Reynaldo Herrera Jr. takes immense pride when it comes to celebrating the upcoming Mexican Independence Day events. He’s making a special point of it this year to make sure the proper messages are being sent across the Las Vegas Valley.
“We need to stress to everyone that this isn’t Cinco de Mayo, and it’s important to take some time to recognize our Independence Day,” said Herrera, a mortgage banker with Residential Bancorp in Las Vegas. “It’s also the perfect time to let people know that tequila is a beautiful spirit and it’s so much more than the stereotypical shot drink with lime and salt.”
Next week, Herrera – an art collector and tequila aficionado – will take part in a celebration of the Mexican heritage in a social distance friendly setting in the downtown Las Vegas Historical Community of McNeil Estates.
Herrera’s front lawn has been converted into an art installation representing the tequila making process. The area will be converted into a community celebration filled with a Mariachi band, tequila and Mexican appetizers. The event is not open to the public, but invited guests will receive a visual understanding of the tequila distillation process.
“Tequila is such an elegant spirit,” said Herrera, who has also produced the “We Art Las Vegas” event for the past five years. “We want to bring the needed attention to the commerce of tequila and how much it has grown in the past few years. People should realize that two ounces of tequila should be savored and last about the time it takes you to drink a glass of wine. It’s not meant to be abused. There is such a misunderstanding with it.
“Making a good tequila can be a seven- to eight-year process,” he said. “It’s a complex drink, and we need to educate people about it.”
Herrera recently created a venture between award-winning tequila, Cava De Oro, and Mexican-delegated artist Hugo Aguilar, who is one of just nine artists recognized by the secretary of culture of Mexico for his work.
Invited attendants will enjoy the opportunity to see the first four Cava de Oro bottles created by Aguilar, as well as an extensive collection of his vibrant artwork. An art curator will be on site.
“Times, obviously, are so different right now,” Herrera said. “We are finding a way to all cautiously come together. It’s a tough time to celebrate. But, this is my way of helping bring the neighborhood together and learn what tequila and Mexican Independence Day is really all about.”