If I had a dollar for every time I had heard those 2 comments in the last 5 years, I would be doing very well.
Tequila has had a bit of an image problem for as long as I can remember. It’s nothing new. I’m sure most of us have had an experience, were the bad boy tequila came out late at night & things got a little wild. Often consumed during our early experiments with alcohol, quite often with lemon and salt, licked, sipped & sucked. I know I did. We drank a bit of tequila, but only late at night and the results the next day were not great. Was it tequila’s fault or the excess consumption of other beverages consumed before tequila rocked up?
What most people don’t understand is, real tequila, not the rough stuff we were first introduced too, is a truly beautiful spirit to drink, or mix into quality cocktails.
Let me explain, not all tequila is the same.
Mixto tequila v 100% de Agave tequila.
Mixto tequila, the type predominately consumed in Australia only needs to contain 51% tequila to be labelled tequila. The other 49% able to being be made up of any other spirit. Usually a cheap white spirit with flavouring. Examples of mixto tequila are: Sierra, Sauza or Jose Cuervo Especial. I’m not say that these tequilas all taste horrible, as some taste ok, the thing is are not what I would classify as tequila.
On the other hand, 100% de Agave is the genuine article. Tequila made entirely from blue Webber agave from a designated region around the state of Jalisco, just as the case with Champagne and France. Honestly, most people have never tried real tequila.
This is where it gets a bit confusing. There is a tequila for everyone.
Tequila itself has multiple categories.
- Blanco (“white”) is the purest expression of tequila. It is clear and typically unaged. The true flavours and intensity of the agave are present, as well as some natural sweetness.
- Reposado (“rested”) has been aged in oak for a short period which imparts colour and flavour to the tequila. It is often softer then Blanco and adds notes of vanilla, oak, chocolate, coffee, nuts and whiskey to the palate.
- Añejo (“aged”) has been agave in oak barrels for at least a year. The barrel again give the tequila a unique palate which incorporated the wonderful agave flavours but combines with the rich flavours reminiscent of good scotch or cognac.
- Extra Añejo (“extra aged”) is generally much darker than the other categories and is so rich that it becomes difficult to distinguish it from other quality aged dark spirits. Extra Añejo are extremely smooth and complex and perfect for sipping neat at the end of the night.
At Hot Tamale, we only serve 100% de Agave. In fact, we have the largest collection in the Southern Hemisphere from what we understand. We have over 250 different tequilas as well as close to 50 different mezcals, now that’s another story again. We want to show our guests, you, what real tequila is. We want to give you an understanding of this misunderstood spirit. Let us introduce you to the right tequila for you.
To do this we have Tequila flights on our menu where you can try some of my personally recommended tequilas. Each flight of tequila highlight a specific brand and showcases a Blanco, Reposado and Añejo. The perfect place to start your love for an amazing spirit with a bright and colourful history.
David Hot Tamale
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