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Posts Tagged ‘Tequila’

Review: Reserva del Señor Añejo Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 6, 2017

Reserva del Señor Añejo is a 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila produced by TEQUILAS DEL SEÑOR, S. A. DE C. V.,  a mid-sized, fourth generation family company located in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The company was founded in 1943 and currently produces a number of tequila brands which include,  Sombrero, Tekali, Herencia, and of course Reserva del Señor.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Reserva del Señor Tequila Añejo Tequila

“… A light sweetness of caramel and vanilla is combined with fine oak spices and aromas of toasted almonds. These notes are followed by a softened fruity agave presence, spicy citrus notes and bits of white pepper. I notice some pungent spices, a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon perhaps with light indications of tea leaves and milk chocolate …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding Anejo spirit. The review include a great recipe suggestion, the Añejo Tequila Old Fashioned.

Chimo!

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Review: Roca Patrón Reposado Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 25, 2017

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. After harvest the piñas are chopped in half by hand and slowly steamed in masonry brick ovens for about 79 hours to soften them. The softened piñas are then shredded and placed into a traditional stone pit, where they are crushed by a large 2 ton stone milling wheel called a Tahona.

According to many Tequila producers, the manner in which juice is extracted from the piñas has a noticeable impact upon the flavour of the final distilled tequila. This was very evident when I tasted the Roca Patrón Tequila which has a noticeably softer earthy flavour than the regular Patrón Tequila distilled mainly from juice extracted by a roller mill.

Roca Patrón Reposado Tequila is distilled twice in copper pot stills , and then aged for 5 months in used American oak bourbon barrels. It is also one the best tasting Reposado tequila spirits I have encountered.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Roca Patrón Reposado Tequila

“… I discovered a lightly sweet, mildly punky agave aroma lifting from the glass. It has a fruity smell; but it did not carry the typical sharpness of citrus and white pepper which I usually find in highland tequila. Rather the citrus and pepper are blunted as the air above the glass also carried a subtle earthy quality which resembled aromas of baked zucchini and squash …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my recipe recommendation, Arctic Wolf’s Tequila Old Fashioned.

Chimo!

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Summer Cocktails #4: The Margarita (Part 2)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 29, 2017

Jerry Thomas 1887 Bartenders Guide

Part 1 of my Margarita Series postulated that the origins of the Margarita Cocktail should be traced to a mixed drink called the Tequila Daisy which is mentioned in 1936 in the Syracuse Herald. I argued the Tequila Daisy was almost certainly based upon an earlier Brandy based libation called the Brandy Daisy (1876, Jerry Thomas, Bartenders Guide (Second Edition)). The Tequila Daisy became to be known in Spanish Communities as the Margarita because the Spanish word for the daisy flower is the Spanish word, Margarita. To bolster my argument I pointed out that in 1953, the first known published recipe for the Margarita (in Esquire Magazine) appears to be a variation of the Jerry Thomas recipe with the French Brandy (and the spot of rum) replaced by Mexican Tequila.

Although the earliest known printed recipe for the Margarita appeared in 1953, there was an earlier known printed reference to the mixed drink which appeared in 1945 ad campaigns run by Jose Cuervo (Source: Anthony Dias Blue, The Complete Book of Spirits). The slogan of the advertisement,

“Margarita: It’s more than a girl’s name.”

implies that by 1945 the bar drink was so popular that at least one major Tequila producer sought to make that particular mixed drink synonymous with their brand.

Today, the Margarita contains the same basic ingredients as found in the early Esquire Magazine recipe:

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

However the present construction appears to have a better balance of flavour between the sour and the sweet:

2 parts Tequila, 1 part Lemon or Lime Juice, 1 part Orange Liqueur
Shake with Ice, Strain and serve in a Salt Rimmed Glass

Interestingly, this construction is almost identical to W.J. Tarling’s 1937 recipe for the Picador (found in W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book). It appears that Tarling’s Picador was created independent of the Margarita, although it should be noted though that the Tarling recipe never called for a Salt Rimmed glass which most bartenders consider to be an essential component of the modern cocktail.

Although the Picador vanished (until it was rediscovered by cocktail researchers), its form was adopted by the next generation of bartenders who apparently preferred to serve their patrons a better, more balanced Margarita. Although I would argue that the Tequila Daisy was the true genesis of the modern Margarita, I also tip my hat to W.J. Tarling for giving us the path to its present form. As indicated in Part 1, The Margarita is perhaps the most popular Cocktail in North America (if not the entire World.)

