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Damian

All about Tequila

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This reminds me of a drink from Killer Cocktails, the Paloma, which uses grapefruit soda instead of the grapefruit juice, and includes a pinch of salt in the drink. It's great, as well.

My summer drink of choice lately has been gold tequila and Fresca. Quite refreshing!

Squirt is probably the most common and popular mixer for tequila in Mex&iacuteco. Basically, Squirt:Tequila::Coke:Rum.

My favorite way to mix a grapefruit soda drink is to use mineral water (or, club soda) and Florida's Natural not-from-concentrate Ruby Red grapefruit juice. It is far superior to the other grapefruit juice brands you will find at your local grocery store. This way, you can adjust the sweetness to you taste and to the application.

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Just for the record, I am a reposado man. My favorites are Herradura and El Tesoro.

Personally, I dont find most a&ntildeejos to be particularly oakey. Fot the most part, they are only aged about 1 year or so. Now there are some brands that are oakier than others (1800) and some tequilas that are aged a lot longer (Reserva de la Familia), but for the most part the a&ntildeejo flavor is more of a smoothed-out, "softer", version of reposado. I prefer the fuller flavor of the reposado.

A brandy snifter is very appropriate for tasting a tequila like Reserva de la Familia, which is a very complex spirit, with lots too discover, and very refined, so no need to worry about it being too harsh on the nose.

I like drinking tequila out of the miniature snifters that are common in bars and restaurants in Guadalajara. They are not very easy to find here, though lately Herradura has been packaging them with bottles of reposado.

And I don't recommend adding water while tasting tequila.

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There is a new Tequila out called Tezon. Have any of you tried it yet and what do you think? I think its very smooth. It is made by slow cooking the pina for 3 days in a brick oven then uses a traditional Tahona process, which crushes the agave and squeezes out additional juice and pulp. Really cool looking bottle too.

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I bought a few bottles of Cuervo Tradicional, light amber colored, in an off-the-beaten path liquor store in the Yucatan. Enjoyed it from the freezer in a small glass, sipped straight up.

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I recommend either a snifter or, better yet, a Riedel Overture tequila glass.  Since I imagine you probably don't have the latter just lying around, I think a small snifter is your best bet.

I own some of the Riedel tequila glasses and find them excellent. Before they were available, I was using the thistle-shaped grappa glass (at least I think they are for grappa). Excellent as well for appreciating the complexities of fine tequilas and mezcals.

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I'm not generally a tequila drinker but I just ran across a few bottles of Finas Estampa which surprised me a lot. It is very smooth, 100% agave and worth looking for. My guess is that it's new to the market, but will be getting a lot of attention in the near future.

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The NY Times reports today that Brown-Forman, the liquor company known for brands such as Jack Daniel's, Southern Comfort, Finlandia and Canadian Mist, will acquire Mexican tequila company Casa Herradura for $876 million. Following this sale, only top-seller Jose Cuervo among the three largest tequila makers will remain Mexican-owned (Sauza, the #2 company, is owned by Fortune Brands).

The deal gives Brown-Forman two brands, Herradura and El Jimador, which are among the best-selling tequilas in Mexico, but which lag in the fast-growing market for tequila in the United States.

"We think we can do a better job with wider distribution," said Phil Lynch, a spokesman for Brown-Forman in Louisville. "We will have more resources to build the brands."

Rafael Obregón, chief executive of Casa Herradura, which is based in Guadalajara, said in a news release that the company expected the deal "to grow our brands in the global spirits market."

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Brown-Forman, the liquor company known for brands such as Jack Daniel's, Southern Comfort, Finlandia and Canadian Mist, will acquire Mexican tequila company Casa Herradura

Bummer for Sazerac, who used to import them.

Well, at least Brown-Forman seems to have a relatively hands off approach respecting brand images and packaging. Just hope it doesn't get harder to find the 92 proof blanco.

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What an interesting development. I think that this will be great for Herradura and El Jimador, as B-F will undoubtedly increase their distribution and breathe some new life into an esteemed, yet somewhat forgotten, brand. If they get 25% of the distribution that Jack Daniel's has, the brand will be on fire!

Wonder that this means, though, for Don Eduardo and Pepe Lopez, B-F's other two tequilas?

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A very dear friend, a paralegal by trade, sent me a press release about this earlier this morning, under the topic title "Good To Know". She's a former bartender herself, so I find it amusing that she's approaching this news from an entirely different angle these days.

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Just as there are good sparkling white wines made outside of Champagne, are there any good "tequilas" made outside of Jalisco?

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Any thoughts on the Espolon range? I don't want to spend a lot on tequila (i.e. I don't want to spend ~$100AUD on a bottle of a something I've never even tasted) so is the Espolon a worthy choice? Do I want the blanco or the reposado? Do I really need both? I'm mostly intending to use it in cocktails.

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Any thoughts on the Espolon range? I don't want to spend a lot on tequila (i.e. I don't want to spend ~$100AUD on a bottle of a something I've never even tasted) so is the Espolon a worthy choice? Do I want the blanco or the reposado? Do I really need both? I'm mostly intending to use it in cocktails.

