Drink your Mexican spirits with flavoursome selection of agaves. TCRP has handpicked few tequilas that get pride of place in your bar cart
Just as Rome, Tequila wasn’t built in a day—or even a millennium. This spicy and instantly noticeable spirit has been around for centuries now and has created many good tall tales. And we heard that Jose Antonio de Cuervo y Valdes obtained land in Spain in 1758 and began producing tequila – all before Mexico became an independent republic. Did you know Tequila has some of the toughest regulations and can only be made in certain parts of Mexico? A liquor to be called as tequila must be produced in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, which includes the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
There are two basic categories of tequila—100% agave, which only has the sugars of the blue agave plant, and mixto (mixed), which uses no less than 51% agave, with other sugars such as glucose and fructose sugars as the remainder. In those two categories, there are five types of tequila are blanco (silver), joven (gold), reposado (aged), añejo (extra aged) and extra añejo (ultra-aged).
A while back, we took an hour out of a busy Thursday to sit at a table covered with tiny stemmed glasses of tequila. And here’s what we loved the most.
Casa Dragones Joven
We know that a great wine comes from a great region, similarly, a great tequila is harvested and produced in only where there is the perfect trifecta of soil, climate and altitude. Casa Dragones has found the winning combination of nature and hand crafting to create this tequila’s signature style. And so, Casa Dragones Joven was declared as the ‘Tastemaker’s Top Tequila’ by Forbes. A hand-crafted blend of 100% blue agave gets its silver from ultra-modern filtration. This tequila is rested in new American oak barrels for five years to enhance the flavour. The complex, smooth taste leaves an open aftertaste inviting you to sip some more. Have some and you’ll be amazed with its vanilla, pear and spiced undertones that are here to enhance the fresh and citrus aroma.
And your favourite bar Please Don’t Tell in New York is ready to serve the Winter Flower Cocktail to warm up your chilled evenings. Here’s how they make it. 1.5 oz. Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco, 4.5 oz. Hot Hibiscus Tea, .25 oz. Benedictine and .25 oz. Jack Rude Grenadine. Serve in a pre-heated glass with a clove-studded lemon. Don’t tell anyone that you made three portions for yourself.
Roca Patrón Silver
The second in the series of tequilas is probably the most artisanal of the lot. Roca Patrón Silver is hand-crafted to perfection using the time-honoured ‘tahona’ process. It comes from the finest 100% Weber Blue Agave plants. Produced at Hacienda Patrón distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, the agave is baked in small brick ovens for almost 80 hours and is then pressed by a two-ton volcanic stone tahona wheel for a sophisticated and complex profile. Patrón, as a distillery, can be credited to have promoted premium tequilas when mixed agave ones were the norm. The aroma is that of fresh citrus and the taste is dominated by earthy notes of black pepper, cooked agave and citrus. Use the crystal-clear Roca Patrón Silver to sip straight up ideally or make some really special Basil Lime Margaritas, Silver Sling and Oasis cocktails.
You can try your hands on Caipirita as well. Here’s how you blend it. Take 45ml Roca Pa Patrón Silver, 22.5ml Simple Syrup, 3 lime wedges halved and 1 Demerara sugar cube. In the bottom of a double old-fashioned glass, muddle the lime wedges, simple syrup and sugar cube. Add ice and Roca Patrón Silver, then roll drink back and forth twice between glass and tin. Pour back into double old-fashioned glass, top with more ice if needed, and serve.
The 100% blue agave in Tequila Comisario is estate grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The agaves are nurtured for eight to nine years until they are at their peak richness in flavour and sweetness, only then they are hand-selected and harvested. Using the latest technology, piñas- the pineapple-shaped agave hearts, are cooked and crushed to extract the honey, which is then fermented with special yeast and unique distillation process to give Tequila Comisario an ultra-premium taste and smoothness. The American Oak Barrels are used aptly to age the Reposado and Añejo. The unique shape of the bottle is also a head-turner.
Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add 60ml of Reposado Tequila, 15ml Green Mint Liqueur, 15ml Lime Juice and 8ml Simple Syrup. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with mint leaf. Your Tequila Mockingbird is ready to serve.
An award-winning masterpiece by Master Distiller Cirilo Oropeza, Espolòn stands as testament to Cirilo’s pioneering spirit and commitment to his art. Made of 100% blue weber agaves, in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, the unaged Espolòn Blanco is double distilled using column and pot stills to give it a perfectly smooth and balanced taste profile. The tequila Reposado starts off life as the Blanco. It’s then rested in lightly charred, new American oak barrels to create a more complex and well-rounded character. Known for taste notes of bold, round palate, medium to full bodied with a rich roasted agave; sweet tropical fruit, vanilla and brown spices and a long spicy finish, the Espolòn Reposado is great on the rocks, and shaking into all the best tequila cocktails that deserve strong tequila character.
Here’s a quick recipe of one such classic
Mexican Mule -1½ parts Espolòn Reposado, ½ part Lime Juice, Ginger Beer – Combine in a mule cup on the rocks and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge. And oh yes, named for the spur of the rooster, a powerful symbol of national pride, Espolòn is a fitting tribute to the true storied culture of Mexico. And each label tells a story from the country’s rich history, capturing different moments, all paying tribute to the 19th century artist, José Guadalupe Posada.
In 1795, Jose María Gu adalupe de Cuervo began selling the very first Tequila de Jose Cuervo after receiving the official charter from the King of Spain to produce tequila commercially. Cuervo has been producing tequila at La Rojeña, the oldest active distillery in Latin America, ever since. And 1800 is known as the year in which tequila was first successfully aged in wood. Made from 100% Weber blue agave — aged for eight-twelve years and harvested at their peak. The liquid is double distilled, and a special selection of white tequilas is blended together for added complexity and character. The result is a premium tequila with a smoother, more interesting flavour than most on the market. The clean, balanced taste with hints of sweet fruit and pepper is perfect sipped neat, on the rocks, as a shot or in a cocktail.
How about making a Berry Sencillo? Take 2 oz 1800 Silver, 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice, .5 oz Agave Nectar and 5 Blackberries. In a mixing tin combine all ingredients and ice. Shake hard for 15 seconds. Ice Rocks Glass with crushed ice. Dirty pour into glass and garnish it with lime wheels.
Sipping tequila from the world’s sexiest man’s distillery. A casual chat between two friends and some research later gave birth to the hottest tequila brand in the world. Yes, Casamigos was the brainchild of George Clooney and Rande Gerber (husband of Cindy Crawford) that soon become the fastest selling tequila brand in the world.
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