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Chef’s Corner

No Shot in the Dark
The right way to taste tequila

Many people have skewed—or blurred—opinions when it comes to the fine art of tequila tasting. It doesn’t always have to be consumed in the presence of fist-pumping friends or preceded by licking salt off your arm.

Instead, fine tequila should actually be sipped and, gasp, paired with food other than nachos grande. Much like wine, tequila pairing is a study in enhancing or contrasting flavors.

With this in mind, Chef Paul Marks is exploring the complex flavors of premium tequila in a special tasting menu at Polaris Grill on May 5, at 6 p.m.

In preparation for this one-of-a-kind Cinco de Mayo event, here are some tips for a whole new kind of tequila experience:

Age matters: Like wine, tequila’s flavor characteristics change with age. White, silver or platinum are not aged at all. Gold can be a mix of white tequila and reposado, sometimes colored with caramel. Reposado is aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of two months. Añejo is aged in wooden barrels for 12 months, up to four years. Aging is a primary factor in flavor development.

• Purity laws: By law, tequila must use at least 51 percent blue agave juice in the distillation process. However, the best sipping tequilas are typically 100 percent agave. Anything else is considered a “mixto.”

• Give it a swirl: You’re not being pretentious by swirling your tequila. You’re simply releasing the agave oils to open up the flavors.

• Sense of smell: Before sipping, keep your nose one or two inches from the glass brim and sniff for woody or fruity aromas.

• Sip slowly: When sipping, leave your lips slightly open to allow oxygen to flow. Put a taste near the tip of your tongue, then roll it over your tongue for the other flavors.

Contact Member Events Director Kaarin Keil at 688.3384 or to sign up.


Executive Chef: Paul Marks |
Polaris: 425.637.4608 | M-F 6:30-10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. | M-Th 5:30-9 p.m.; F & Sa 5:30-10 p.m.
Cosmos: 425.688.4650 | M-Th 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. | F 11:30 a.m.-midnight | Sa 5:30 p.m.-midnight
Splash: 425.688.3345 | M-F 11 a.m.-9 p.m. | Sa & Su 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Luna Express: 425.688.3228 | M-F 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m. | Sa 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. | Su 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
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