The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2011

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give people something special you are lost," comments Wilson on the unique packaging for Arrogante. Big, ripe, fresh agave on the nose leads the flavor character for Arrogante, with a slight undercurrent of white pepper. The entry is soft with a nice mouthfeel and strong fresh agave flavor. It quickly opens up with a wide range of spice flavors including pepper, allspice and even some woodsy cinnamon notes. Then, just a slight amount of heat picks up at the end of the mid-palate ending with a long, slightly salty finish. Emily Baker, bartender at Rum Club, Portland's newest buzz-worthy bar, looks to working with high quality blanco tequilas like Arrogante. "This style is easy to work with, super clean and they pick up the other flavors you are working with." Baker enjoys tequila drinks year round and still enjoys the lighter, refreshing Collins drinks over the heavier handed Flips and warm drinks. For her drink called Son of a Preacher Man, she used Arrogante in a variation on the Paloma that includes allspice, ginger, and grapefruit. SON OF A PREACHER MAN by Emily Baker of Rum Club, Portland, OR ■ ■ ■ ■ 2 oz. Arrogante Blanco Tequila 1 oz. grapefruit juice ¼ oz. Allspice Dram 2 dashes of Fee Brother's Old Fashioned Bitters Shake and strain into ice-filled Collins glass and top with ginger beer. Ambhar Platinum Tequila ($40–45) When the Santos Spirits team wanted to create an ultra-premium sipping tequila, they turned to the bartenders of Las Vegas. After three gruel- ing tasting sessions with the Las Vegas chapter of the USBG, they found the exact tequila they were looking for. "We wanted the bartenders to feel like they had authorship and ownership in our product," explains Santos Spirits VP Billy O'Rourke, "so we kept tasting and testing until we got it right." Although Santos Spirits is based in Austin, Texas, the team saw the Las Vegas market as a key showcase market to launch their product: Ambhar Tequila. In addition to working closely with the bartenders, The Ambhar Lounge was launched inside the new Tropicana Resort and Casino. "Thirty percent of all tequila sold in the United States is consumed in Southern California and 47% of the visitors to Las Vegas come from Southern California, thus making Las Vegas a showcase for launching Ambhar," O'Rourke comments. Ambhar is distinctively different tequila. Made from a blend of agave plants from both the Highlands and the Lowlands, Ambhar Platinum is distilled five times to create a very smooth and clean tequila. Ambhar Platinum has a nice clean peppery nose. The entry is very crisp and slightly sweet with a nice soft peppery spice. There's a slight herbal note under the pepper and it maintains a lot of its flavor through a fairly long finish. Once the Ambhar finishes, it leaves a nice cool and pleasant feeling on the palate. Lydia Reissmueller, Beverage Consultant with The Tender Bar, looks to platinum tequilas such as Ambhar for their earthy, spicy quality and the smooth, clean finish. Lydia pairs Ambhar Platinum with carrots, lemon, honey and black cumin for a tequila drink that is both fall friendly and a tonic to help ward off winter colds. "Agave is one of the oldest plants you can ingest. The idea of drinking something that's been through so many vintages or seasons and that is eight to ten years old is amazing," comments Reissmueller. While many bartenders use agave syrup with tequila, Reissmueller likes to pair it with honey, which "speaks to the length of the finish of a tequila like Ambhar." DEEP ROOTS by Lydia Reissmueller of Tender Bar Consulting, Portland, OR ■ ■ ■ ■ 2 oz. Ambhar Platinum Tequila ¾ oz. carrot syrup* ¾ oz. lemon juice 5 drops black cumin oil (available at health food stores) Shake over ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a sprig of dill. *Carrot Syrup 1 part finely chopped carrots 1 part raw honey 1 part boiling water Emily Baker of Portland's Rum Club. Combine all ingredients well and let stand covered until cool. Strain, label, date, and use within two weeks. september 201 1 / the tasting panel / 103 Lydia Reissmueller, Tender Bar Consulting. PHOTO: GEOFF KLEINMAN PHOTO: GEOFF KLEIMAN PHOTO: GEOFF KLEINMAN

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