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Posts Tagged ‘Blanco’

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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer Cocktail #4: The Margarita (Part 1)

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

 

Posted in Awards, Blanco Tequila, Extras, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #52 Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

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

 

Posted in Awards, Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #1 – Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

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 »

2015 Margarita Challenge #3 – Dulce Vida Organic Tequila (Blanco)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 22, 2015

Dulce Vida SAM_1532

Dulce Vida Organic Tequila is the only 100° proof, 100% organic tequila (also free from additives of any kind) in the world. As well as being 100% organic, this spirit is also produced in a manner which embraces the concept of sustainability. During production of the spirit a complete waste recapture program is set in place which results in the production of a nutrient-rich soil supplement which is supplied to the local farming community. As well, the methane gas which is produced as a by-product of the waste collection & processing is captured and utilized to help power Dulce Vida’s production facilities in the village of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo at Campanario (in Mexico of course).

During the tasting flights for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, the Dulce Vida stood out from the crowd as the light earthy quality which I noticed when I sampled the tequila neat manifested itself as a light smoky flavour in the Margarita cocktail. In fact more than one of my judges asked me later if I had slipped a smoky mezcal in with the tequila. I had not of course, but the observation was astute as the Dulce Vida certainly carries a light mezcal-like character into the cocktail experience.

My jurors were quite smitten (as was I) and the result was that the Dulce Vida Organic Tequila shot all the way up to the number 3 position in my Margarita Countdown.

Here is a link to my recent review published just six months ago:

Review: Dulce Vida Organic Tequila (Blanco)

” … The initial aroma from the blanco spirit is somewhat peppery with a sweet underlying agave scent. There is a light earthy quality which sits within the spicy pepper and some effervescent citrus notes which remind me of lightly sweet grapefruit and lime citrus zest. The breezes above the glass also carry impressions of fresh garden mint, some very mild licorice and a hint of the smell of wet grass just after a light rain shower …”

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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, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #3 – Dulce Vida Organic Tequila (Blanco)

2015 Margarita Challenge #6 – Casamigos Blanco

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 14, 2015

Casamigos SAM_1527

Casamigos Margarita

I have reached the halfway point in my Rum Howler countdown of the top 10 blanco agave spirits to serve this summer in my Margarita Cocktails. The number 6 spirit is a new Tequila brand promoted by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman called Casamigos. According to the website information this is an ultra premium tequila made in a small batch process from ‘hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agaves, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico‘. The website goes on to tell us that the piñas of the hand selected agave are roasted in traditional brick ovens for 72 hours prior a long 80 hour fermentation. The Casamigos Blanco tequila is rested in American Oak for 2 months before bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Carra Carra Margarita

Cara Cara Margarita

You may read my full review of the Number 6 Agave Spirit in the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge by clicking the link here:

Review: Casamigos Blanco Tequila

“… I noticed a light punky agave scent within the breezes with the sharp spicy/peppery note which is typical of highland tequila somewhat muted. I noticed both grapefruit and lime zest weaving in and out the air with the mild white pepper spice, and I also notice a subtle smokey tone wrapped up within the fruity agave aroma …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a nice margarita style recipe which utilizes the unique flavour of Cara Cara Oranges. It is called of course, the Cara Cara Margarita.

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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, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #6 – Casamigos Blanco

2015 Margarita Challenge #7 – Jose Cuervo Especial Plata

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 12, 2015

Cuervo Margarita

Cuervo Margarita

The next entry in my 2015 Margarita Challenge is a spirit which caused more dissension amongst my judges than any other. Amongst the four Rum Chums who acted on my jury panel they was no agreement whatsoever regarding the Jose Cuervo Especial Plata. Two members of the panel had the spirit ranked near the top. One judge had the spirit ranked somewhere in the middle and one judge had it ranked well down her list. (In the case of every other agave spirit, my judges were very consistent in their rankings.)

