Celebrate National Tequila Day With a Cocktail-making Lesson From the Marriott's Tequila Sommelier

Celebrate National Tequila day right — in Puerto Vallarta.

Margarita at Marriott
Photo: Courtesy of Marriott

Audrey Formisano is on a mission to show people tequila is way more complex than people think.

“People think tequila is only to drink a shot, but it's not like that,” Formisano, the Tequilera (or tequila Sommelier) at the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa told Travel + Leisure. “That's the misunderstanding.”

That’s exactly why she's hosting a virtual tequila experience and pairing lesson on Friday for National Tequila Day —bringing people into the beachside resort and showing them tequila can be serious business.

Tequila tasting at Marriott Puerto Vallarta
Courtesy of Marriott

Moving from France to Mexico in 2002, she was fascinated by the spirit and became an expert, hosting tequila tastings at the Puerto Vallarta hotel several times each week.

The hotel — which is only a few hours from the town of Tequila — even started making its own version, CasaMagna Tequila, in 2006.

“They don't see tequila the same way they used to,” she said about guests. “They want to know the smell, they want to know the taste, what they can pair it with.”

Formisano pairs each kind of tequila with a different dish: ceviche, chicken skewers, even brownies.

“It’s just like wine,” she said.

Her demonstration and lesson on Facebook Live, where she'll even teach viewers how to make a hibiscus margarita, starts at 6 p.m. CST (7 p.m. EST).

“[I] want them to have fun with it — and of course to drink a little. It has to be fun, this is why we do it,” she told us. “I want people to know one or two more things they didn't know about it.”

The livestream will also include some time to ask Formisano questions.

“Tequila is not only an important part of the culture of Jalisco but Mexico overall,” Cristina Hernández Quintana, the hotel’s PR, and marketing manager, told T+L. "We know not everyone can join us at the moment so we wanted to share our spectacular tequila expert and her tips with those around the world looking for a taste of Mexico to celebrate [Friday], so that they can toast and say Salud with us in person someday soon.”

And if people can’t wait until Friday, here is a sneak peek at Formisano’s yummy hibiscus margarita recipe.


  • 1 oz orange liqueur
  • 1 ½ blanco tequila (the hotel’s version is White Casamagna Tequila)
  • A dash of natural hibiscus syrup
  • 1 oz lemon
  • Chili Tajín and salt
  • Ice
  • Dehydrated lemon slice and rosemary


  1. Rim the cocktail glass with salt and tajin.
  2. Place the ice, lemon juice, orange liqueur, white Tequila Casamagna, and natural hibiscus syrup in the shaker and shake for 15 seconds.
  1. Garnish your hibiscus margarita with the dehydrated lemon slice and rosemary
  2. Carefully apply flame to the dehydrated lemon and rosemary to release an exquisite aroma.
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