Although most cocktail books favour the use of lime juice for this libation, I sometimes use both lemon and lime when making Margarita Cocktails with Reposado Tequila spirits like Casamigos:

The Margarita

2 oz Casamigos Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Bols Triple Sec
Ice
Lime slice

Add the ingredients to a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a salt rimmed Margarita Glass
Garnish with a slice of Lime
(Note: salt on outside of glass only)

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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 that Billion is in italics again). I thought the recent acquisition was a good excuse to revisit my reviews for the Casamigos brands.

Here is a link to my revised review for the Casamigos Tequila Reposado Spirit:

Review: Casamigos Reposado Tequila

” … The initial entry is a little soft and buttery with a stronger impression of caramel sweetness than the nose implied. Milk chocolate and a little bit of sea salt seem to ooze from the caramel making this a very interesting tequila to sip …

Chimo!

 

 

 

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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:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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!

________________________________________________________

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!

 

 

Posted in Blanco Tequila, Cocktails & Recipes, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer Cocktail #4: The Margarita (Part 1)

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!

 

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2017 Rum Howler Awards For Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 2, 2017

rh-winner2017

Beginning in 2015, I made a concentrated effort to make the Agave Spirit a larger part of my website. I began with my Rum Howler 2015 Margarita Challenge and, as part of that effort, designed my version of the quintessential tequila cocktail just for the competition, the Alfred Cointreau Margarita Cocktail. That effort triggered a response from industry as Tequila producers began to take note of my website, and I was contacted to provide spirit reviews from many new producers.

Margarita

Margarita Cocktail

Alas the quirks of Canadian Customs and Excise scared more than a few of these companies away as getting me samples is not easy if you are not based in Canada. However, a steady trickle of samples began to cross my desk and my Tequila Review Page began to grow. That trickle continued into 2016, and not only did the quantity of tequila which I was able to taste increase, the quality of tequila which I was exposed to went off the charts. This new high quality of agave spirit is reflected in the 2017 Rum Howler Awards for Tequila.  (I did make one significant change this year bringing my awards forward one year such that my awards would be in the same calendar year as the awards from other publications and websites.)

As most of you know, when I conduct my deliberations for my annual Rum Howler Awards. I consider not only the spirits which I received as samples in the given year, I also include the samples from the previous year. This means that the body of spirits for my 2016 Rum Howler Awards for Tequila represent the best agave spirits I have tasted to this point.

Here is a link to my 2017 Rum Howler Awards for Tequila:

The 2017 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Tequila

 

 

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Review: Cabresto Don Silver Reserve Series Extra Añejo

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 29, 2016

Extra Anejo (Cabresto) SAM_2574On March 7th, 2016 Tequila Cabresto released the latest addition to their line of premium tequila, Don Silver Reserve Series Extra Añejo. This is a 100 % agave tequila which (according to the media information sent to me) has been aged for seven years in American white oak former whiskey barrels.

Although the Cabresto website does not specify the exact distillery which produces this agave spirit, I did notice that the identified NOM on the bottom of the label 1509. This NOM identifier is required by the Mexican Government to be placed on the label of each bottle of tequila to verify that it is produced legally from agave sourced in the Tequila region of Mexico. Each distillery has its own NOM, and thus we can trace the distillery of origin. In this case the producing distillery is Tequila Embajador who incidentally also produce Alma de Agave and of course Embajador Tequila.

Here is a Link to my full review of this rare extra-anejo tequila from Cabresto:

Review: Cabresto Don Silver Reserve Series Extra Añejo

“… The extra-anejo spirit brings light sandalwood and oak spices into the air alongside a nice rich agave presence. Light caramel scents accent the agave and the oak, and as I continue to nose the glass the three aspects of the aroma seem to merge together forming a lightly sweet impression of agave oak syrup. Peppery spices build up as does the firm earthy agave presence. Tea leaves, bits of milk chocolate and hints of cinnamon round out the nose which is very inviting …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding aged spirit.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: El Hereje (the Mexican Heretic)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 28, 2016

A few years ago I spent some time exploring Brandy and Cognac cocktails here on this website. I worked through a few of the classics, and I created a few of my own recipes. One of my favourite creations was a serving called the Heretic Cocktail. This was a serving I constructed with the aim of demonstrating that expensive spirits which many would consider to be reserved solely for sipping can and should be used in delicious cocktails as well. My Heretic Cocktail not only featured a fine Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Original 1840 Formula Cognac), it also featured an excellent 20 Year Old Brandy (Miguel Torres 20 Year Old Brandy).

