Thanks to an agreement between my fiance and his sister to shoot tequila at our wedding, we sampled more than two dozen tequilas and we went from hell no to having made our peace. The real and immediate goal was to find a tequila that was good enough to replace that story – you know the one – it usually begins with a long head-shake and fighting the urge to urp a little.
In that sampling we studied tequila to understand what we liked and how to find a similar kind of tequila when we went looking for the next brand to try. I was astounded by how many there were. I knew of Patron and I knew of good ol’ Jose, but had no clue there were others. Well, perhaps tequila Rose. Have you met her? Ooof.
There are three types of tequila;
Blanco – This is white or crystal clear. This is one of the favorites when people talk about Patron. The silver or blanco means the tequila has not been rested or has been stored in a neutral barrel. The agave flavor is what hits you right up front.
Repasado – This is rested in oak barrels for more than two months but less than a year. It is caramel in color but lighter than the anejo. It has mellowed the alcohol a bit more and has begun to pick up some flavor.
Anejo – This is the darker of the three because its been aged one to three years and picks up more of the oak flavor and color.
What to remember about these are the blanco is going to have more of that burn and the alcohol will be more present in your mouth. As the tequila gets older, the flavors become more complex and flavorful and the alcohol bite mellows out.
Personally I am a huge fan of the reposados. It is sometimes fruity or floral and can be quite delicious sipped or “shot.” Fans of the anejo are also likely to be fans of whiskey or scotch with that deep complexity. Believe it or not, tequila can be sipped and enjoyed!
Many of you may be familiar with the Cabo-Wabo which is Sammy Hagar’s brand of tequila. It is impressive the love that goes into this brand – you can taste the quality and care immediately. Cabo is smooth and warm with a hint of fruity. It rivals Patron any day and if you’ve had the pleasure of spending any time in Mexico, it may bring you back to those sandy beaches and swim up bar. (Also, it is a lot of fun to say “Cabo-Wabo-Repasado” it sounds like a magic word, say it three times and fun appears!)
Corazon, another huge favorite that is light and mellow. This is gentle and a little sweet. I recently gifted a bottle for a friend’s bachelorette party and it was well recieved. Corazon may be able to bring you back from the “hell no’s.” The packaging is a bit rustic and quite pretty. Very nice to give as a gift. It is dare I say, feminine.
El Mayor is simply magnificent. It has a refined quality about it. Very mellow, very smooth. Even the bottle is gorgeous. The first one I bought I just sat appreciating its weight and curves. It is one I’m excited to introduce people to because it isn’t one that is on the radar much, but it should be. Also, it comes with batch and bottle numbers on the label, another touch of sophistication.
Each of these bottles are going to run you around $30-$40 which is a reasonable price to pay. Sure, you can pay $12.99 for a bottle of quervo but that isn’t 100% agave and it is made with other sugars and possibly fructose. Spend just a little more for the best experience.
An important note: Chill the glass, not the alcohol. This will bring it to just the right temperature.
Serve a small glass with dinner along side an nice beer or perk up your tail gate experience. Whenever the shot tray gets passed around people start to get excited. Leave them talking about this “amazing tequila” they didn’t think they would like. If we were made believers, you can be too. Don’t forget to pass along your new knowledge and convert a few fans of your own. SALUD!!