How To Drink Tequila The Right Way According To A Master Tequilier
Everyone has their own associations with tequila , but more often than not, people tend to use it in the same sentence as shots and regret. Tequila Cazadores Master Tequilier Tania Oseguera, a native to Guadalajara, Mexico, is here to debunk all myths about it and celebrate this authentic piece of Mexican culture. Its a fun spirit, and is meant to be, she says, And you can enjoy it however you prefer: in margaritas, neat, or in a good cocktail. The only strict rule is that you learn how to drink it neat first, sip by sip. After that, you can mix it with whatever you prefer. Oseguera told us more about how to create the perfect margarita and how she rose to the top of her ultra-competitive field with this important honor.
Meet the Master Tequilier
Brit+Co: How did you get into the food and beverage industry, and what was the process of becoming a master tequilier like?
B+C: What are some common misconceptions people have about tequila that arent true?
Cazadores also makes tequila with a strong commitment to sustainability. We source energy from the agave plant itself, by burning the residual fibers of the agave to turn into vapor. The distillery is also powered by solar tube systems were really committed to reducing our carbon footprint in any way possible.
Also, another myth: Strangely, some people think tequila comes from the cactus plant instead of agave.
B+C: Can you explain the difference between a couple of the major kinds of tequila?
Most Affordable Type Of Premium Tequila
Now that you know how to identify the premium bottles of tequila, you might be wondering if you will be able to afford to treat yourself. Well, its no secret that the bottles of the high quality stuff has a higher price tag than the cheap stuff. But, for those on a budget, there is good news. Reposado tequilas have a good taste and an affordable cost. Honestly, you shouldnt be buying anything less than reposado. In fact, you will be able to sip a reposado and actually enjoy the flavor, unlike cheaper varieties. Of course, añejo and extra añejo have a smoother taste that is more enjoyable to most aficionados, so keep that in mind if your budget allows for it.
Mexican Style With Sangrita
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Best Gift: Casa Dragones Aejo Barrel Blend
Courtesy of Casa Dragones
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Nuts, Oak
Our job as bar pros is to be skeptical, but when I took the first sip, I was like, Oh, this is divine, says Chasse. A lot of bottles that people think about for gifting are on the sweeter side, but this one is not super sweet. Instead, the aging program, in both new French and new American oak, lends it complexity and balance.
Chasse finds plenty of peppery spice, nuttiness and a hint of cacao but with a lush mouthfeel that makes Casa Dragones’ tequila feel luxurious. Its sleek, charcoal-colored bottle and turquoise box present the kind of packaging that makes it giftable without wrapping paper.
Mixing Tequila In A Cocktail
Youre Drinking Your Tequila Wrong: Heres How They Really Drink It In Mexico
Mexicans sip tequila with a side of sangrita.
If youre like most Americans, you probably only drink tequila at bars, shot down as quickly as possible after a lick of salt and chased with a squeeze of lime. The tequila itself is something of an afterthought a nearly-unpalatable means to a drunken end. Well, weve got some news for you: Youre drinking the wrong tequila, and youre drinking it the wrong way. If you want to graduate to drinking tequila like an adult, do as the Mexicans do.
First of all, when youre knocking back shots of Cuervo Especial, youre not drinking real tequila youre drinking mixto, which is only 51 percent actual tequila . See the top-shelf stuff up there, the Herradura, Patron, and 1800? Thats the good stuff. Its made with 100 percent blue agave, and it tastes the way tequilas supposed to taste.
We know that youre thinking: Why would I want to pay $12 for a shot of tequila? The answer? You shouldnt be doing shots of it! Because in Mexico, not only do they only drink 100 percent agave tequila , they also dont only do shots of it. One hundred percent agave tequila is made for sipping and savoring from a snifter, like a good scotch. No lime or salt is necessary to mask the flavor. After every sip or two you can dip a wedge of lime into a little salt and suck on it if you want to, but if youre drinking mezcal skip the lime and opt for an orange slice instead.
