Puerto Vallarta resort’s private line of tequila, CasaMagna, which she offers in her tequila tastings. Here’s what we learned from chatting with Audrey.
Tell us about becoming a tequila sommelier.
Being born in France, I studied hotel and catering in school, so I became extremely knowledgeable about wines. When I came to live in Mexico, I felt embarrassed because I didn’t have a clue about tequila, so that’s when I decided to learn more about it. I realized that the locals were viewing tequila similar to the way people in my circle view wines. My curiosity about tequila grew, and the hotel gave me the opportunity to study with the Mexican Association of Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico.
Talk to us about the resort’s drinks menu.
Our beverage menu is based on tequila; however, with our mixologist on-site, he always creates drinks based on what the customers/guests are looking for. He always mixes it up and makes a great cocktail!
We hear you have an on-site agave garden.
The garden we have on property is amazing. We grow agave plants, but we also have our own herb garden on the property. This is where we grow mint, thyme, etc. This is perfect for our tequila tastings, because when our chefs are preparing food dishes and I coordinate the tequila pairing, they try and use the resources we have in our garden to make it a bit more interesting.
Talk to us about the resort’s exclusive line of tequila, CasaMagna.
Initially, we began the project because the majority of our guests were not aware that we are in the cradle of tequila—it’s a very unique product. We have the Casa Magna Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo.
Why do you think agave is such a popular ingredient in the spirits world today?
Tequila and agave are both very important because people are not afraid to drink it anymore. Many celebrities are also creating their own tequila, which made it quite popular. Nowadays, tequila appears in music videos, films, and you can even use it while cooking. There are some great recipes that incorporate tequila! A few of my favorite dishes that incorporate tequila are an angel food cake, and any shrimp dishes that can be flamed with tequila—yum! I feel like the mentality of tequila is also changing, especially in today’s world. People in general are more open to the world of tequila. In the United States, more products are being imported, whereas before, it was more limited.
- 1.5 oz. tequila
- .5 oz. orange liqueur
- 1.5 oz. lime juice
- 2 scoops of sugar
- 3 cucumber slices (for garnish)
Preparation: Shake ingredients together and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with cucumber slices.