El Duende logo
El Duende Tequila

Academia Mexicana Del Tequila , USA

about us
news and events
history of tequila
academy of tequila
products and merchandice
tequila resources

July 15, 2008

To all concerned,

I have thought long and hard about this and I have chosen to retire from the position of President of the Academia Mexicana del Tequila, USA. Many of you know that I have been pursuing my own tequila project for many years and in all fairness to the academy, I feel that in order for the academy to remain unbiased in their evaluations of tequila, that this is the proper and honorable decision to make. Therefore as of July 15, 2008 I Phillip Soto Mares step down as El Presidente and leave it up to the academy director in Mexico to choose my successor.

I will continue as I always, to educate all those thirsting to learn more about the spirituous beverage we all love, Tequila!

¡Viva Tequila! y ¡Viva México!

Academia Mexicana Del TequilaA Brief History

La Academia Mexicana del Tequila was legally formed as a civil association by a group of tequila aficionados in September of 2000 by virtue of their appreciation for the national drink of Mexico. Since that time the founders have become Catadores de Tequila through a series of certification & training seminars established by the academy.

The positive revitalization of tequilas image, the recognition of the Denominación de Origen del Tequila by the European Community, rekindled the restlessness with in us and inspired us to form the academy uniting, ourselves with this spirituous beverage.

This is the manner in which the conceptual idea to create the Academia Mexicana del Tequila was born towards the end of the millennium in 1999, looking to educate aficionados in the new millennium.

So it is in the first quarter of the year 2000 that the idea of the academy takes form, we establish the philosophy and the objectives of our academy and in December of the same year the academy is legally formed as an association with the Mexican government code 11307 before notary public José Luis Villavicencia Castañada, recognized officially by the notary branch 218 of the Federal District in México City.

We declare our commitment to the truth, integrity and absolute impartiality;
and that our activities and acts shall be governed by proper ethics.
We love Mexico, we believe in Mexico, in our people; we are proud of our roots, of our traditions, of our history this is why we defend it as we do.

Our main objective is to publicize the Tequila Culture, orientating the public both domestic and foreign, about the brands that adhere to the strictest of standards in their elaboration, its quality, and its characteristics in the spirit of this 100% Mexican drink from the Republic of Mexico.

It is the responsibility of each chapter president and each member to uphold the rules and regulations that are administered by the CRT and other governing bodies in the tequila industry.
We are the guardians of this treasure from Mexico.

On September 15th, 2007 - the eve of Mexico's Independence, at the Spirits of Mexico Tequila Festival there was much to celebrate with the induction of 5 Tequilier Ambassadeurs into the Academia Mexicana del Tequila, USA. Café Coyote received the 100% AMT Tequila Restaurant prestigious 5 Agave Award. The certifications were presented by academy President – Phillip Soto Mares.

The September 2007 Tequilier Ambassadeur Inductees
with academy president Phillip Soto Mares.

Phillip Soto Mares dressed as a Charro also rode one of the Andalusian horses from Gutierrez Andalusians.

Dori Bryant – Florida

Stacy Austin – So California

So California

Mario Marquez – So California

Owner Lehn of Café Coyote accepts the certification as a 100% AMT Tequila Restaurant

Endorsing the Tequilier Ambassadeur certificate.

Endorsing the 100% AMT certificate Phillip and Lehn

December 8, 2006 - La Academia Mexicana Del Tequila USA Officially Recognized by Mexico's Academia Director
In a ceremony held at gourmet Mexican cuisine restaurant El Agave in Old Town, San Diego, CA, Phillip Soto Mares became the first director authorized outside of Mexico to be appointed to this position. Academy director Andres Rodriquez-Reynoso traveled from Mexico City to present Phillip Soto Mares with a diploma authorizing a Tequila Academy in the United States. Hector Aguilar, owner of the elite magazine Estilo Gourmet was also present; Estilo Gourmet will feature a 12 month series of articles featuring the Academy & Phillip Soto Mares.

Pictured: Juan Carlos of El Agave Tequilera, Phillip Soto Mares of El Duende Tequila & Andres Rodríguez-Reynoso of Academia Mexicana Del Tequila, A.C.

Pictured: Andres Rodríguez-Reynoso & Phillip Soto Mares


Academy Photos
orientation dinner   academy course
Academy members at orientation dinner January 2005   Day 2 of academy course: Guizella Hajnal & members
examples of tequila   harvesting a Piņa
Light box aids in showing color examples of tequila from Blanco to Añejo   Phillip Soto Mares trying his hand at harvesting a Piña with a Coa. Definitely did not make the team
lesson on harvesting a Piņa   Cuervos La Rojeņa Distillery
The fastest Jimador in Mexico gives us a lesson on harvesting a Piña in 20 seconds   Phillip & Friends at Cuervos La Rojeña Distillery in Tequila, Jalisco
Cuervo's Reserva de La Familia   Piņas
Phillip signing one of the casks selected for Cuervo's Reserva de La Familia to be opened in 2006   Piñas waiting to be split and placed in oven
Damajuanas   baked Piņas
Damajuanas at La Rojeña   Transferring baked Piñas from oven to extractor to remove all agave juices
Historic Gardens at La Rojeņa   Mayahuel Goddess of Tequila
Secret knock to enter Historic Gardens at La Rojeña   Greeted by Mayahuel Goddess of Tequila once inside garden
Charros and Mariachis   Casa Cuervo
Charros and Mariachis will always be a part of Tequila   Entertainment provided by Casa Cuervo at graduation dinner
graduation dinner   Phillip Soto Mares receives his certification
Enjoying Reserva de La Familia and Cuervo Especial at graduation dinner   Phillip Soto Mares receives his certification from Academy Directors Don Andres Rodriquez-Reynoso on left and Don Francisco Hajnal Alfaro on right
academy party   La Academia del Tequila Class
Party continues with new friends, memories and good cheer   La Academia del Tequila Class Photo. La Rojeña agave fields

Casa Duende would like to thank Casa Cuervo for their hospitality while attending the Experto en Tequila Seminar at La Academia del Tequila, A.C.

And to all my new friends at La Academia Congratulations an experience I will never forget.

I would like to extend a special thank you to La Academia Mexicana del Tequila, A. C. for inviting me to be apart of their prestigious organization and for their hospitality. It was truly the experience of a life time.

Gracias Don Andres por la invitacion para participar en el seminario Experto en Tequila.

Saludos, Phillip Soto Mares