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Archive for the ‘Blanco Tequila’ Category

Summer Cocktail #4: The Margarita (Part 1)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 24, 2017

The Margarita based upon the 1953 Esquire Magazine formulation.

The Margarita Cocktail is perhaps the most popular cocktail in the entire world. Unfortunately for cocktail historians, the origin of this famous mixed drink is clouded as researchers and drinks companies have offered conflicting stories as to where and when the original Margarita was served. I’ll try to unravel some of the mystery in this two-part posting. This posting (Part 1) posits that perhaps a libation called the Tequila Daisy was the genesis of the Margarita.

This argument is bolstered as one of the earliest mention of a Margarita style bar drink is the Tequila Daisy from articles in the Syracuse Herald in 1936 (Source: Imbibe). The Spanish word for the daisy flower is Margarita, and it is easy to see how the Tequila Daisy Cocktail could have quickly became known in Mexico (or Spanish-speaking communities in the Southern USA) as the Margarita. Although the Syracuse Herald failed to provide a recipe for the Tequila Daisy, we can make a good guess as to the its construction by noting that the popular cocktail upon which the Tequila Daisy was based was the Brandy Daisy.

The original recipe for the Brandy Daisy (1876, Jerry Thomas, The Bartenders Guide (Second Edition)) is:

3 or 4 dashes gum syrup, 2 or 3 dashes of Curaçao liqueur, juice of half a small lemon, small wine-glass of brandy, and 2 dashes of Jamaica rum
Fill glass one-third full of shaved ice, Shake and strain and fill up with Seltzer water

If we swap out the Brandy and Rum in Jerry Thomas’s Daisy recipe for tequila, his recipe now bears a strong resemblance to the earliest known published Margarita Recipe (found in Esquire Magazine’s December 1953 issue):

1 ounce tequila, Dash of Triple Sec, Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice and stir, Serve in a Salt Rimmed Glass

Although this line of reasoning provides a clear path for how the Tequila Daisy became the Margarita, it does not address the question of the actual person (bartender) who gave the Margarita Cocktail its current form. I’ll tackle that  issue later this week in Part 2 of this Summer Cocktail Posting.

In the meantime, here is a modern variation of the Margarita I developed using Casamigos Blanco Tequila and California grown Cara Cara Oranges:

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Cara Cara Oranges are a navel variety orange grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley. They have a bright orange peel with just a touch of a pinkish hue, and their interior flesh is distinctively pinkish similar to a pink grapefruit. The flavour of this orange is unique representing a sort of hybrid mixture of tangerine and traditional navel orange flavour with an unusual (but delightful) sweetness which is ideally suited for cocktails.

Carra Carra Margarita SAM_1544Cara Cara Margarita

2 oz Casamigos Blanco Tequila
1 1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Cara Cara Orange Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (1:1)
Ice
Cara Cara Orange Peel

Add the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain into a chilled martini glass
Garnish with a small peel of Cara Cara Orange
Enjoy!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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Casamigos Tequila has been in the news recently as the brand was recently acquired by Diageo Spirits in a deal which was rumored (italics because the key work is rumored) to be potentially (note again the italics) worth up to $1,000,000,000.00 (yep those are italics again). I thought the recent acquisition was a good excuse to revisit my reviews for the Casamigos brands and I shall begin with the Blanco.

Here is a link to my revised Review:

Review: Casamigos Blanco Tequila

I noticed both grapefruit and lime zest weaving in and out the air within the mild white pepper and highland spice, and I also noticed a subtle smokey tone wrapped up within the fruity agave aroma.

Chimo!

 

 

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Posted in Blanco Tequila, Cocktails & Recipes, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Siempre (Plata) Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 14, 2017

Siempre is a new tequila brand owned by Monica Sanita and Alex Lecroix. The spirit they created has been available in the Ontario market for about 6 months and after gaining some recognition they are beginning to expand into Alberta, Quebec, California and Nevada (this coming September).

