Categories
Reposado Reviews

Review | Patron – Reposado

We have a soft spot for Patron’s Reposado at TTS. It was the first premium tequila I ever tried and it changed the game. But that was a long time ago and I have drank a lot more tequila since. That said, Patron Reposado is still in our house selection.

patron reposado tequila

Patron’s Reposado is made from 100% Blue Agave from the Los Altos Highlands in Jalisco. It has been aged in oak barrels for 6 months. It is 40% ABV (80 proof) and costs around £50.

Presentation

Each bottle of Patron is hand made, numbered and signed and is mottled in a way that makes it feel more authentically handmade though machines shape the bottle. A satisfying cork top and traditionally styled, familiar labelling make the Patron bottle a welcome sight. However given the premium status of Patron, I would have liked something more premium than a sticker for it’s labelling.

tequila colours

Colour

For reposado it is lighter than others, much closer to a Joven that expected, which goes some way to explain the rest of the experience. It is a pale golden colour and when poured is a watery consistency.

Aroma

Leaving it to come to room temperature, the aroma of the reposado is sweet, vanilla and agave. The agave possibly a little dirty and earthy. The alcohol evaporates quickly as it warms and the aromas become bolder, with more of the cooked agave coming through to a spicy, white pepper and black pepper scent. There is some citrus, sour apple and dairy tones too. On bringing to the lips, the alcohol can be overpowering as it evaporates, at 40% that is not surprising though other tequilas can mask this better. 

Flavour

The first feel in mouth is peppery and alcoholic as expected and very strong cooked agave. Again as expected given the lighter colour. It is tingly on the tongue but not too strong. The intensity of the agave is quite full and catches the nasal senses taking the flavour into the nose.

Held in the mouth it feels clean though not to be held for too long, its a “sip & drink” rather than a “sip & savour” tequila. The sweetness comes though once you swallow, along with the vanilla and further agave. The bottom end of the flavour and aroma remains peppery with more butter and citrus. The finish isn’t clean and it isn’t dirty, it’s in between. Perhaps a little too peppery, lasting longer than required, however not unpleasant.

patron tequila

Experience

It makes for a good experience, perhaps more from the name that the tequila, for sipping there is better however it is enjoyable to open a Patron bottle, pour it from a traditional “handmade” bottle and enjoy the taste. It is a tequila we always have stocked and I recommend it as a gift to people just starting in their tequila journey. I would happily drink this at any occasion, sipping, shooting or mixing.

The Margarita Test

We put all of our tequila through the Margarita test.

The Patron Reposado is our go to for a margarita. It mixes very very well and the smoothness is accentuated in a margarita. The sweetness of the vanilla shines, there is a little nuttiness and the 6 months resting takes the edge off compared to a blanco. It is not complex enough to complicate the cocktail and not simple enough to be overpowered.

It passes. 

patron tequila bottle

What we say… 7/10

Patron Reposado is a premium though not too premium, pale yellow tequila. It is light and clean though more peppery than necessary and has has sweet vanilla and butter aftertaste. It is a nice bottle with a good, not great price. It is brilliant in a margarita and perfect for a “do it all” tequila, good enough for sipping, shooting or mixing.

For the money, there are better quality reposados certainly, however there are few that are as widely available and socially regarded. If you want to like tequila, Patron Reposado is a good starting point. If you already like tequila, you will have tried this and have your own opinion.


Categories
Reviews Tequila

Top 10 Tequilas 2018

Sampling lots and lots of tequila every year is a hard job, but someone has to do it. That’s why I have nominated myself. After numerous tasting sessions, these are our top 10 tequilas in 2018.

This list has been compiled for 2018, it includes some classics, some new ones and some usual ones.

All very good tequilas for their own reasons.

There are some Blancos, Reposados, Anejos and Extra Anejos (read about different types of tequila). Some not even from Mexico (sort of)! I hope to have explained these and provided some guidance if you are looking for good tequila.

