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
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
, 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
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
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…
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: reviews, tequila