Strong drinks, strong stomachs, and thankfully weak seas were the hallmarks of the Men’s Collective’s July outing, which saw the largest gathering to date enjoy top-shelf tequila aboard the Manhattan Sailing Club’s floating retreat. Under the tutelage of Manuel, a tequila ambassador for Don Julio, many who began the evening broadly skeptical of the blue agave-based spirit – whether due to tawdry Girls Gone Wild-esque popular perceptions or unfortunate prior exposure to the dread “cheap stuff” – ultimately found themselves happy converts to this particular brand of sip-not-shoot tequila. That such a pleasant experience could be had while gently bobbing in the middle of New York Harbor was all the more remarkable, and spoke well not only of the quality of the centerpiece refreshment, but also the refined comforts of the recently-renovated “Honorable William Wall.”
(While riding the small craft that takes visitors from the North Cove marina to the clubhouse, several of the more honest Men – and even Manuel himself – admitted to some degree of trepidation concerning the pairing of liquor and sea. There were to be, however, no reports of illness among the assembled.)
Manuel, whose ambassadorship recently moved him from the American southwest to the greater New York City area, proved a font of information, explaining the highly-involved production process behind tequila in general and the four varieties of Don Julio he had brought in particular, as well as offering up a host of Fun Facts about the drink, the company, its founder, and the history of all three. Soon after his presentation, night fell upon a group with knowledge in heads, glasses in hands, and spirits in bellies, and activity shifted to casual socializing and appreciation of the views from the deck. Thereupon a lighthearted effort was undertaken by your correspondent to dig a little deeper into the competitive world of the tequila industry, in order to perhaps get a glimpse of its internecine rivalries and squabbles: Alas, all attempts to draw forth from Manuel a barbed or unkind word about gauche tequila-peddler and sometimes-rocker Sammy Hagar were met with polite – yet firm – rebuff. And thus did our host reveal himself as not only a true Professional, but also a true Gentleman. We drink to both.