In case you wanted to know about my palette, I eat a lot of spicy food, like sweet things, and have been drinking tequila for many years. While friends were drinking beers and gin and tonics, I was drinking tequila and orange juice. I don’t like mustard, strong ginger or nutmeg. I also appreciate value for money, something expensive doesn’t means it’s good. I appreciate provenance and fun. Tequila should always be fun. Hopefully this adds context to my choices.

I should say that this is only the top of what we have tried and what is available to export to the UK. We know there are many more tequilas in the US and Mexico that are not exported and while we do intend to drink all of them at some point in our life, we haven’t yet, so for fairness, this is for the non-mexican market.

top 10 tequilas

TOP 10 TEQUILAS FOR 2018

1. Don Julio 1942 – Extra Anejo

The Perfectly Balanced One

In the Don Julio 1942 there is a great balance of strong cooked agave, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and chocolate. It is an expensive tequila in a nice bottle and is premium, great for money and pleasurable to drink.

If you have never tried premium tequila, you will not recognise this. It’s something a little different to the usual.

don-julio-1942
The Perfectly Balanced One

2. Clase Azul – Reposado

The Rich One

Although Clase Azul produce perfectly reasonable Anejo and an Ultra Anejo, you get great value for money and easy drinking of the reposado, so we give it top marks.

Similar to the Don Julio 1942, it has strong vanilla and caramel with some honey and more woody notes, making it a rich tasting tequila. It also has a beautiful bottle which will look great on your cocktail bar/cabinet/trolley.

clase-azul-reposado
The Rich One

3. Gran Patron Smoky – Blanco

The Smoky One

I’ve been waiting for this tequila for many years. In some ways the Gran Patron Smoky could be classed as a mezcal as it’s roasted in an earthen pit. But as it uses Blue Agave like the rest of the Patron range, it is classed a tequila. It is delicately smoky on a sharp raw agave blanco.

Usually a blanco tequila is unaged, has sharp tendancies so it is unusual, and surprising to have the smoke flavour come through.

Bring on the agave experiments!

gran-patron-smoky
The Smoky One

4. Fortaleza – Anejo

The Prodigal Son

When Sauza, the house of the Father of Tequila, Don Cenobio Sauza, was sold to Beam Suntory, a piece of tequila history was changed forever. That was until his great-great-great grandson Guillermo, decided to breathe new fire into the old distillery and create Fortaleza.

This tequila is strong on agave, sweet and oaky with a long finish.

Plus, the label looks pretty cool.

fortaleza anejo
The Prodigal Son
(produced by the son of the great Don Sauza)

5. UWA – Anejo

The Scottish One

Yes you read that right, Scottish. As in 5,000 miles from Mexico. Perhaps my British bias is at play but whether it is or not, this is a good tequila with some added novelty.

Some oak is imparted from the Speyside barrels, it is peppery and strong, alcoholic and not short on character. Whiskey enthusiasts will enjoy this, alcohol enthusiasts will enjoy this, tequila enthusiasts will enjoy this. Scottish tequila!

This is a gimmick that’s worked out pretty well.

The Scottish One

6. Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva – Extra Anejo

The Single Estate Hero

Many tequilas are made from agave grown by farmers who sell their plants to different distilleries. Therefore, it is something special when a distillery owns its own land, agave and distillery. This means the product is protected by the same ethos from soil to lips.

This Extra Anejo from Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva is spicy, oaky and has an extra long finish that makes it one to remember.

The Single Estate Hero

7. Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia

The Redeeming One

Jose Cuervo is both loved and reviled in the tequila world. We wouldn’t have tequila without them but then tequila wouldn’t have such a bad reputation either.

The Reserva de la Familia is 100% Agave unlike the mixto Especial we all know.

It is oaky, strong, a little fruity and with some smoke. The bottle is charming and if you forget about the past, this is top quality tequila. I expect the 250th Anniversary Edition from Jose Cuervo is better, but I haven’t tried it, yet.

jose-cuervo-reserva-de-la-familia
The Redeeming One

8. Casa Noble – Anejo

The Chocolatey One

Yes, chocolate and tequila. Casa Noble has a reputation for having a chocolate aroma and flavour and in my opinion the Anejo is the best.