When all the scores were tabulated and adjusted, the Jose Cuervo Especial Plata (a Mixto rather than a 100 % agave spirit) settled into the top 10 as the 7th best blanco tequila for Margarita Cocktails.

You can read my newly revised review here:

Review: Jose Cuervo Especial Plata

“… The entry into the mouth is smooth and unobtrusive with an obvious sweetness which again reminds me of cane syrup. The fruity agave is not aggressive; and there is only a mild white pepper spice heating the palate. Some lemon and lime accents are present …”

The Jose Cuervo Especial Plata lacks the “in your face” earthy herbaceousness and the spicy heat of a typical Blanco Tequila. It is instead, smooth and easy to drink; and carries a cane-like sweetness forward which will appeal to many people. Although the spirit lacks the character of a true 100 % Agave tequila; it nevertheless performs very well as a cocktail spirit.

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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, Mixto Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #7 – Jose Cuervo Especial Plata

2015 Margarita Challenge #8 – Avion Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 9, 2015

Avion SAM_1535

Avion Margarita

Avion Silver Tequila is a 100% Weber Blue Agave tequila made from the hand-picked fruit grown in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a highland tequila, we can expect the Avion 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.)

According to the information provided to me, to produce Avion Tequila, the harvested agave from the highlands is first slow roasted in brick ovens to bring out its natural flavors and aromas. After distillation, but before the tequila is bottled it is run through a proprietary “Ultra Slow Filtration” process which apparently lasts ten times longer than the filtration process for other tequilas. Something good must be happening because according to the Judges at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this tequila is pretty darn good. They awarded Avion Silver Tequila as the Best Unaged White Spirit, and then gave it a Double Gold Medal for two years in a row.

It turns out that my judging panel for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge also believe that something good is happening with Avion Tequila as My Rum Chums and I have determined their Silver Tequila is the 8th best blanco tequila for mixing Margaritas this summer.

Here is a link to my newly revised review:

Review Avion Silver Tequila

“…  I noticed a light effervescent almost spicy aroma of grapefruit zest is reminiscent of the smells of my back garden after a light rain shower. I find  the aroma light and clean almost refreshing. I also noticed a moderately punky/fruity agave aroma with a mild white pepper scent rising from the glass with a light fruity sweetness carried by the agave …”

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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, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #8 – Avion Silver Tequila

2015 Margarita Challenge #9 – Cruz del Sol (Silver)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 7, 2015

CRUZ SAM_1521

Cruz Margarita

The Number 9 spirit in my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge (according to the Cruz Tequila website information) contains no chemicals, additives or flavorings, and is produced entirely from Blue Weber agave plants grown in the highlands of the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico.

The harvested agave is slow cooked in traditional brick ovens for two days, then cooled before the juice is extracted and naturally fermented. The fermented juice is double distilled in small batches and all Cruz Tequila is packaged and bottled using recycled materials. This includes the blown glass bottles and the aluminum caps as well as the aluminum cross on the front label.

During the deliberations for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, my judging panel found Cruz del Sol Silver was a lightly earthy spirit with a building spiciness, and those features of flavour worked well in the Margarita Cocktail I served in the competition. Well enough to rank this tequila as the number 9 spirit in my challenge.

Here is a link to my newly revised review which incorporates the information learned during my most recent tasting sessions as well as the information gleaned during the competition tasting:

Review: Cruz del Sol Silver

“… There is an almost tender quality to the agave which is very pleasant with some interesting earthy flavours of fresh garden squash and cucumber laying underneath the agave fruit. As I continue to sip I taste tiny bits of cinnamon, hints of black licorice, and sweet impressions of sugar cane and mint. Building alongside these subtle flavours is a spicy white pepper and a citric zest which heats the palate a little more with each sip …”

The Cruz Del Sol Silver is a good spirit to serve when introducing persons to the highland tequila taste profile. The soft lightly sweet notes in the flavour profile are more approachable than one finds in a typical blanco tequila from the highlands.

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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, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #9 – Cruz del Sol (Silver)

 
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