Best Blanco: Don Fulano Blanco
Courtesy of Don Fulano
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Lemon peel, Lemongrass, Cooked agave
“Theres a saying: ‘Whiskey is aged in wood, and tequila is aged in the ground,'” says Hurley. Thats so true because agave takes six to eight years to mature, so you can detect the influence of the terroirthe soil, sun and shade of mountainsespecially in a blanco. He calls this one from the Altos region phenomenal.
Produced by Jaliscos famed Fonseca family using deep well water, Don Fulano Blanco offers “green cooked agave notes, a little bit of pepper and minerality, and hints of lemon peel and lemongrass, Hurley says. Along with those complex layers of flavor, Hurley likes its mouthfeel. It has a nice body all the way through, so its one of the easiest drinking tequilas out there,” he adds.
Blancos showcase the terroir and the agave, but they also show any imperfections. Look for spirits with a medium to full body, a bit of attitude, minerality and brightnessand not much ethanol burn. You can tell an impure spirit if you get that. Morgan Hurley, Marketing and Beverage Director, Mex 1 Coastal Cantina
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Casa Herradura Seleccion Suprema
Herraduras claim to fame is that is it was the first ever Tequila to introduce a Reposado, or rested tequila. This tequila is aged for 4 years, and is a seductive affair indeed. It features wonderful florals, a subtle hint of creamy vanilla, and a lengthy, intriguing finish. Its a sensory nirvana.
What About Tequila Shots In Mexico
The westernised way of drinking tequila where you lick some salt off the back of your hand, swallow an entire shot of tequila in one go and finish off with a quick suck on a lime wedge does actually originate from Mexico it is how Mexican people drink very young tequila i.e. not reposado or añejo.
However, this style of tequila drinking in Mexico has a party vibe to it and is more common amongst younger drinkers. As smoother tequilas are more readily available and affordable, this white, rougher tequila seems to be drunk less frequently.
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Sip Because Mother Nature Might Change Her Mind About That
Because tequila is so specific in its origin, its not like producers can just start using potatoes in the event of a blue agave shortage. We had one of those from 1998-2003, when a fusarium blight wreaked havoc on crops. The furious industry response pushed us back to the plenty we enjoy today, but natures fickle. Sipping to appease her might not help, but it certainly cant hurt.
How Do Mexicans Drink Tequila
Until I tasted good tequila, the idea of sitting and sipping tequila, as Mexican people commonly do, seemed like an absurd activity. Yet the truth is that good tequila is to be savoured, not slugged down at speed.
Heres how to drink tequila like a Mexican.
Pick a tequila that is 100% agave and at least reposado.
Fill a shot glass in the normal way .
To drink, simply take a small sip of tequila straight and enjoy.
If you feel the need as a new tequila drinker, you can try your tequila with some lime and some salt. After every sip or two, dip your wedge of lime into a small amount of salt and suck on it. However, dont use too much as you will drown out the flavour of the tequila.
Ideally, try to buy the tiny limes that are light green because they are sweeter and juicier than their larger, darker counterparts.
And there you have it: how to drink tequila like a Mexican.
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Best Extra Aejo: Gran Patrn Burdeos
Courtesy of Reserve Bar
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Cocoa powder, Dates, Caramel
Añejos and extra añejos should embody the flavor of the wood with the soul of the original spirit, says Hurley, so that the cooked agave flavor shines, complemented by notes of toasted oak, caramel, vanilla and cocoa powder.
This bottle from Patrón exemplifies the style. It is far too tasty, says Chasse. In part, thats due to the barrel program. A combination of used American and new French oak casks gives it a deep amber color that looks great in a snifter. Plus, a velvety mouthfeel and a drying and nearly tannic finale compels you to take another sip. But the pièce de résistance is the old Bordeaux barrels the spirit is finished in they lend a touch of the raisinated flavor youd expect from a wine.
It also does pair nicely with food, says Chasse, and if youre having a fancy day, with a fine cigar.
