Saturday, July 23, 2011

Come to CASA's Margaritaville

Sip’n vote tonight at the 4th annual CASA Margarita Contest and fundrais
CASA's spectacular roof terrace
Tequila has gone from hooch to haute and lately mescal is not far behind. Tonight (July 29. 2011) about 25 of San Miguel’s top restaurants will show just how serious they are about crafting the best margarita for you. And you will be the judge for choosing the best. If one of your personal missions would be to find out who serves the best margarita in town, visiting all the different restaurants might be a daunting task. However, tonight you can try all of them in one sitting under one roof, to be exact, on the roof of the CASA (Center for Adolescents of San Miguel A.C.) facility in Santa Julia with its breathtaking 360 view. There will be live music to dance to, botanas created just for the occasion by yours truly, door prizes and fabulous auction items.
CASA has a special reason to celebrate this year; the organization has been in operation for 30 years. If you ask why celebrate with a margarita contest, here is my personal view. The German author Goethe ended one of his most famous poems with (my rough translation): “daily work-evening guests, dour weeks-happy fiestas, this be your future magic words” (Tages Arbeit, abends Gäste! 
Saure Wochen, frohe Feste! 
Sei dein künftig Zauberwort). It is my life’s motto. Nadine Goodman the founder of CASA who is originally from New York, has relentlessly worked long days and many hard weeks and years to realize her extraordinary vision of providing a better life for mainly adolescents and single mothers in her adopted home of San Miguel de Allende. However, the fiestas have been far apart.
In a way that is why I think a margarita festival is a wonderful way to celebrate. Tequila is Mexico’s national beverage and I see a parallel with the development of CASA and the production of Tequila, seriously I do, read on. 
  -Producing tequila or mescal is very hard work and takes years of endurance and patience. The agave from which tequila or mescal is made can take up to 8-12 and sometime 20 years to grow before it is ready to be harvested. It has to withstand droughts, pests and rot in all those years. 

  -CASA has endured strong resistance to its juvenile pregnancy prevention efforts, domestic violence awareness and gender discrimination. 
  -Once the agave is ready to be harvested, its spiny leaves are cut off, making the core look like a pineapple. These are then placed in big ovens where they are steam-cooked. 
  -When CASA started its midwife-training program, it was put through the steamer for years with strong opposition from the medical field.
  -After this, the steamed and crushed agave cores are left to ferment. 
  -CASA persevered and kept all of its programs going. 
  -The final process is distilling the fermented agaves into the pure spirits that is Tequila or Mescal. 
  -CASA now, after 15 years of hard work, is the first and only midwife school in Mexico to grant a professional certificate to its graduating students. 

Good things take time, so sip your tequila slowly and don’t ask for aged tequila, as you can see it has already aged in the plant.
A fond thought also goes out to Miss Margarita, whoever she was, for being the inspiration for one of the most popular cocktails on the planet. Tonight the classic version will compete side by side with new exotic versions. There will also be non-alcoholic beverages offered for the designated drivers. Come and join the fun and cast your vote for the best. Be a CASA supporter.       

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