Patrón Silver (and Happy Tequila Day!)

I’m afraid I’m not a tequila person. Nothing personal. I’m not a whisky person either. Or a vodka person. I like beer and I have a secret dream: testing and tasting beers and writing about that. And I like rum. Or to be precise: I do have a long love affair with rum. I have been testing and tasting Ron de Venezuela since 1998, writing about rum since 2000 and mixing with rum since 2007.

So, when the public relations agency of Patrón Tequila approached me to suggest a couple of cocktail recipes for National Tequila Day, my answer was why not? After all, I like to try new things and work for a website for Latino women in the US. I must confess, however, I was kind of skeptical. Honestly, I associated the category with college hangovers (even if I never got one, simply because I never had tequila before.)

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Tequila can be elegant and sophisticate and as a bonus it has an amazing history. Reading here and there, I found out that tequila is protected by the Appellation of Origin Tequila: only blue agave distillates produced in Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas, in México, can be called tequila.

There is more. The Aztecs drank fermented agave long before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1521. Tequila was already produced in the 16th Century, in the region where in 1666 the city of Tequila was founded. Around 1600, at the Hacienda Cuisillos, Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, Marquis of Altamira and who is known as the “Father of Tequila”, began mass-production of the distillate.

In 1608, tequila was already taxed. In 1758, King Ferdinand IV of Spain granted Don Antonio de Cuervo a lot of land to cultivate agave and in 1795 King Charles of Spain granted the Cuervo family the first license for commercial production of tequila.

Today, more than 300,000 blue agave plants are manually harvested every year by jimadores who pass their knowledge about this succulent plant from generation to generation.

Although many tequila distilleries are independent Mexican companies, big brands are part of the portfolio of large global and multinational corporations, controlling the beverage industry worldwide. There are about 100 distilleries in Mexico producing about 900 tequila brands and the business will continue to flourish: in 2006 there were more than 2,000 trademarks.

There are two types of tequila: 100% agave and mixed. Tequila is bottled in five categories: white or silver, young or gold, reposado, añejo and extra aged. According to the Mexican Official Standard 2006, for tequila to be called “extra aged”, “extra añejo” or “ultra aged”, must have been aged for three years in oak barrels.

I did all this “homework” to have a better understanding of tequila, once I would receive my first bottle, courtesy of Patrón. Following are my impressions on this distillate.

Before testing it, I must say the packing impressed me: handmade bottles, made out of recycled glass, hand-numbered, with a hand tie ribbon, carefully covered with bright green apple tissue in an elegant box… all foreshadowing the liquid inside…

Tasting notes
To the sight: crystal clear
To the nose: alcohol, smoked wood, fresh citrus
To the palate: silky and velvety, smoked and sweet, lightly peppery at the end

Thank you Patrón for introducing me to this new pleasure...

Etiquetas: ,