Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo, ¡Vámanos de fiesta!

OK, in this year's installment of Cinco de Mayo, we'll pose the question, ¿Que tequila es el mejór?

For what it's worth, here are Drewcifer's top five:

1) Penca Azul Anejo Reserva -- the most superb I've had the privilege to taste. To me it is to Tequila what Johnny Walker Blue is to Scotch. It almost tastes like a fine whisky or brandy; starting smoky and oaky, but finishing strong with the essence of blue agave. Because it was a gift, I have no idea what the price would be, if it was even available in the US, which it's not. Muy suave.

2) Patron Reposado -- Now I think in-general Patron is over-hyped and over-priced. It's good, mind you, but there are others that are also really good that are not as well-known or pricey. The silver they have in most bars I don't particularly go out of my way for. However, the Reposado is superlative.

3) Espolon Reposado -- You take one sip of this Tequila and say wow. Near perfection. Smoky, woody, spicy, smooth and flavorful with little or no alcohol burn. Has that warming effect that great whisky and wine have.

4) Corralejo Reposado -- The oldest Tequileria in Mexico still makes great stuff. It's light for a reposado, with a pale tint the color of olive oil. Probably not aged more than the minimum. But it's a great every day reposado, tastes nice on ice and is pretty darn smooth. It's not too fancy to use in a Margarita, either.

5) This is a tough one because there could be so many I like here in the cinco position; Don Julio, Corazon, Cielo, Cazadores, Sauze Tres Generaciones...But I'm going to go with my old every day fave, Herradura Blanco (Silver). Makes Margaritas muy buenas. I discovered it years ago at The Rodeo bar in NYC, which is known for it's great 'ritas. We were playing there and I noticed their "house" 'rita was made using Herradura blanco, poured from a big 1-litre bar-bottle. To this day that's what I use in my Margaritas, and I've tried many, but the Herradure just works the best. (I am lucky as hell that my local liquor store sells the litre bottle --typically impossible to find at any price -- for $40!). It blends well, while at the same time revealing a fresh, citrusy agave flavor. I like to taste the booze in my 'ritas, so the booze has to taste good. When you go to a typical bar, they're using bad-tasting mixto tequila (not 100% agave) like Cuervo Gold, so they bury it to where you can't taste it. If you're going to use Cuervo, at least use the Tradicional, which is 100% agave and makes a decent Margarita. Which reminds me, I just tried this highly-touted new Cuervo called Platino, which is $50 per bottle. Didn't like it. Freakin' greasy! Metallic after-taste, alcohol burn and an oily mouth feel.

As always I digress.

And just look at the clock!

It's Tequila-thirty!


(PS: Just had a sip of Espolon...BUTTERY!)

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It's All About The Tone, Baby!