Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jarrod Fresquez takes on the Hornitos Tequila challenge to 'Never Sleep in Dallas'

Jarrod Fresquez and Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun

Never Sleep in Dallas
Why Hornitos is not just any tequila, at not just any party.
by Jarrod Fresquez

I got a request from Oh So last week. An email had hit her in-box that said, "Join us at an unforgettable private event, curated for local Dallas bartenders and local media.  It will be hosted by 2013 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Raquel Pomplun, and feature a tasting of the Hornitos Tequila portfolio. Guests will also have an exclusive first look at Hornitos® Black Barrel®, a yet-to-be released premium tequila (coming March 2014)."   Is it a compliment that after reading the event description,  Cynthia IMMEDIATELY thought of me to go in her stead? I took it as such and was more than happy to represent OSC at this soiree!

Hey, never let it be said I don't spread the love to my friends - interjects OSC Editor, Cynthia Smoot

On Monday night I took Uber over to 129 Leslie Street, a Wendy Krispin event space on the border of the Design District. Pulling up into the valet area, the front of the building was washed in green lights with velvet ropes directing the patrons to the front door to get their names checked off the list for admittance into this rather exclusive event.

A giant 10 foot tall Playboy logo with a Hornitos caption was splashed on the wall next to the front door, and that’s the image imprinted in my mind’s eye before walking into a wall of dance music and flashing lights. Before my eyes and ears could adjust, two beautiful women approached me in leather little black dresses and handed me a tiny tumbler of the Hornitos Lime Shot. I took a sip and a refreshing mixture of tequila, lime and a dash of salt all hit my taste buds at the same time. The night was off to a perfect start!

Alicia Holden & Crystal McAllen

I walked around the room taking in the sights and sounds and couldn't help but notice a beautiful brunette trying to maneuver her way onto the stage to tell the DJ something. Being the gentleman that I am, I offered my hand and she stepped up, thanking me in the process and flashing a dazzling smile before walking to center stage microphone in hand. Wait… did I just hold hands with the 2013 Playmate of the Year?!? THAT JUST HAPPENED! To her many admirers, she introduced herself as Raquel Pomplun, thanked everyone for coming out tonight, and let us know what we had gotten ourselves into.

Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun
I waited in the wings until she was finished, and was lucky enough to talk with her for a bit before she was mobbed by the pack of wolves group of potential suitors waiting behind me. I can honestly say that she is one of the most naturally beautiful and exotic women I have had the pleasure of meeting. On top of that she was so personable and approachable I wasn’t the least bit intimidated.

Exceptionally grounded and down to earth, I found that the 5’6” bombshell from San Diego, CA was in no need of studio lighting and photoshop in order to be the most striking woman in the room.

JF: When did you get in?

RP: I've been in Dallas since this morning when I came in from LA. The driver gave me a little tour of downtown. I got to see where the Kennedy assassination happened. It was crazy, I was like “I’m actually here!” Dallas is such a beautiful city.

JF: What are some of your favorite Hornitos cocktails?

RP: I don’t go extreme, but I am a big tequila fan. I usually like the typical margarita, but I actually make my pina coladas with tequila! Or shots, absolutely, with salt and lime of course.

Hornitos Sugar Skull girls
JF: What can you say about Hornitos and Playboy being here in Dallas?

RP: Salud! Hornitos is a great tequila, its actually made where my mom lives. I remember growing up she used to tell me stories about taking a shot of tequila for a sore throat. The whole partnership with Hornitos and Playboy is so perfect… what better place to do it than here with the amazing bartenders of Dallas?!?

JF: What was it like to be crowned Playmate of the Year?

RP: It was unbelievable, I actually didn’t think I would get it. I was amazed just to be a Playmate! When they called, I thought it was to tell me it was someone else… but instead they said “No silly, it was always going to be you!” I was speechless! It’s such an honor.

I reached out to shake her hand and say thank you, but she swatted it away and gave me a big hug. A quick blissful moment ended with a hint of vanilla scented perfume trailing behind her as she walked/floated away.  On wobbly knees (trust me not from the tequila) I weaved my way over to one of the three bars only to find two of my favorite mixologists and local bar celebrities manning the station.

Omar YeeFoon Bar Manager at Smyth & Brian McCullough Bar Manager at Standard Pour

Brian decided to go a little off menu and craft me his take on a Dark and Stormy: Hornitos reposado tequila, fresh lime juice, ginger beer, a dash of angostura, and a few unmentioned items to put his signature on it. Refreshingly light and not too sweet = perfect party cocktail. I continued my tour around the venue and saw that there was a room away from all the hustle and bustle, turns out that’s where they were doing the Hornito’s tequila tasting being led by Heather Jensen.

JF: So, tell me a little about yourself and why you’re here.

HJ: I am the distillery specialist for Jim Beam and handle all brand education and staff training. I go out and do tastings with the public and with our vendors to help educate them about all the brands we have, Hornitos being one of them.

JF: So it’s safe to say you may know a little more about tequila than I do. What’s our main focus for this evening?

HJ: Tonight its all about the Hornitos Lime Shot we just rolled out. It’s a tequila shot in a bottle with everything already mixed together for those tequila shots on the go. Makes life a lot easier.

Clutts model Samantha Alexander with Zalikah Thomas from Rare at The Shops at Park Lane
Silk dancing and hula hooping by Sarah Elizabeth with Lonestar Circus

JF: What can you tell me about what we are about to experience with you?

HJ: Right now you are going to get to taste each one of our types of tequila. Normally people just mix tequila into a cocktail and never really get to taste it. Very rarely do you get to taste each expression one by one and compare. They all have their own personalities.

At this point in the night, I had accomplished everything I wanted to with the exception of one item on my list: to try the Hornitos Black Barrel.

To get the full effect, I sampled it on the rocks, the same way I would drink a great bourbon or scotch. I must say, I was so very pleasantly surprised. I could tell that it had been aged in oak barrels previously used for whiskey. Even though I still had a hint of the agave, it gave way to a rich and complex profile of woody, spicy and smoky notes.

Drink in hand, I walked the rest of the way around the room, enjoyed the entertainment, and ran into a few familiar faces before getting a midnight text saying that my ride from Uber was there to get me home in one piece.  It was a tough assignment, but I was happy to take the bullet for OSC readers and bring you an inside look at this amazing event.

For more information on Hornitos Tequila visit http://www.hornitostequila.com
Photos: Jarrod Fresquez