According to my correspondence with Alex, this is an ultra premium tequila produced in Tequila, Mexico from 100% Blue Weber agave. Interestingly this Plata spirit is a product of both highland agave, and lowland agave (in equal measure). In the production of tequila, highland agave brings strong fruity citrus notes and a little hot pepper into both the delivery and in the finish. Lowland tequila brings firm earthy flavours of the agave fruit into the flavour profile. Siempre Tequila, it would seem, attempts to bring the best of both agave worlds to the tequila aficionado.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Siempre (Plata) Tequila

“… I sense a duality in the glass as the earthy qualities of the lowland agave seems to be roughened by black pepper and hints of orange peel. The breezes above the glass hint at additional impressions grilled pineapple, mushy banana and green pepper corns. As I am enjoying the aroma, I begin to notice light herbal impressions as well, a hint of heather and light green grass and a dab of mint or menthol …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my cocktail recommendation, the Toreador.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Espolon Blanco Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 18, 2016

Espolon BlancoEspolon is a tequila brand created by Master Distiller Cirilo Oropeza. This is an premium tequila made in a small batch process from ‘hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agave, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The Espolon website tells us that the company likes to play rock music at their facilities to ‘inspire’ the agave.

At that facility piñas of the hand selected agave are cooked for 18 to 20 hours prior to their fermentation. They apparently use a slower distillation technique than is in use at most other facilities, and when the spirit is finished, their Espolon Blanco tequila is rested, filtered and then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Espolon Blanco Tequila 

“… The initial aroma somewhat earthy as a firm agave scent rises into the air. The punky agave gives me impressions of both baked squash and lightly sweet grilled pineapple. A light citrus zest is apparent as is some spicy white pepper. Taking my time with the glass, I seem to notice some softer notes of vanilla and menthol in the breezes which perhaps hints an underlying softness which may become apparent upon tasting …”

Please enjoy my review. In the next few days I will be taking a detour to try the new Pusser’s Spiced Rum, Chimo!

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Review: Cabresto Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 15, 2016

Cabresto Silver SAM_2528

Tequila Cabresto, imported by Cabresto Imports Corporation, is a brand rooted as solidly in Detroit as they are in Arandas, Mexico. It is a family owned brand with duties spread across two generations of the Lopez family. Founder Silverio Lopez runs the family ranch in Arandas and cares for the agave until its reached peak yield. His son Antonio is learning the craft of growing the agave and currently handles the branding and exportation of Cabresto to the United States. Silverio’s daughter, Sonia, is the first Lopez to graduate college and is spearheading the US operations of the Cabresto Imports Corporation. They do all this while maintaining the family tire shop in Southwest Detroit.

Cabresto Silver Tequila is a pure 100% Agave tequila. The agave fields, and the distillery which produces the tequila are located in Atotonilco in the highlands of Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico. The harvested agave is cooked in an adobe furnace that softens the plant’s fibers and transforms its starches into sugars. Once cooked and rested the agave is passed through a shredder to separate the coarse fibers, then through rollers to squeeze out its sweet juice.

As a highland tequila,we can expect the Cabresto Tequila to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. (This is as opposed to lowland tequila which has stronger earthier flavours of agave and less hot pepper.)

Cabresto Silver Tequila is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review of a blanco tequila which I have found to be ridiculously good:

Review: Cabresto Silver Tequila

“… The fruity agave seems to hint at impressions of baked garden squash, grilled pineapple and mushy banana. As I am enjoying the aroma, I notice citrus spice and herb pepper building up and breaking free from the earthy agave notes. Perhaps I am noticing a hint of cinnamon and a touch of soothing menthol in the breezes as well …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding silver tequila, Chimo!

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Review: Camarena Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 13, 2016

Camerena SilverCamarena is a relatively new tequila brand launched in 2010 by six generation tequila producer, Familia Camarena. The spirit is produced at the Tequila Supremo Distillery (Nom 1456 CRT) and is apparently distributed throughout North America by E.& J. Gallo Winery.

The Camerena Silver Tequila is produced from 100% Blue Weber agaves, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a Highland Tequila, we can expect Camarena to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. (This is as opposed to lowland tequila which has strong earthy flavours of agave and less hot pepper.)

