O en Español: Coctél de la Muerte. That's the name of the game for me tonight. I've been chosen to act as a judge for a cocktail competition of the same name this evening at Trébol, where I will finally have a chance to show off my highly developed tequila palate (which might be summarized as a general preference for blanco over reposado) through a system of judging based on appearance, aroma, creativity, taste, and presentation. What's cool, though, is that the tequila being used in each submission is Tequila Fortaleza, said to be the most traditional in the world. A brief history lesson from my pals at Experience Tequila:

Tequila Fortaleza is an extremely small-batch, artisan tequila made by Guillermo Erickson Sauza, direct descendent of the first man to export tequila to the US. When Guillermo’s grandfather sold Tequila Sauza in 1979, all family ties to the brand name were severed. Guillermo later re-opened one of the original family distilleries (dating from the 1890s), and began making Tequila Fortaleza almost exactly as his great-great grandfather had made tequila in the nineteenth century. The result is a legendarily flavorful and smooth premium sipping tequila. Very little of the spirit makes it into Oregon, and this event is a unique opportunity to sample it at recession-friendly prices.

Recession-friendly prices are where you come in: Entrance to the event is $5, where you can not only observe yours truly snifting at my glass and thoughtfully stroking my chin, but order Fortaleza (neat or in cocktails) at "unprecedented" prices, in addition to a special food menu just for the event, and participate in the voting through the People's Choice category.

As for the mixologists and craft bartenders competing, they're up not only for a regional title, but a free trip to Tequila, Mexico for Day of the Dead and to compete in the aging caves on the Sauza family estate against other finalists from the Southern California, the Bay Area, and Vegas. Come on down! It will be fun, and then maybe we can share a cab.

Advance tix are here, and they're close to capacity, so that's a better bet than giving it a shot at the door.