Sweet, smoky and agave strong, a classic bottle and as smooth as its ex-co-owner, Carlos Santana. We enjoyed the Casa Noble Anejo very much.

casa-noble-anejo
The Chocolatey One

9. KAH – Extra Anejo

The skully one

First the skulls draw you in, then the tequila keeps you coming back. KAH Extra Anejo is undoubtedly peppery as is most of the Kah range. There are hints of cigar smoke, wood and spice that makes this stand out a bit from my other picks as they are all sweeter and smoother but the KAH Extra Anejo is a kick to the senses, in a good way.

kah-tequila-extra-anejo
The Skully One

10. Casamigos – Anejo

The Handsome One

It was almost inevitable that a Casamigos tequila would be on this list. George Clooney and Randy Gerber’s foray into tequila had my scepticism on overdrive. It took a long time to even try it, but when I did I was surprised.

It is not the best tequila but it is good. Just good enough to be on this list. This is partly due to the headline exposure that Casamigos has done for tequila. Its $1 billion buyout by Diageo turned more than a few heads and is a great story for tequila. The Casamingos Anejo flavour is alcoholic, peppery with some sweetness.

casamigos-tequila-anejo
The Handsome One

Hope that top 10 tequilas for 2018 gives you a good starting point to go on for the remainder of this year. And check back in a few months for our 2019 list!



Categories
Bar Recipes Reposado Tequila

Recipe | Spicy Grapefruit Margarita

The Spicy Grapefruit Margarita brings together a bitter-sweet and spicy drink. It’s a great variation of a classic margarita, everyone’s favourite tequila cocktail.

The Spicy Grapefruit Margarita is perfect with barbecued meat and roasted veg on a cooler summer evening. But then, any time is margarita time in our household! 

The mellower taste of Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado doesn’t fight with the bitterness of the grapefruit and compliments the chilli warmth that comes through the salt/chilli rim.

There’s a warm chilli kick to finish that will have you reaching for more.

Spicy Grapefruit Margarita

SPICY GRAPEFRUIT MARGARITA (SERVES 1)

INGREDIENTS

50ml Jose Cuervo Tradicional® Reposado

25ml Fresh Lime Juice

1 tsp Agave Syrup

1 round slice of Jalapeño Pepper

50ml parts Grapefruit Juice

3 pinches Salt

1 pinch Mild Chilli Powder

Lime wedges

Small grapefruit or lime wedges for garnish (optional)

Extra round slice of Jalapeño for garnish (optional)

METHOD

1. Shake together Ice, Jalapeño segment and all liquids including syrup

2. Prepare a salt and chilli mix in a small dish

3. Wet half the rim of the glass using a lime wedge

4. Dip this wet rim in the salt and chilli mix

5. Put the extra piece of jalapeño in a glass and fill on top with ice

6. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass

7. Garnish with grapefruit or lime wedges if available

Salud!

Adapted from : Cuervo

Read more recipes here



Categories
Guide Tequila

What is Tequila?

Tequila is many things to different people. Something to savour, something to avoid, something to drink quickly, something to drink slowly or even a place to live.

Here, when we ask “What is Tequila?” we are talking about a alcoholic spirit made in Mexico. A spirit made exclusively of Blue Weber Agave, a plant native to the region. A spirit that is known and loved all over the world. 

The plant

The Blue Agave plant can take 12 years to grow and mature. This plant is cultivated, harvested, roasted, macerated, fermented and distilled… to create the alcoholic liquid we call tequila.

This is the same for mezcal, so tequila can actually be considered a type of mezcal.

Like champagne, to be called tequila, it must follow some rules and regulations. Tequila (and Mezcal) is a protected product of Mexico.

General guidelines for Tequila

  • Must be produced in designated districts of Mexico
  • Must only use Blue Weber Agave
  • Must be a minimum of 51% Tequila spirit
  • Must be bottled in Mexico
  • Must be made by a recognised distillery

These are just a few of the many rules but demonstrate that tequila is not just another alcoholic spirit.

