Every year, the Desert Botanical Garden hosts an evening full of delicious food, charming music and best of all - all sorts of uniquely flavoured, as well as classic, tequila-based drinks!
The party is meant to be a celebration of Sonoran roots and the Valley's best restaurants, and caterers come together to share their favourite desert dishes and desserts. As we arrived, a group of Mariachi players greeted us at the entrance, setting the tone for the evening.
As soon as we walked it, we were served our complimentary cocktails in neon, glowing margarita glasses. Although these were a little cheap and cheesy, after the sun went down, they did look pretty amazing. Like little-floating stars dancing around the gardens as people moved about.
There are few things more beautiful to me than desert cacti framed against a spectacular Sonoran sunset...
The different food stations were spread out throughout the gardens, making it easy to wander around and always be close to something delicious to eat. These little bowls were a spicy gazpacho with Dungeness crab layered on top. They were probably my favourite thing of the night. Some thought they were too spicy but for me, there were just perfect.
Here're Mom and Dad looking adorable while enjoying some delicious cocktails.
Dan and I's favourite cocktail of the evening had to be the prickly pear margaritas. Prickly pear cacti produce little red fruits in the springtime which can be harvested and turned into a bright fuchsia coloured juice. Prickly pear juice is known for it's medicinal properties (such as treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and hangovers) but it also makes for a darn good margarita too.
I wore my abstract cacti skirt in honour of the evening :)
Our favourite trio of samplers was this little dish! A grilled, lime shrimp on a mini tostada, a wonderful three bean dip and to finish off the platter, a sweet and spicy mini churro!
There were various stage throughout the garden, strung with twinkling lights, where different musical performances and dancers would enthral the crowds throughout the evening.
It was unbelievable how many different selections of food there were. I thought that we might be hungry by the end of the evening but just half way through the night we were all stuffed! The best dishes were hidden at the back of the garden and despite being almost ready to burst, I tried my best to take a few bites of the different options so I could say I tried it all! There was pork & hoisin Bahn mi, a trio of salads, roasted duck confit, floral and fruity sorbet, cheddar popcorn, smoked spaghetti squash tacos and spicy mac and cheese.
Probably my favourite event of the night was the fire breather performance. This girl was incredible. I have seen fire eating from afar before, but seeing it up close made it seem even more unbelievable. It was truly spectacular.
At the end of the night, we stopped by the free photo booth and made some silly faces with some hilarious props. I kinda wish we had been able to take that cute little horse pinata home with us. It was the perfect end to such a fun little evening! I was thrilled we were able to make it to this event and hope we're able to go back again next year.