What makes for a delicious tequila? Is it the complexity, smoothness, or its mix-ability? Certainly all of these are factors, and a well crafted example will excel in these areas. But is there something more? Does the taste take you away, perhaps connecting you with a cherished memory? Is the lingering flavor on your tongue something you want to return to? This is the goal of every drink manufacturer, to harness your neural senses and begin brand loyalty.
Personally, I feel that tequila can have a place amongst the single malts and Cognacs of the world. Who would think that a lowly cactus from a humble country could produce a high quality spirit? It is possible, and some brands hit these high marks. I was recently sent a couple different tequilas, let’s see how they fare.
Milagro Tequila, Reposado, 100% Blue AgavePrice: $29 USD
Notes: This triple distilled tequila hails from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The roasting is done in clay ovens. The yield is a clear to light straw colored spirit with aromas of citrus and caramel with a pleasing taste that envelops your mouth. The finish has a small alcoholic bite but is overall very smooth and complex. A very nice value for the price.
1800 Select Silver, 100 ProofPrice: $29 USD
Notes: This tequila just kisses some American and French Oak for a mere 15 days and comes with a top that can supposedly pour a shot (I never got it to work right). Also from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico this clear spirit offers mild aromas of banana and sugar. It is surprisingly smooth for a drink that is 50% alcohol. A nice finish that warms the tongue. Great for margaritas.
My Own Awesome Margarita Recipe:
1 oz lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 oz agave syrup or simple syrup (see note)
.5 oz favorite orange liquer like Countreau or Grand Marnier
1 oz tequila (not Añejo)
Mix everything in a glass topped with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
(Note: make your own simple syrup by heating equal parts sugar and water just until combined.)
While both of these tequilas are very good, they don’t quite hit the level described above. I guess that’s what Añejo’s and reserves are for.
To be continued….