Tequila Taste?

Tequila has a distinct flavour compared to other spirits. It carries the unique flavour of the agave plant. Tequila can be described as follows:

  • Peppery
  • Boozy
  • Smoky
  • Spicy
  • Herbal 
  • Woody
  • Floral
  • Dark Caramel
  • Vanilla
  • Sharp/Astringent
  • Dry
  • Top of the throat warmth

Types of Tequila

Tequila, when it has just been distilled, is clear and transparent in colour. It is the truest, unadulterated taste of fermented agave. When this is bottled, it is called “Blanco”.

Tequila can then be rested, much like whiskey, in barrels, usually oak, usually American bourbon, to create the remaining varieties of Tequila – Joven, Reposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo.

Each of these varieties of tequila start as a Blanco and are rested for different periods of time.

  • Blanco – 0 months resting time
  • Reposado – 2-12 months rested
  • Anejo – 12-36 months rested
  • Extra Anejo – 36+ months rested

Other types of Tequila

  • Joven – a blend of Blanco and Reposado/Anejo
  • Mixto – a blend of 51% Tequila and 49% Other Alcohol

The mixto variety of tequila is usually the type of tequila that the majority of people tried in their student days, it has been known to give hangovers and is responsible for putting some people off tequila for life. The bad hangover is usually down to the other ‘cheap grain alcohol’ that is used. 

Cheap usually means killer hangover.

Remember, tequila has so many varieties, flavour profiles and uses (sipping, shooting, cocktails). If you give tequila a chance you will probably find the ideal one to suit your tastes. 

We hope you now understand a little more about what is tequila.

Please browse the site for further information and inspiration on your tequila journey.


what is tequila

Categories
Bar Blanco Recipes

Recipe | Tequila Sunrise

The Tequila Sunrise will always be the cocktail that changed tequila for us. It’s a classic fruity cocktail that takes us back sunny holidays by the beach feeling like the world was a wondrous place.

Before we used to to think of tequila as just a shooting spirit, but mixing it with orange juice and sweetening with grenadine, tequila became something glorious.

Tequila sunrise was invented in the 1970s in the USA and became a bit of a rock’n’roll drink thanks to the Rolling Stones and their entourage.

The sunrise element of the cocktail is thanks to the grenadine being a heavier liquid than the orange juice so as you carefully pour it in it sinks to the bottom in a gradient creating the striking sunrise look. 

Tequila sunrise is a simple and easy to make cocktail that looks impressive and ideal for throwing together at summer time gatherings.

The Tequila sunrise is a staple at the bar and actually inspired my favourite drink of choice –  tequila and orange juice filled high with ice. It tastes amazing on a cool day, easy to relax with, very easy to refill.

We recommend using Patron Reposado tequila for it’s smooth flavour profile that complements the orange juice. But you can use any of your favourite tequila’s. 

HOW TO MAKE TEQUILA SUNRISE (SERVES 1)

INGREDIENTS

50 ml Patrón Reposado Tequila
120 ml Fresh Orange Juice
15 ml Grenadine Syrup
Orange slice, for garnish

METHOD

1. Fill a high ball glass with ice.

 

2. Pour over Patron Reposado tequila and orange juice.

 

3. Gently pour over the grenadine, it will slowly fall to the base of the glass.

 

4. Garnish with slice of orange.

Note: We don’t recommend using a straw with the Tequila Sunrise as you will get a mouthful of grenadine! Stir the ice as you sip.

Picture source : Patron 

Patron - Tequila Sunrise

Read more agave recipes here or read about tequila here.

Enjoy! 

 


Categories
Tips

How to Avoid a Tequila Hangover

We spend a lot of money when drinking. Then we spend a lot of time recovering from drinking.

I’ve heard it many times – people feeling an epic hangover after a night drinking tequila. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you choose the right tequila you shouldn’t be getting a hangover. Not unless you’re over-doing it.