El Herejo SAM_2602Today I am demonstrating that the heretical idea of mixing two Tequila spirits of different ages and characters within one cocktail can yield wonderful results as well. My recipe combines the slightly rougher Cabresto Reposado Tequila with the more full flavoured Cabresto Extra Anejo Tequila (advertised as a seven-year-old spirit).

Although some of my critics may insist that mixing a wonderful sipping tequila with its younger sibling in a sour style cocktail is a heresy; I counter with the observation that the results are delicious!

El Hereje
(the Mexican Heretic)

1 oz  Cabresto Reposado Tequila
1 oz Cabresto Don Silver Exta Anejo Tequila
1 oz fresh Orange Juice
1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Ice
Lemon Slice

Add the first six ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lemon slice

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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!

Please Note: My review for the wonderful Cabresto Don Silver Extra Anejo will publish tomorrow. Chimo!

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Review: Herencia Historico Tequila – 27 de Mayo 1997 (Cristalino)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 26, 2016

Historica Cristalino SAM_2582Herencia Tequila is 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila produced by TEQUILAS DEL SEÑOR, S. A. DE C. V.,  a mid-sized, fourth generation family company located in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The company was founded in 1943 and currently produces a number of tequila brands which include, Reserva del Señor, Sombrero, Tekali, and of course Herencia de Plata.

Herencia Historico Tequila 27 de Mayo 1997 was created by Tequilas del Senor to commemorate the recognition of the domination of origin, TEQUILA which was signed in Brussels Belgium, on May 27, 1997. Three expressions commemorate this historical event, the Extra Anejo 15 Anos, the Extra Anejo 5 Anos, and the Extra Anejo 5 Anos Cristalino. All of these expressions are 100 % Agave tequilas which have been aged in oak casks imported from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The Cristalino (which is the subject of this review) is aged for 5 years and is then triple filtered to produce an almost clear spirit which is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Herencia Historico Tequila – 27 de Mayo 1997 (Cristalino)

“… The nose is very interesting as the filtering has muted much of the oak and wood spice to the point that all I can decipher (of the woody notes) is a light piny scent which resembles sandalwood. The typically strong earthy note of agave has only a fraction of its former power as well. Within these muted scents of oak and agave are additional mild herbal aromas (menthol and licorice) and a pleasingly sweet smell of toasted marshmallow …”

Please enjoy my review of this special commemorative aged tequila.

Chimo!

Posted in Extra Anejo Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Cocktail Hour: Metro Mexico

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 25, 2016

Metro Mex SAM_2605I am asked by my friends how it is that I can create so many cocktails for them to enjoy when they attend my private tastings. The answer is simple, I stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before me. (Yes, that is an homage to a Stephen Hawkins reference for those who are astute enough to recognize it). What I mean by standing on the shoulders of giants, is that many of my ‘original’ recipes are built upon the platform of other well-known bar drinks and cocktails. These ‘classic’ cocktails have stood the test of time, and by building upon them, I can arrive at new creations many of which I share here.

One of the modern classic cocktails I love to work with is the Cosmopolitan which mixes Vodka and Orange Liqueur with Cranberry and Lime juices. It is an excellent serving which never fails to please my friends when we have our Vodka Tastings. A few years ago, I came upon the idea of tweaking the Cosmopolitan using Tequila as its base rather than Vodka. I called this new recipe of mine, Metro Mexico, and I discovered it worked very well with both Blanco and Reposado Tequila.  A few weeks ago when I was introduced to the Ultra Premium Herencia Historico Tequila – 27 de Mayo 1997 Cristalino Extra Anejo Tequila (see note below), I knew that I had to mix at least one Metro Mexico with this commemorative spirit.

I am glad I did.

Metro Mexico

2 ounces Herencia Historico Tequila 27 de Mayo 1997 Cristalino
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce Cranberry Juice
1/2 ounce Lime Juice
Tsp of  Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)

Add the first six ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lime slice

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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!

Note: Herencia Historico Tequila 27 de Mayo 1997 was created by Tequilas del Senor to commemorate the recognition of the domination of origin, TEQUILA which was signed in Brussels Belgium, on May 27, 1997. Three expressions commemorate this historical event, the Extra Anejo 15 Anos, the Extra Anejo 5 Anos, and the Extra Anejo 5 Anos Cristalino. All of these expressions are 100 % Agave tequilas which have been aged in oak casks imported from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The Cristalino is aged for 5 years and is then triple filtered to produce an almost clear spirit which is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume. My review for this commemorative spirit will publish tomorrow.

Chimo!

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