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East Coast’s Largest Tequila Selection – Tequila Mockingbird

By Jennifer Sabini Evans

Tequila Mockingbird West Ocean City location features 500 labels of Tequila.
Photography: Jennifer Sabini Evans

Many believe the largest tequila library on the East Coast exists inside one of Ocean City’s most popular authentic Mexican meal spots. Tequila Mockingbird Mexican Bar and Grill, West Ocean City location, is known for bringing the authentic taste of Mexico to Maryland’s largest beach town.

In addition to its award-winning cuisine, Tequila Mockingbird has received recognition for not only the largest selection of Tequila in the state of Maryland but now many liquor reps believe they might be the largest on the East Coast. The company celebrated the opening of its 500th bottle of tequila and mezcal on January 16, 2022. The various tequilas can be enjoyed straight or incorporated into cocktails.

I am happy to report that this list has options to suit every budget. Thrifty drinkers can find an assortment of great tequilas available for single-digit dollars, while adventurous drinkers can savor all sorts of unique and high-end agave.

For those whose experiences with tequila are similar to mine, a shot followed by sucking on a lime like a baby sucking on a pacifier. Often repeated until you lose all memory; waking up the next morning with no memory, lying face down in the running position wondering why, why, why, and swearing never to do it again. I can understand why you no longer want to handle the stuff.

Just like you, I was adamant I’d never drink tequila again. Until I realized I was drinking it wrong.

And, with that realization, I was booked in for some intense re-education with the Tequiliers at Tequila Mockingbird. It was a tequila-filled afternoon, discussing all things tequila with the Owners of Tequila Mockingbird, David and Dale Jerns, General Manager, Alli Manry, and Bartender, Matt Impink.

Tequila Mockingbird West Ocean City location now carries 500 different bottles of tequila. Pictured left to right (Matt Impink, Bartender and Co-owner Daivd Jerns)
Photography: Jennifer Sabini Evans

“We fell in love with former Bar Manager, Steve Weimer’s, vision to turn Tequila Mockingbird into a Tequila Library, ” said Co-owner David Jerns. “The result is 500 tequila labels in 4 years, creating an experience that is unique to our beach community. Our North Ocean City location also has an extensive list, totaling 225 varieties.”

Tequila is forging an identity as a serious drink for sophisticated drinkers, releasing high-end products comparable to the best whiskeys on the market. “Our customers appreciate the wide range of flavors in our tequila collection”, said Matt Impink, Bartender. “500 different tequilas keeps things interesting. Being able to pick and choose tequilas from so many varieties helped me avoid repetition and burnout as a bartender. I’m constantly challenged to invent new drinks, educate myself and share my tequila knowledge with my customers. It’s very personal, challenging, and rewarding”, said Impink.

In addition to their impressive tequila collection, they also carry a variety of bottled & draft beers and fully stocked bar. The menu offers authentic tacos, burritos, rice bowls, enchiladas and more. “Tequila is my favorite drink. You can tell,” Jerns said, pointing to the heavily stocked bar.

Most Expensive or Rarest Bottle of Tequila In Tequila Mockingbird?

“Clase Azul Tequila is one that comes to mind”, said Alli Manry, General Manager. “My favorite tequila bottle design is Wrestle Mania Tequila Añejo, honoring Lucha Libre, Mexico’s great wrestling legend”, said Impink.

Close Up of Clase Azul Tequila Añejo’s
Photography: Jennifer Sabini Evans
Close Up of Clase Azul Tequila Añejo’s

Clase Azul Tequila Añejo’s taste and decanter are a tribute to the Mazahua indigenous culture. After a remarkable 25-month journey in American whiskey casks, this tequila has a marvelous amber color and a complex aroma. Its blend of art, history, and tequila of the highest quality is truly an expression of Mexican culture.

Tasting Notes
COLOR: Amber with copper highlights.
BODY: Delicate yet balanced.
AROMA: Toffee, cinnamon, clove, roasted hazelnut, Mexican vanilla, orange marmalade, quince, and toasted oak.
FLAVOR: Nutmeg, clove, orange marmalade, and toasted oak with a silky mouthfeel.

Decanter
A true collector’s piece. The decanter is a spectacular hand-made ceramic display that tells the story of its origin.

Mockingbird’s tequila book lists tasting basics so you can steer your experience into safer waters. Some are on the sweeter side with notes of oak, caramel or honey. Others hit the spicy side.

Hussong’s 100% Agave Tequila
Photography: Jennifer Sabini Evans

Hussong’s MR tequila Reposado is aged for five months in used bourbon barrels to give it a complex flavor and delicate aroma. A perfect mix of citrus and oak flavors are obtained by the aging process. “It’s delicious, and a personal favorite of David Jerns, co-owner of Tequila Mockingbird”, said Alli Marny, General Manager.

Of course, the list changes, particularly among the more unique options, as bottle availability ebbs and flows. But the core of the list stays steady and always runs deep. The cocktail menu itself includes a QR code listing 500 readily available tequilas and mezcals to incorporate into your drink.

And if the idea of sipping tequila neat rather than knocking it back as fast as possible doesn’t sound promising, it’s worth perusing the list and trying new spirits in your favorite cocktail. In truth, there are far worse ways to while away an afternoon than sipping on a margarita made with Dwayne Johnson’s popular brand Teremana Tequila.

TEQUILA EDUCATION

The two main types of tequila are 100% Blue Agave and Tequila Mixto (mixed). Mixto Tequila contains a minimum of 51% Blue Agave, and the remaining 49% from other sugars (typically cane sugars). The additional products allowed in Mixto Tequilas are caramel color, oak extract flavoring, glycerin, and sugar based syrup.

All Tequila that is made from 100% Blue Agave will say “Tequila 100% de agave” or “Tequila 100% puro de agave”. All Mixto Tequila labels will only read “Tequila”.

The above two categories of Tequila are then divided into the following five types of Tequila and are labeled as such:
Silver (Blanco/white) is un-aged tequila that is bottled shortly after distillation, although it can be kept in stainless steel tanks for a few weeks before bottling.
Joven (gold/oro/dorado) is a mixture of Blanco and Reposado tequilas.
Reposado (or rested) is aged for between 2-12 months (less than one year).
Añejo (or aged) is aged for at least one year, but less than three years in oak barrels.
And Extra Añejo (extra rested), the most recently added classification, is aged for at least three years or more.

Tequila Mockingbird West Ocean City Tequila Selection

Tequila Mockingbird has two locations across town. West OC at Park Place Plaza, 12720 Ocean Gateway, Ocean City, MD, and North OC 12919 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD. Both are open year round.

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