Why you get a tequila hangover

I challenge that you probably either drank too much or, more likely, you drank cheap mixto tequila like Jose Cuervo Especial. This means that the tequila you drank, a mixto, is not 100% “100% Blue Agave” tequila, it is 51% Blue Agave Tequila.

To be a true tequila, the spirit has to use 100% Blue Agave. However to use the name ‘Tequila’, the spirit doesn’t have to be alcohol made only from this premium agave plant.

Tequila distilleries will often use other sugars to finish off the tequila, similar to how other spirits are made. It is cheaper for them to do this but the result is that it produces a much less pure spirit. These sugar-based alcohols create a spirit than is more likely to cause a headache. It’s like mixing a bottle with half nice tequila and half cheap cheap cheap vodka – your head doesn’t stand a chance.

Different countries allow tequila to be classified in different ways. In Mexico, only the spirit using the blue agave plant is considered to be a tequila.

How to avoid a tequila hangover

To avoid a tequila hangover – stick to 100% Blue Agave tequila. Check bottle labels and check that it says it uses ‘ONLY 100% Blue Agave’. If it doesn’t have these words, then give it a miss.

More expensive tequilas will be more likely to be 100% Blue Agave and avoid that headache – pay the extra for a better quality tequila to avoid a tequila hangover. We like this one – Casamigos Blanco Tequila

You’ll thank me later.

Hope that helps how to avoid a tequila hangover.

How to avoid a tequila hangover

Categories
Guide

What Are the Different Types of Tequila?

What are the different types of the tequila? Which types give you a headache after one and those which don’t?! Which ones are clear or the ones that are yellow?

There are actually a few official different types of tequila as decreed by the Mexican Government.

There are 5 different types of tequila, they are Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Anejo, and Extra Anejo.

Tequila variations also includes ‘Mixtos’ (which tend to contain at least 51% agave with other sugars making up the remaining amount) or ‘100% Agave’ tequilas that are recognised types.

What are the different types of tequila?

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEQUILA?

Blanco 

or Silver, White, Plata, Platinum

Blanco is tequila that is not rested in barrels, it is pure and unadulterated agave flavour. To try the clearest expression from a distiller try a blanco.

Blancos can be rested for up to 4 weeks in stainless stills which don’t impart any colour or flavour. Overall the flavour profile is quite sharp.

Joven

or Young, Gold, Oro

Joven means that there is a degree of “resting” with the tequila, however it is not as you might expect.

To be a Joven, many distillers will take a Blanco, and add a little bit of a Reposado or Anejo to cut through the sharp Agave taste in a Blanco. Essentially a Joven is a mix of Blanco and either Reposado or Anejo tequila.

Gold tequila will often be a mixto so check the label if you are specifically looking for 100% Agave tequila.

Reposado

Rested.

Reposado tequila is rested for 3-11 months, sometimes a little longer. This is a popular tequila category for its balance of agave flavour and cask character.

A reposado can be a good entry point to trying and appreciating tequila and a great one to keep in the cabinet.

We recommend reposado’s for many of our stronger, agave prominent cocktails, like the Margarita.

We also find the greatest degree of variability in the quality, taste, balance and flavour of reposados compared to the other types of tequilas.

Anejo

Aged.

Anejo tequila is rested for 1-3 years. The tequila must age in barrels no larger than 600 litres. This imparts more flavour from the barrel. The agave flavour starts to give way to characteristics of the barrel, much like whiskey.

Drinking Anejo is a serious step up in quality, price and flavour profile. It is much more mellow, complex and nuanced.

Shooting Anejo or mixing it in a cocktail is pointless and huge waste of money. Even in a Margarita or Paloma, it is wasted.

An Anejo should be sipped to be appreciated.

Extra Anejo

Extra Aged, Ultra Aged

Extra Anejo tequila is rested for 3 years or more.

All that applies to Anejo also applies to Extra Anejo, except it is more complex, characterful, and flavoursome. It is often more expensive.

An Extra Anejo should be more expensive and tends to be appreciated when a drinker has developed tequila palette.


Hopefully this helps you start to understand the different types of tequila and how you might want to choose your next bottle. 

Happy drinking.