If you aren’t looking for the Soho Arts Club, odds are that you will walk right by it. On a quiet section of Wooster Street in the heart of Soho, this easily missed entranceway opens up into a Narnia-inspired alternate universe where Andy Warhol once spent some time. This chic white studio space was transformed by the joyful accents reflective of the work of artist Alejandro Vigilante and garnished with a well-crafted Partida Tequila cocktail.
Lotería is a well-known Mexican card game involving 54 picture cards and riddles that invoke a game rooted in chance comparable to Bingo but using the images on the cards instead of numbers on ping pong balls. Alejandro Vigilante utilizes his signature pop-art flair and reinvents the game with bursts of bright colors, all tying back to the inception and production of Partida Tequila.
I spoke with Vigilante about his artistic process, and he informed me that all 54 cards took 3 months of laborious work to create. “Each color has a meaning that is rooted in emotion but is not necessarily based on impulse or feeling. It is similar to math, something structural, with reasoning and steps, rather than a situation where I wait for divine inspiration.” Dispelling the mystery behind an artist’s craft, especially for works for which he is commissioned, is something Vigilante was very lively and excited to discuss.
When asked about his favorite cards, Vigilante was invariably drawn to the cards that depicted people. Enrique Partida, who Vigilante referred to as “The Godfather of Partida,” was to him the most important card in the deck because this product would not exist without him. Similarly, he praised the card entitled “El Maestro Tequilero,” the mixologist, who further advanced the life line of agave-based tequilas like Partida. El Barril, the physical space where the tequila is aged, is also significant to the evolution of this product, and Vigilante is just as thrilled to discuss the barrel as he is the mixologist as he is el camarone, a pretty rendition of a juicy pink shrimp (this was one of my favorites).
Did we mention the cocktails? While the lotería cards were certainly the main focal point for the eye, the cocktails crafted to show off each type of Partida Tequila brightened up our palettes. While the Blanco-based margarita was well balanced and refreshing, my favorite was the Reposado-based El Diablo. A well-balanced blend of Partida Reposado, agave nectar, lime juice, crème de cassis, and ginger beer, this cocktail is something that pairs well with any occasion. Though its name suggests something sinister and spicy, it actually was crisp and delightful, and definitely something I would order or make at home in the future.
Twisted Talk: Have you heard of Alejandro Vigilante and his work? Have you tried Partida Tequila before? Discuss below!