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Kahlúa at Zarela- 11.08.10

zarela0.jpg Kahlúa hosted an incredible dinner at Zarela in NYC to announce the launch of their new campaign celebrating its Veracruz heritage, and Sean from Sub-Studio went to experience it for us! He came back with some amazing photos of the event, and it sounds like some serious wanderlust for Veracruz! Which is in turn making me crave mexican food and a Veracruz adventure as well! The cocktails, decor, and new Kahlúa adverts look so beautiful and delicious! Take a peek on the next page to see (and read!) more of Sean’s adventures with Kahlúa!

P.s. the new Delicioso ads are pretty hilarious… they’re embedded on the next page for you!


Ok first! TO get you into the mood ~ check out these hilarious new ads

“Created by TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York and directed by Frederick Bond, the campaign features three 30-second television spots, shot in Veracruz, Mexico and featuring Ana de la Reguera, a prominent Mexican actress. Reguera was born and raised in Veracruz, and embodies the authenticity and alluring personality of Kahlúa.”

NOW… on to Sean’s account of his Kahlúa adventures…


The night started with a cocktail hour to get acquainted with both Kahlua and some fellow New Yorkers. The crowd was a mix of writers, bloggers, PR types, and Mexican cultural influencers (artists, film makers, etc.). I had a few Kahlua and gingers with the 3 brothers from Villa-Lobos and Matt from the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Blog.


Next up was the preview of the ‘Delicioso’ campaign starring Ana de la Reguera. The campaign features two very witty commercials about Veracruz, where Kahlua originates. The first commercial proved that everything sounds better in spanish, and the second about the unlikely pairings in Veracruz. The last bit of the preview was the ‘making of’ for the commercials, which made me want to go to Veracruz so badly. The vibrant colors of the marketplace, the fun personalities, and the lush fields of sugarcane and coffee were so picturesque. Maybe our first family vacation will be to see this not-too-far-away place. Everyone I talked to who had been there had only good things to say about Veracruz.


Upstairs from the bar was the setting for Zarela’s dinner. A wall of little chotchkies follows the stairs up to this shrine-ish thing with smiling skeletons all over it. Before each course, Zarela explained the flavors and ingredients for each dish and their historical, geographical, and cultural importance in Mexico. Veracruz is a port city with many different global influences, so the food reflects this - some ingredients from the mountains, some from the sea, some cool, some hot.





Zarela treated us with four dishes that exemplify the mixtures of all these ingredients. My favorite was the Pescado a la pimienta (White fish, cod or grouper, with a savory black pepper sauce) paired with the Kahlua and ginger, both prime examples of simple and fresh. The Pollo con chile seco (Chicken and dried chilies, cooked with vanilla and oranges) was a smooth counterpoint to the zippiness of the fish. The desert was Ante de almendra (Sponge cake with almond sauce) paired with a Kahlúa Martini was a dangerous mix of Kahlua, vodka, and espresso.



After watching the 30-second tv spots about the city, I put it on my list of places to go. Ana, who is fiercely proud of her Veracruz heritage, gave a toast - “Jarocho, a huevos!” which loosely translates to “I’m from Veracruz to the balls!” Any place that people love this much must be worth a visit.


On the way out, we were given a little bag with a nice modern drink shaker with some smart detailing. I like the nice touches of the red stripe, the coffee color, and translucent strainer. (But more to come on this gorgeous shaker SOON!)


And a peek at a few more of the new ads… kahlua2.jpg

I must admit ~ i’m secretly envoius of all the sites and magazines that will get to run these awesome ads! ; )

OOH ~ and to learn more about Veracruz ~ check out this 5 min video about it:

Ok and on this ever continuing post ~ just had to come back and add screenshots of the website design ~ love it! And the iPhone Talk About app is pretty funny too… for all those moments you don’t know what to say. Great Works is the agency responsible for the new Kahlua site design, video spots on the website, and the TalkAbout mobile app.



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3 Notes

Great post ! Indeed Kahlua is delicioso. Also a shot of Kahlua on vanilla ice cream is a real treat…..

----- eve Politanoff 08.11.10 16:20

Thank you so very much for appreciating the food and fun nature of the restaurant. It was one of the events that IO have most enjoyed in the 23 years that we’ve been open. “Echaron la puerta por la ventana!.” That means no expense was spared.

Your blog is fabulous! Any time you want to go to Veracruz come to me and I will help you plan a great itinerary.

----- Zarela Martinez 08.11.10 15:41

The images are so wonderful….I feel the warmth of the Kahlua

Come read a great interview, then enter my latest giveaway!

Art by Karena

----- Karena 08.11.10 15:17

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