I should have known from the look on Pepe's face.
We had just come in from enjoying some tamarind margaritas on the rooftop deck at La Tequila in Guadalajara. As we sat at our table, Pepe suggested ordering some appetizers for the table, asking whether he should order some more unusual things. Innocently, and ignoring for a moment that I was part of a group that included five other unwitting American writers and photographers, I said that I always have an appetite for the new.
Pepe grinned like a calaca. A sinister glint flashed in his eye. I had given him the answer he was looking for.
Really, I had no reason to suspect his intentions. As CEO of Casa Noble Tequila, Pepe Hermosillo had flown the group of us in from around the U.S. to gain a better understanding of tequila in general, and Casa Noble in particular. The previous day he and his wife Gina served us a magnificent lunch at their airy, modern Guadalajara home (including a cilantro mousse that I am currently obsessed with). He shared some of his housemade infused tequilas that blew my mind. Just a few hours prior to this dinner, we had toured the La Cofradìa distillery, culminating with comprehensive tastings of Casa Noble's offerings. The previous 36 hours were a blur of delicious regional Jalisqueño food and very, very good tequila. So, my guard was down.