In my opinion it is great quality for the price and pretty good quality whatever the price. I love the Espolon reposado as a mixing tequila for Margarita's on the rocks and my current favorite, the Tequila Mockingbird #2 (I like to use raspicello instead of limoncello if I want to make it a little sweeter. And besides, I just love raspberry in general!). Most people probably tend to use a blanco in a Margarita and that is fine to me if it is a generic frozen margarita. But for a good margarita on the rocks I like to use a reposado and the Espolon has always worked well, especially if I am making a lot of them for a party.

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I like the Espolon reposado quite a bit, especially at its current price point.

The blanco I'm less crazy about. It's just a little too soft and muted for my taste, and I prefer a rougher, more agave-forward blanco to give margaritas some punch. But again, for the price, there's nothing really "wrong" with it.

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I ended up buying the Reposado. One of the staff members at the shop gave pretty much the same case for it that I'm hearing here.

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I'll put in another vote for Espolon. It starts around $22 in PA for the Blanco and frequently goes on sale, and it's the best I've found for that price.

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Just as there are good sparkling white wines made outside of Champagne, are there any good "tequilas" made outside of Jalisco?

I know Kent asked this a while ago, but since there were no responses, I'll bite. The guys at K&L have been bringing in a bunch of interesting agave spirits lately, some of which get a mention on their Spirits Journal blog. One such product is Los Osuna, hailing from Sinaloa north of Jalisco. Coincidentally, they use the same champagne/sparkling wine analogy to explain the relevant terminology.

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In terms of anejo tequilas, what's the best out of what I can get? I have access to Patron, Herradura, Calle 23, El Capricho, Don Julio (in its standard and 1942 variants) and 1800.


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

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In terms of anejo tequilas, what's the best out of what I can get? I have access to Patron, Herradura, Calle 23, El Capricho, Don Julio (in its standard and 1942 variants) and 1800.

It is always a bit subjective of course. I have had Patron, Herradura and both versions of the DJ anejo. The Don Julio 1942 to me is by far the best and is the only one of these I keep in my liquor cabinet. It is also probably the most expensive and so perhaps it is not the best value if price is a consideration.

Cuervo 1800 seems over priced and over hyped to me but perhaps I have a little bias against the big manufacturers. Herradura is also a major distiller but seems ok as a mixing tequila. Not my first choice as a sipper. Patron also seems to be overpriced based on the name to me so I tend not to buy it either.

I like Casa Noble and Milagro Single Barrel Reserve (not the regular Milagro line) but as you note they may not be available in your area. Don Diego Santa is a newer tequila here in the US that I rather like and is still fairly reasonably priced. No clue about its availability in Australia but probably not likely.


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

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Just infused up a batch of tangerine peel-dry hot pepper tequila with the Camrena reposado. It's going in to a new drink called a Sino-Rita that is a margarita made with the infused tequila that has a Szechuan peppercorn-salt-raw sugar rim on the glass. A little bit spicy and the rimmer numbs your lips!

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In terms of anejo tequilas, what's the best out of what I can get? I have access to Patron, Herradura, Calle 23, El Capricho, Don Julio (in its standard and 1942 variants) and 1800.

I don't know El Capricho but Patron is pretty lame and very expensive. Herradura is the closest thing to an ethical large-scale producer out there, as far as respecting traditions and people go. Tequila as a product has been undergoing a pretty radical series of changes since the late 1990s which, if left unchecked, could end up destroying it as a quality spirit--and it won't really get any cheaper as a result. I understand that in Australia the choices are limited but out of the brands listed, Herradura is the one still clinging to some of the older ways. I'm indifferent on the others.

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I have access to a limited (but growing) range of tequila. A fair bit of it is priced beyond what I'd like to play. My experience with agave-based beverages is also limited: a couple mezcals (smoked rocket fuel and a beautiful Ilegal reposado) and Espolon (reposado), Herradurra (anejo) and Patron (all variants--not a fan of any of them, really, too boring). I mostly drink it in simple cocktails but I have been known to take it straight, too.

I'm about finished my Herradurra and while I like it, I'm leaning towards getting something different for my replacement bottle. For reference, Herradura anejo and its younger siblings are all in the price range. So. Here's a list of things I can get at prices I am prepared to pay:

  • Tapatio blanco/reposado/anejo
  • Calle 23 blanco/reposado/anejo
  • Leyenda del Milgaro silver/reposado
  • Don Julio silver/reposado
  • Tequila Blu reposado
  • 1800 silver/anejo
  • Cabo Wabo silver/reposado

Of these, what's my best bet? Any stand outs?

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Don Julio is solid. I also like the Siete Leguas line very much, but it's not in your list.

There is a bunch of recommendations from bartenders on Serious Drinks, for sipping and mixing, high and low end.

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Another vote for Don Julio, particularly the reposado which is smoother than the silver and has more character. However, my fave is also not on your list: El Jimador Añejo. If you can find it, it's well worth the price-tag.

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