5 Tequilas perfect for National Tequila Day
You’ve come a long way, baby. No longer relegated to the salt, lime, shoot it, regret it sequence of events, tequila has become a serious spirit (and one of the few, IMHO, that actually can be matched with food). If you need an excuse to indulge (as if), July 24th is National Tequila Day. Below are reviews of a few new friends and old acquaintances. All were sampled using a very elegant Riedel Tequila Glass (shout out to the Corazón peeps for that). If Riedel makes a glass for you, you’ve officially “made it.”
Sauza Silver Tequila
A no pretences, straight blanco, it sports wet slate, cooked agave, and spicy vegetal (pumpkin?) aromas with some earthy, mildly fruity notes. Round, moderately viscous, clean and slightly spicy. Profound and complex? Not really. But as an all-purpose, bang-for-the-buck go-to blanco? Worth considering, especially for cocktails.
Hornitos Plata Tequila
Delicate and perfumed; a touch floral, with some brine, white pepper and mineral aromatics. Silky and viscous, with clean herbal/fruity flavours and a very subtle suggestion of anise on the finish. A very affordable, perfectly crafted tequila that will liven any cocktail, but one that’s worthy of sipping on its own.
Aguamiel Blanco Tequila
The creation of a Toronto-based company, this new kid on the block’s initial order blew though the system (in Ontario) in no time. Sculpted from 100 percent Blue Agave Tequilana Weber harvested from the Jalisco Highlands and Lowlands, it’s a seductive, extremely fragrant number with penetrating floral/fruity aromas underscored with suggestions of white pepper, cayenne pepper, sandalwood, cooked agave, and a whiff of wet slate. Rich, oily, complex and peppery, this is an elegant and seductive sipping-grade blanco.
Casamigos Reposado Tequila
Yep, “George Clooney’s tequila” (not to downplay partner Rande Gerber’s input…or Mike Meldman’s, for that matter) continues to gain followers and momentum in the category. There are earthy/mineral aromatics that wrap themselves around subtle vanilla and toasted nuts (marzipan?), with a shot of spice and caramel, some faint underlying floral top notes, and suggestions of mint and tobacco. Elegant and very well-balanced, the flavours lean towards baking spice and vanilla, along with mild smoke/tobacco leaf nuances. Not overly agave/vegetal-laced, but, rather more vanilla/mocha/caramel.
BTW – Clooney and camp are about to unleash a mezcal (another seriously becoming upscale agave-based spirit) upon the Canadian market. Keep your eyes peeled. I’ll report when I try it.
Corazón Añejo Tequila
Another new kid in the market, Corazón is a super premium (okay, whatever) single-estate tequila made with 100 per cent Blue Agave harvested from the Jalisco Highlands 6,000 feet (I’m too lazy to convert) above where you swim/get eaten by sharks. Produced by Casa San Matias, this environmentally-conscious spirit utilizes a unique oxygen-infusion distillation process. It shows nougat, powdered cocoa and baking spice on the nose, with the agave/vegetal notes downplayed in favour of an engaging, gingersnap/lavender profile. Silky, creamy, elegant, complex and, well, quite gentle. The new breed of tequila.
Of course, after al of this you might want to avail yourself to some Detoxwater. Not available in Canada..yet, this bioactive aloe water is delicious and contains aloe, (of course), electrolytes, and vitamins. It’s also kosher, vegan, gluten free and contains no GMO. I really liked the ‘Mangaloe” mango flavour, but the water is also available in it’s original lychee and while grape flavour.