The City of Tucson was named America’s City of Century Plants during the last year's Agave Heritage Festival. If you've never been, the uniquely southwestern event showcases all things agave and is taking place Thursday, April 27 - Sunday, April 30.
Since its beginning 15 years ago, the festival has evolved from a one-night agave spirit showcase to a full-fledged four-day festival devoted to agave education, sustainability, culture, and agriculture with events, tastings, dinners, classes, and expos.
The Agave Heritage Festival, which is happening at a variety of locations downtown and throughout the community, is both a celebration of the agave and an acknowledgment of Tucson's rich cultural history and the traditions that unite the people of the Southwest.
The 2023 festival continues to impact the community by showcasing the region’s commitment to climate-smart commodities with an Agave Renaissance Summit as well as solidifying Tucson’s designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy with over 20 exciting food and beverage collaborations. Building from the foundation of agave spirit appreciation, the festival’s expanded focus is to educate the consumer and community on why enjoying agave spirits from quality producers is the key to the agave plant’s future survival.
A new event scheduled as part of this year’s festival, the Agave Renaissance Expo – The Spirit of Sonora, will immerse industry experts and the public into the amazing world of agave and the literal fibers that bind us together in our region.
The Agave Heritage Festival has curated a collection of events fit for agave aficionados of all kinds. While some events are free, some ticketed events will sell out fast. Additional events will continue to be added leading up to the festival.
This keynote event showcases all things agave, presenting over 50 artisanal and ancestral agave spirits by industry experts, an agave cocktail showcase, live music, amazing food, spirits tastings, agave art, and other agave-related products. Price includes four agave spirit tastes, two beers, three cocktails, and food paired and created by the Cup Cafe culinary team.
A veritable feast for the palate and the senses, the multi-course meal features delectable mezcal and sotol cocktails and neat pour tastes from Montelobos and Noche Luna to capture the true essence of how to pair agave spirits and food. Each attendee will also receive an authentic hand-crafted Jicara — a mezcal drinking vessel made from the gourd of the calabash fruit, and hand-crafted by artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Agave spirit enthusiasts at each participating Downtown Tucson bar will create a cocktail for you with one common ingredient –— Mezcal! Ticket holders get the chance to sip up to 10 mezcal cocktail samples, enjoy light bites at select locations, receive a complimentary cupita, enjoy a mezcal toast as well as mix and mingle with international mixologists.
Learn about the centuries-old agave roasting technique for food and beverages while exploring Mission Garden, Tucson’s Birthplace. Emily Rockey, Garden Supervisor with Maegan Lopez, Cultural Outreach Specialist,and friends will offer a hands-on demonstration of preparing the agave piñas and pit roasting. Learn about the ancient Hohokam agave cultivation techniques and uses, and learn how agave fiber was used for ropes, shoes, clothes, and many other aspects of the agave plant.
Representing community and culture - the truest reflection of the festival. The lively Bar Pop-Up events will showcase mixologists/bar owners from Tucson and around the country including Dallas, Las Vegas, and Baltimore, and internationally from Costa Rica and Mexico. Each experience will offer creative menus with delectable cocktails made to reflect each guest’s sense of place and our Sonoran region. No cover charge for these events
Join Crisol bar as they welcome one of the premier agave bars in the country, Clavel of Baltimore, MD, into their space for a night of creative cocktails built with care and intention. Incorporating regional Sonoran and Mexican flavors, Clavel will showcase their unique approach to agave spirits and service for one night only!
Andres Cruz of Mezcal Vago and Oscar Armenta of La Tizateria Bar in Oaxaca are hosting a one-night-only takeover of the Tough Luck Club. Featuring cocktails inspired by the diverse flavors of Oaxaca and 2 to 3 mezcal flights.
Liz Furlong of Cata Agave Bar and Curandero in Tamarindo, Costa Rica brings her fun, jungle-style cocktails or Nightjar for one night only. Incorporating traditional remedies (think corn chicha) and fresh tropical ingredients into her bar programs, Liz has also made a name for herself as an agave fanatic! Join her as she brings her agave passion and creativity to Nightjar!
It's time for new boot goofin’ as Dallas agave bar Las Almas Rotas and Mexi- Indigenous bartender collective Los Tlachuaches descend on LaCo for a night of borderlands, honky-tonk and Mexican flavors! Las Almas Rotas will bring their love for all things agave to be paired with Los Tlachuaches’ focus on traditional Mexican folk ingredients to create an incredible, fun experience that could only take place en la frontera.
In conjunction with the State of Sonora Mexico, the Agave Heritage Festival will pair cultural awareness and economic development by collaborating on their first-ever Spirit of Sonora Expo.
This bi-national showcase is a multifaceted dual exposition bringing together agave enthusiasts, scientists, academics, and industry experts to network, collaborate, and create economic development opportunities for artisanal Bacanora and Sotol producers. This event provides a commercial opportunity for business-to-business and business-to-consumer networking and collaboration around product innovation and technology that highlights the diverse and unique products created from agave.
Each year the Agave Heritage Festival attracts world-class experts and brand ambassadors who participate in various events throughout the three-day weekend.
The mission of the Agave Heritage Festival is to create an opportunity to all who are interested in continuing to explore and celebrate the cultural, sustainable, and commercial significance of the agave across borders.
For up-to-date information, pricing, and tickets visit the website at agaveheritagefestival.com.
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