According to the earliest historical documentation, on a hot and dusty August 7, 1873, the first registered exportation of tequila, three and half barrels of vino mezcal, traveled by ox cart from the small town of Tequila, through El Paso del Norte, present day Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.Its final destination along the rugged El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro trade route was to the oldest capital city of Santa Fe--39 years before New Mexico joined the Union.

To honor tequila’s legendary and intimate connection with The Land of Enchantment, The Largest Tequila Tasting of its Kind in the Southwest, the New Mexico International Intimate Tequila Tasting(TM) was founded.

From 2000 to 2003, New Mexico's original tequila tasting event, The New Mexico International Tequila Experience(TM) made a powerful impact on the tequila industry, not just in New Mexico, but globally as well.

After an eight year hiatus to further uncover the mysteries, myths and legends of the blue agave, the plant from which tequila is distilled, this once yearly event has morphed into what co-organizer Mike Morales describes as "a new kind of tequila experience: one that emphasizes education, information, and above all, fun!"

To ensure tequila's integrity within the industry, a tequila tasting competition will also be conducted by former members of the prestigious Academia Mexicana del Tequila (Mexican Tequila Academy).

Spirits Aficionado will oversee a formal cata (tasting) on Friday, July 22, 2011. This exclusive, invitation-only blind tasting will be just the second such competition ever held in the state of New Mexico.

Participating as competition judges will be famed mixologists, honored spirits bloggers and reporters, executives from National Distributing Company of New Mexico and Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico, local Mexican government officials, experienced tequila collectors and connoisseurs, certified tequila catadores (tasters) and brand ambassadors.

On that same evening, the New Mexico International Intimate Tequila Tasting ™ and the Nativo Lodge begin the festivities with a jubilant Dinner with the Judges. Attendees will enjoy tequila cocktails prepared by expert mixologists followed by a tequila inspired menu and a chance to meet and greet the judges.

On the afternoon of Saturday, July 23, 2011, attendees at the New Mexico International Intimate Tequila Tasting(TM) will be inspired by skilled mixologists to create their own tantalizing tequila cocktails, amazed by tequila and sotol producers as they lecture on their family history and distinct distillation procedures, and astonished by an award winning expert tour operator as he guides them through various unique tequila distilleries in Mexico.

That evening, a full array of tequilas available in New Mexico will be carefully sampled to the public throughout the entire Nativo Lodge by representatives of National Distributing Company of New Mexico and Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico, among others.

Spokespersons from each tequila brand will be on hand to field questions, add lively conversations and to teach proper tequila tasting techniques.

The results of the historic tequila competition held on Friday will be announced at the Best of Show Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening during the main event along with a special Tequila Ambassador award. An unprecedented medal will also be bestowed to a qualifying tequila brand of promise in a new, super secret surprise category.

On Sunday, July 24, 2011, National Tequila Day, the public is encouraged to crown this joyful three-day tequila weekend celebration with an intimate farewell Saludos Sunday Brunch.

Not only will taste buds be dazzled and enlivened by tequila-infused fare, but attendees will be moved to strengthen their ties and become part of the collective tequila familia. From producers and brand ambassadors, to bloggers and industry insiders, old friends and new friends will exchange besos y abrazos hasta la proxima vez (kisses and hugs until next time).

Co-organizer of the New Mexico International Intimate Tequila Tasting(TM), Mike Morales, enthusiastically invites New Mexico and the world to celebrate and "Experience the culture, history and sensuality of the most misunderstood spirit--tequila."

For tickets and more information, head over to www.nmiitt.com