The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2014

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september 2014  /  the tasting panel  /  85 september 2014 /  the tasting panel  / 85 CATEGORY REPORT by Robert Plotkin There was a time not so long ago when the entire lexicon of tequila drinks consisted of the Margarita and Tequila Sunrise. Master those two recipes and you'd have covered the subject. The rapid improve- ment in quality over the past two decades, though, has thrust tequila into the limelight and greatly expanded its use in drink making. Today tequila takes a starring role in many different types of cock- tails and mixed drinks, ranging from creative twists on the classics to new and refreshing concoctions. Between the various styles of tequila—blanco, reposado, añejo and extra añejo—mixologists have a wide variety of characteristics with which to work. If it's true drinks sell better when made with products in high demand, then the following is a blueprint for success. ¡Salud! Tequila Cocktails ARROGANTE AÑEJO TEQUILA Arrogante Añejo is a handcrafted slice of the good life. The ultra-premium tequila is made at Impulsora Rombo (NOM 1467) from agaves cultivated in the volcanic soil of the Los Altos Mountains. The agaves are first baked in traditional stone ovens for three days, and the pressed juice is allowed to slowly ferment using a proprietary strain of yeast. After it leaves the still, the young tequila is matured in charred American white oak barrels for 18 months. During its extended stay in wood, Arrogante Añejo develops a floral bouquet and a long, creamy finish, laced with notes of toasted oak. While most often served neat in a snifter, the tequila's brilliant character makes it a natural for use in craft cocktails. "At Arrogante Tequila, we've embraced the mix- ology movement," says importer Marina Wilson of Double Eagle Imports Ltd. "When it comes to cocktails, we believe our tequila should remain the focus of the drink and the other ingredients should accentuate and comple- ment the flavors inherent in the tequila, not mask them." As an example, Wilson points to the Midnight Confession, a craft cocktail created by New Orleans mixologist Steven Yamada. According to Yamada, the cocktail strives to be both decadent and romantic: "The rich vanilla and oak notes of the Arrogante Añejo pair marvelously with the tart blackberries. The agave nectar adds texture and highlights the fruity agave notes of the tequila, while the addition of the exotic Arrogante Damiana liqueur lends the drink a touch of mystery." DOUBLE EAGLE IMPORTS LTD. Midnight Confession Steven Yamada, New Orleans ◗ 1¾ oz. Arrogante Añejo Tequila ◗ ½ oz. Arrogante Damiana Liqueur ◗ 6 medium blackberries ◗ 1 bar spoon agave nectar ◗ Top with Prosecco ◗ In a shaker, muddle the blackber- ries and the agave nectar. Add tequila, Damiana and ice. Shake vigorously. Fill a chilled coupe glass with finely crushed or shaved ice. Pour cocktail into iced glass using a fine-mesh strainer to remove any pulp or seeds. Top off with Prosecco, mint leaves and a blackberry for garnish. A SHOWCASE OF EXCELLENCE FROM TODAY'S HOTTEST TEQUILA BRANDS

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