We often think of tequila as a straight shooter, but this versatile drink has a fascinating history and a timeless appeal. Tequila is made by steaming the hearts of the blue agave plant, one of approximately 136 species of agave grown in Mexico. Once steamed, the hearts are then minced to a pulp, combined with water, and fermented, producing an alcoholic liquid that’s then distilled and bottled. Tequila is not unlike whiskey, and comes in a variety of blends to suit many discerning palettes and budgets.
Whiskey shortages in the U.S. have often led to increased demand for tequila and its sister spirit mezcal, as was the case during the Civil War, Prohibition, and World War II. To be classified as tequila, however, the spirit must contain at least 51% blue agave. With highland and lowland varieties, tequila also has its own terroir. Those with agave grown in the highlands north of Guadalajara tend to have a fruitier, floral quality; whereas those from the valleys are earthier, with a little spice.
Below are three great options we love that you can rely on to celebrate today – National Tequila Day, or any other day you are feeling the summer heat!
What it is: Boutique premium blanco tequila from one of the most famous houses in Mexico, this is a fine white tequila with good purity of flavour. Why we love it: this bar staple Tequila is easy to source and carries a seal of approval. We know that when we’re ordering Patron Silver, we’re getting the gold standard in craftsmanship. The iconic bottle is a great keepsake to keep on hand for entertaining guests at home; whether you’re pouring shots, or mixing up a cocktails on your deck, this is a solid go-to that everyone will love. and that will add a crisp, clean taste to any mix.
Watermelon Patio Punch
Serves 8-10 people
750 ml Bottle of Patrón Silver
4 cups Watermelon juice
1 cup Fresh lime juice
1 cup Simple syrup, to taste
.5 tsp Salt
Method: Lay a (preferably seedless) watermelon on its side and assess which end would be the “bottom” if you were to stand it on its end. Using a chef’s knife, slice off a small bit of the rounded end to create a flat surface, being careful not to cut through to the flesh. Slice off the opposite end to create a “lid”, and stand the watermelon upright.
Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, hollow out the watermelon, being sure to save the flesh and any juices. Transfer flesh to a blender and puree lightly, enough to liquefy the mixture. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any pulp. Combine Patrón Silver, watermelon juice, lime juice, simple syrup and salt and stir to thoroughly combine. Return contents to the watermelon for service and ice to chill. Use a “watermelon tap” if you have such a device or use the watermelon as a punch bowl, ladling out the punch.
Don Julio Reposado
Barrel aged for eight months in American white-oak barrels, Don Julio Reposado tequila is a rich, golden amber nectar that offers a smooth finish – the very essence of the perfect barrel-aged tequila. With a mellow, elegant flavor and inviting aroma, Don Julio Reposado tequila is best savored as part of a refreshing tasting drink or chilled on the rocks. This feels a bit more special than a blanco, and will be well received by the whiskey loving crowd.
Herradura Directo de Alambique (Directo)
If you’re looking to invest in a gift or a bottle that you’ll appreciate for special occasions, this small-batch tequila is produced using only the finest blue agave plants, harvested at the peak of perfection. It is then fermented with natural yeast amid the warm breeze and citrus trees of Casa Herradura, a process entirely unique in the industry. Finally, it is bottled direct from the still at 110 proof, preserving the fresh flavor of Herradura’s tequila, a taste unchanged since 1870. The result is a crystal-clear tequila with robust notes of sweet agave, green pepper, citrus, and a hint of herbs and spice. Taken together, these notes provide a smooth, complex, and prolonged presence. A bold tequila expression for true tequila lovers.
Lave a comment below and let us know what your favourite tipple is on National Tequila Day!