Today we’re shaking things up with our beverage besties, AZTECA Margarita, to pay homage to our favourite celebratory cocktail, the margi. In celebration of World Margarita Day, we chatted about all things sweet + salty and uncovered the secrets to perfecting the ultimate, flavourful margarita!
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELVES - WHO YOU ARE, WHERE YOU'RE FROM AND WHAT SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE?
Hi, we’re Jessie & Tom - the lovers, makers and founders of AZTECA Margarita.
AZTECA is made in Byron, but inspired by Mexico. We’re both into food and booze and friends which definitely presents some Monday to Friday challenges, but having fun is so important in life and we try to bring that into our business as well.
IT’S NO SECRET THAT AZTECA IS OUR BEVERAGE OF CHOICE! WHAT INSPIRED YOUR JOURNEY INTO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MARGARITAS AND BUSINESS?
We met 11+ years ago in Thailand and spent the first half of our relationship travelling. When we decided to pause our world galavant we started AZTECA, which at the time was a Mexican food catering business. Tommy’s a chef from Mullumbimby and Jessie grew up in an ag town in California - together we spent a lot of time in Mexico, it just felt right.
HOW IS AZTECA SHAKING UP THE AUSTRALIAN COCKTAIL INDUSTRY?
Going out for cocktails in Australia is so expensive, $20+ is hard to justify! AZTECA Margaritas are bar-quality without the bar outlay. We work with a farm on the Central Coast for lime juice and import agave nectar from Mexico by the ton - making 6000+ margaritas per day, and ONLY margaritas (no Cosmos or Pina Coladas here!) means our recipes are absolutely fine-tuned to be the tastiest margs you've ever wrapped your lips around.
A LOT OF WORK GOES INTO CREATING THE FLAVOURS OF YOUR MARGI MIXES, CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE PROCESS?Creating is the best part of any business. For us it often starts on a Friday night with a heap of friends over for dinner and a faint memory on Monday of a really delicious margarita… Then the wizardry moves to "Margaritaville', our HQ in Billinudgel. The test tubes, droppers and small scales (like Scar Face but without the violence, just kidding - no drugs or dismemberment occur here.) Each vile an iteration of a recipe - a pinch of this, a drop of that; microns of extracts, oils, salts and botanicals and then a heap of blind tastings. It's a bit like Goldy Locks but eventually the porridge is just right. Then the challenge of scaling the recipe... have you ever tried to cook your specialty dish but for like 69,217 people? That moment right before you pull it all of when you think... 'is it too late to cancel?'
HOW IS THE AZTECA TEAM CELEBRATING WORLD MARGARITA DAY?
We’re working on a series of videos from a trip to Mexico last year and didn't really know when/how to drop those….but what better day than Wold Marg Day?! We're also releasing our long-requested mini mixed pack - giving a bunch of those away, so head to our website and subscribe to the newsletter for a chance to win one of those. And at Margaritaville... the team will definitely be shaking it up!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MARGI FLAVOUR RIGHT NOW?
SO hard to choose! Loving our new purple Aussie-inspired ginger and lemon myrtle flavour - it’s so pretty! Tommy's mum's favourite is the grapefruit & hibiscus which reminds us of 2 Mexican favourites - the 'Paloma', a grapefruit & tequila cocktail. And 'Jamaica' (Ha-My-a-Ca) which is basically what Mexican kids drink instead of cordial. It's a sweetened hibiscus tea and SO GOOD. The Smoked Jalapeno is our most original flavour and is homage to Mezcal, tequila's increasingly popular agave-spirit cousin. It's campfire, caramel and spice.
Shaking a marg is easy and our bottles tell ya exactly how to do it. However, nothing upsets us more than no rim jobs and bad rim jobs. So here are the tools to be the best rim job giver on the planet:
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR TRICKS FOR SHAKING UP THE PERFECT MARGARITA?
- Pour included Badass AZTECA salt onto a chopping board (warn friends it is only salt)
- Run a wedge of lime around the outside of the glass (don't use water, it’ll turn your Badass AZTECA salt into sludge and make future rounds suck)
- Roll glass in Badass salt at 45 degree angle
- Pour shaken marg into glass AFTER salting
Thank you! All the imagery on the bottles are from our personal travels through Mexico. All but the newest flavour, which is actually plucked from Tommy’s late father’s photo album from Mexico in the 80s. Everything about the brand is deeply personal. We're both more is more people, which is what we love so much about the Nine Lives Bazaar aesthetic as well. We're not subtle; all the colour, all the flavour.
WE LOVE THE AESTHETIC OF THE AZTECA BOTTLES! HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Travel is really important to both of us and Jessie’s family are in California so frequent trips to America puts Mexico at our fingertips. Creativity and collaboration also really excite us so we're focused on doing more of that in 2023.
WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED AND INSPIRED?
Online at www.AztecaMargarita.com, on socials @aztecamargarita and at nearly 200 retailers Australia-wide.
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND AZTECA TO GET THEIR MARGI DAY CELEBRATIONS UNDERWAY?
WHAT’S NEXT FOR AZTECA MARGARITA?
We have so much on the go right now! A heap of new products underway - garnish, retail size of our badass margarita salts, mini margs and ready to drinks. And we’re really excited to focus on our margarita keg business. We designed custom tap handles in America and are building a few for-hire bar setups for our Yamba - Byron - Goldy folk that are super jazzy. And did we mention More Creating. More Collaborating.