When you hear the word “tequila,” shots with salt and lime or super sweet margaritas come to mind. The shots are generally taken at the end of a long night of drinking, of course. You’ve seen or been one of those people, just admit it. Still, we’re all growing as consumers, and it’s time to start enjoying the gifts of the master distillers. Tequila should really be savored, slowly, like a fine wine.
If you really want to get to know tequila and figure out which flavors you like, there’s no better advice than what I heard from Tequila Don Julio Ambassador Christina Valenzuela. She said that a good tequila tasting should always begin with a properly cleansed palate and “to begin the actual tasting, my first suggestion is to sip the tequila out of a snifter rather than a shot glass, since the shape of the glass helps to reveal the notes and complex aromas that premium tequila has to offer. Once in the snifter, hold the stem of the glass and swirl for a minute. Next, “nose” or smell the tequila’s aroma by activating three trigger points, by putting your nose to the lower rim of the glass, then the middle, and then the upper rim of the glass,” said Valenzuela.
Hold the glass under your nose, open your mouth slightly, and breathe in with your mouth. This allows you to get all of the flavors of the tequila itself. It’s just the proper way of deciphering all of the notes and flavors of your tequila. Christina explained: “Using this method helps you to iden- tify the complex notes of fruit, floral and wood often found in ultra premium tequila such as Don Julio. When it comes to tasting the tequila, it can be done in two steps. For your first sip, try holding the tequila on your palate for five to ten seconds before swallowing, which will coat your taste buds with the liquid. When you then take your second sip, the flavors and feel of the tequila in your mouth will be more well-round- ed and robust.”
Tequila’s master distillers work with extreme care to age tequila to embody specific notes, flavors and finishes. Why not sip your tequila and take the time to discover its flavors? Much like wine, different brands of tequila have a variety of flavors and gifts to offer.
Try this beautiful tequila cocktail created by mixologist Michael Martensen. Red bell pepper adds to your tequila bliss!
1 1/2 ounces Tequila Don Julio Añejo 1/2 ounce Dry Sack Sherry
1 ounce agave nectar
1 ounce lime juice
Red bell pepper Habañero tincture Pepper for garnish Lime wheel for garnish
1. Muddle red bell pepper in a cocktail shaker.
2. Add Don Julio Añejo, Dry Sack Sherry, agave nectar,and lime juice to cocktail shaker.
3. Shake well and pour into a rocks glass.
4. Garnish with pepper and lime wheel.
TIPS FOR COOKING WITH TEQUILA
It is important to know when to utilize the spirit in order to create the biggest and most flavorful impact.
Pure alcohol boils at 173 degrees, a lower temp than water at 212. Recipes that intend for some of the alcohol to remain will have instructions to add the alcohol near the end of the cooking process so it will not cook out.
There are various types of tequila based on age, and each has specific taste profiles; therefore, their unique flavors will pair better with certain foods.