Tequila & Mezcal
Tequila and Mezcal are both extremely fashionable now and becoming increasingly popular 'must-haves' for any respectable drinks cabinet. Often consigned to Margaritas and shooters, there is now a growing craft trend showcasing the astonishing deliciousness of what Tequila and Mezcal has to offer. The production of some of the finest tequilas is still very much a small family business operation, craft in the truest sense.
The beauty of Tequila, like wine, lies in its subordination to nature - harvests of agave are notoriously fickle and can be affected by the whims and effects of weather and climate - however, the results when successful are superb.
Both Tequila and Mezcal offer something new and personal for everyone to discover, from spicy, fruity agave-rich blancos to warm, round, multi-faceted, Cognac-challenging reposados and añejos.
- Blanco or Plata (Silver): white spirit, unaged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels
- Joven or Oro (Gold): unaged silver tequila that may be flavored with caramel coloring, oak extract, glycerin, or sugar-based syrup. Could also be the result of blending silver tequila with aged or extra-aged tequila.
- Reposado (Rested): aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size.
- Añejo (Aged or vintage): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels.
- Extra Añejo (Extra aged or Ultra aged): aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels.
With 100% agave tequila, 'Blanco' or 'Plata' can be harsher with the bold flavours of the distilled agave up front, while 'Reposado' and 'Añejo' styles of Tequila are smoother, subtler, and more complex.
As with other spirits aged in casks, tequila takes on the flavors of the wood, while the harshness of the alcohol mellows. The major flavor distinction with 100% agave tequila is the base ingredient, which is more vegetal than grain spirits (and often more complex).
Mezcal can be made from any type of agave plant native to Mexico, unlike Tequila which is made from the blue agave, and although the agave grows in many parts of Mexico, most mezcal is made in Oaxaca.
Mezcal is made from the heart of the agave plant, called the piña and is generally consumed straight. It often has a strong smoky flavour.