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Camarena Silver Tequila

“… I discovered a heated agave aroma with spicy white pepper scents rising into the breezes above the glass. There is a very evident vegetal earthiness apparent which warns me that this spirit is going to have a fruity agave punch to go along with its overt spiciness. Fortunately, I also notice some soothing menthol-like aromas which may salvage my tonsils …”

Please enjoy my latest tequila review as I embark on a little tequila, Chimo!

 

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The Year In Tequila – (The 2015 Rum Howler Awards)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 27, 2015

RH-winner2015In 2013, I lamented that it was a bad year for Tequila as far as my home Province of Alberta was concerned, and in 2014 things were to the point that I decided to omit my Rum Howler Awards for Tequila altogether. In 2015, I decided to do something about this state of affairs and I made a concentrated effort to make Tequila a larger part of my website. I began in May with my Rum Howler 2015 Margarita Challenge. As part of my efforts, I sent a call out to industry and asked for samples of Blanco Tequila with the aim of having a small competition to see which brand made the best Margarita Cocktail. I even designed my version of this quintessential cocktail just for the competition, the Alfred Cointreau Margarita Cocktail

My efforts were rewarded as I managed to garner about a dozen samples and when the dust had settled I determined that a new agave brand from Patron, Roca Patron Silver was in the opinion my cast of jurors the best Blanco tequila for our summer time tequila cocktails. My competition had the ancillary benefit of drawing the attention of more tequila producers to my website,  and I received not only a good selection of blanco tequila samples, but also a nice smattering of Reposado, and Anejo tequila as well as a very delicious Extra Anejo.

All of this means that my Rum Howler Awards for Tequila are back, and quite frankly, I could not be happier about that. Here is a link to my awards page for my 2015 Tequila Awards:

The 2015 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Tequila

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Note: The awards pages contain links to all of the reviews for the awards spirits, two of which have never been reviewed upon my website previously.  Please enjoy the awards and stay tuned for my awards for Gin, Vodka, Whisky and Rum!

Posted in Anejo Tequila, Awards, Blanco Tequila, Extra Anejo Tequila, Extras, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Year In Tequila – (The 2015 Rum Howler Awards)

#52 Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 3, 2015

According to the company website, Roca Patrón Tequila is a pure 100% Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The agave is 6 to 7 years old when harvested, and the heart of the plant or the piña is all that is used. As a highland tequila,we can expect the Patron Tequila to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. The company was created in 1989 when John Paul DeJoria, and Martin Crowley formed The Patrón Spirits Company with the stated singular goal of producing “the best tequila in the world.”

Roca Patron SAM_1530Amazingly, the manner in which the agave juice is extracted from the piñas has an impact upon the distilled flavour of the final tequila. Tequila distilled from the juice which was extracted from a stone wheel Tahona has a noticeably softer and earthier flavour than tequila distilled from the juice extracted by a roller mill. Part of the reason for the difference in flavour may be that when the juice which has been extracted from the piñas which were crushed by the Tahona Wheel, the left over fibers from those piñas are placed in the fermentation vats along with the juice. The fiber and juice mixture is fermented for 72 hours in a wooden fermentation vat, where apparently some of the flavours from the fibrous material makes its way into the fermented wash.

Roca Patrón Tequila is produced from the fermented wash of the Tahona Wheel Crushed agave which is distilled twice in copper pot stills.

Here is a link to the review of the #52 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#52 – Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

“… I discovered a light fruity agave aroma with a very mild white pepper scent rising from the glass. There is a whisper of grassy chlorophyll in the breezes and a very light scent of mineral water rising from the glass. The agave is understated and has an almost herbal quality with hints of heather and mint riding at the edges of my perception. If I take my time with the glass I can sense a few light citrus notes (particularly lime zest) and the sense of mint seems to build up very gradually …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

 

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Review: Olmeca Blanco Tequila Clasico

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 31, 2015

_0114_olmecablancoOlmeca is a Tequila brand owned by Pernod Ricard, distributed by Corby Brands here in Canada. The line-up features three sub brands, Olmeca (which is a Mixto), Olmeca Altos (which is a 100 % Blue Weber Agave tequila) , and Olmeca Tezón (which is 100% Blue Weber Agave and which is produced from 100 % Tahona crushed agave).

Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise

All of these sub brands are double distilled from Mexican Blue Agave in Copper Pot Stills. As well each of the brands will contain some distillate from the juice of agave which has been crushed in the traditional method with a two ton Tahona millstone.

Here is a link to my full review of Olmeca Blanco Tequila Clasico:

Review: Olmeca Blanco Tequila Clasico

“… I noticed an aggressive punch of smokey agave filled the air. The aroma vanished as quickly as I noticed it, and even when I took a cautious sniff from my glass, I could not locate that same punch of punky fruit and smoke. Instead, I noticed a peppery effervescence which was combined with mild agave aromas and a light sweetness which reminded me of cane …”

Please enjoy my review which ends with a nice cocktail suggestion, the Tequila Sunrise.

Chimo!

 

 

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2015 Margarita Challenge #1 – Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 29, 2015

Roca Patron SAM_1530The month of May is almost complete, and my Tequila odyssey has arrived at its destination. My Rum Chums and I, through a series of side by side tastings have determined the Best Blanco Tequila spirit for our summer Margaritas, Roca Patrón Silver Tequila.

When I served this silver tequila to my jurors, the Rum Chums, it was in a blind format (See 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge). In that blind format, this was the spirit that my entire judging panel went crazy over. It would not be an understatement to say that the Roca Patrón Silver ran a scythe through the competition. What amazed me was that, even though the agave and the hot peppery spice are understated in this expression of Patrón Tequila, those aspects of the spirit nevertheless shone through the cocktail experience. I suspect that it is the high bottling proof (45 %) which gives this agave spirit so much punch and staying power in the cocktail format.

Suffice it to say, everyone in my tasting group loved the Margarita made with Roca Patrón Silver.

Metro Mexico

Metro Mexico

You may read my full review of this wonderful agave spirit here:

Review: Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

“… As you sip, heat does build up upon the palate in the form of black and white pepper and these flavours linger on the palate after wards. There is also a light herbal tone with echoes of mint and lime zest resting within the spice …”

Of course it is not just Margaritas which taste great with the Silver Roca Patrón, I also shared another great recipe which I call Metro Mexico at the conclusion of my review.

I hope everyone enjoyed my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge this month, Chimo!

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Note: If you wish to see the final ranking for my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which lists all of the results. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

 

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2015 Margarita Challenge #2 – Tromba (Blanco Tequila)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 25, 2015

Tromba SAM_1522

Margarita Tromba

I have arrived at the Number 2 Margarita Spirit in my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita ChallengeTequila Tromba (Blanco).

I will admit now, that this particular spirit actually ranked number 1 on my independent scorecard; however my other judges overruled me (although none of my jurors has the Trombo Spirit placed lower than third on any of their scorecards). This new spirit surpised and delighted all of the judges most of whom had never tasted the spirit before. It is well deserving of its high placement in the Margarita Rankings.

In case you are unfamiliar with the brand, Tromba is a new boutique tequila created by Marco Cedano. According to the website information, Marco first forged his reputation in Mexico as the original Master Distiller for Don Julio. After working with one of the largest (and most well-known) tequila brands in the world, he decided to go ahead on his own, as both Master Distiller and Founder his new independent brand, Tequila Tromba.

Sandy Silence SAM_1508

Sandy Silence

Here is a link to my full review of this new Tequila Spirit:

Review: Tromba Tequila (Blanco)

“… I was very delighted with the aroma which the glass presented to the breezes. There was a light but firm punky agave scent within those breezes with had melded very nicely into the typically sharp peppery note of the highland tequila. There is a ‘freshness’ rising into the air with effervescent scents of lime zest combined with fruity agave, hints of spearmint, and a touch of licorice …”

Tromba was in fact such a nice spirit that I could not resist designing a new cocktail experience for this outstanding agave spirit. This mixed drink, Sandy Silence, can be found at the conclusion of the review.

All the best everyone, and stay tuned for the spirit my judges ranked number 1.

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Note: If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

Posted in Awards, Blanco Tequila, Cocktails & Recipes, Extras, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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