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Olives, Earth, Orange
If you want to know what tequila tasted like 100 years ago, Fortaleza is your go-to, says Hurley. At his estate in the town of Tequila, master distiller Guillermo Sauza makes the spirit the way his great-great-grandfather made it, using an old stone tahona and brick ovens. Bottled straight from the copper pot still without dilution, this blanco has an alluring earthy, olivey quality, says Chasse, with plenty of bright citrus, too.
A Fun Tequila Shot For Parties
Im ready for summer, or even just warm weather. Bring it on because Im sick of cold, rainy days. At least the snow is over but after a while you just need some sunshine.
Tequila drinks like these Double Trouble Tropical Tequila Shots just scream party time right? We make tequila cocktails all the time, like these Lime Drop Shots and we even use tequila to cook with like in these Tequila Lime Chicken Legs.
Theres nothing wrong with a plain tequila shot with lime, but today were making a shot thats a little more creative, and tasty. So why are these shots called Double Trouble? Ill give you two reasons. One is that theres two types of liquor in these little shots, tequila and pineapple vodka.
The other reason for the name Double Trouble is that these shots go down so smooth and taste so good youre going to have to make sure youve got a ride homeor are in walking distance.
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How Do You Drink Sipping Tequila
Weve all heard of Tequila shots its when you propel the liquid right into your mouth. But how does it differ from sipping tequila? As the name implies, when you sip tequila, you take time to finish the drink. You dont have to drink the whole glass empty in one gulp.
Instead, you can let it sit in your hand while youre enjoying your time talking to your family or friends. You slowly sip the drink and appreciate its beautiful flavor bit by bit.
What Is The Smoothest Tequila
Here are the best sipping tequilas our experts recommend to drink right now.
- Best Highlands: El Tesoro Reposado.
- Best for Beginners: Casamigos Blanco.
- Best Under $30: Espolòn Reposado.
- Best Under $50: Cazadores Añejo.
- Best Splurge: Don Ramón Limited Edition Extra Añejo.
- Best Gift: Casa Dragones Añejo Barrel Blend.
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How To Drink Tequila Like A Non
Before we get into the details of how to drink tequila like a Mexican, lets take a good hard stare at how the rest of us tend to approach the subject of tequila drinkingor should I say tequila slamming.
More often that not, it goes a little something like this:
Who Should Buy It
This tequila glass is perfect for people who want a more straightforward glass that is high quality at the same time. It would also make a wonderful gift for friends or family.
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What Is The Smoothest Sipping Tequila
Tequila is one of the most popular alcohols in the world. There have been many tequilas produced by now, and there are currently many types of tequila to choose from, but if you’re wondering what the smoothest tequila is, it is Añejo. Añejo means vintage, and they are aged from one to three years. It is labeled as the best sipping tequila because of the smooth flavor.
Best Splurge: Don Ramn Limited Edition Extra Aejo
Courtesy of Liquorama.net
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Cocoa, Dark coffee
Only 5,000 bottles of this limited-edition Don Ramón extra añejo were produced. Made with 100% blue agave from the Tequila Highlands, this expression has been aged for three years in American oak barrels. The tequila provides notes of toasted coconut and vanilla, with some cocoa powder and dark roasted coffee, Hurley notes. But thats only part of the selling point for him.
The tequila is great, but the bottle is whats really gorgeous, he says. The glass is embedded with gold flakes and decorated in wooshing lines composed of Swarovski crystals, which frame the dark amber liquid inside. It makes a showstopping centerpiece for any bar.
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How Is Tequila Made
Tequila is made from the blue agave plant. Its spiky leaves are removed by jimadors to expose the heart of the plant, also known as the piña. The harvested piñas are then crushed and baked in a steam producing brick oven to soften them for shredding.
Once shredded, the pulp is compressed to release the sugary sap of the piñas. This sweet agave juice is diluted with water and yeast is added to begin the fermentation process that lasts approx 4 days).
The fermented agave juice is then distilled by either port or columns stills to extract the alcohol. Finally, depending on the tequila type , it is placed in oak barrels to age.