Category Archives: Guest Posts

Tequila: why 100% Agave is always better…

Tequila comes in two main types: Mixto (blended) and 100% agave. The former is the type you’re likely to find at a college party. It’s cheaper than 100% agave and can leave you with a nasty pile of regret in the morning. The latter, on the other hand, is as pure as tequila gets…

That said, here are three reasons you should always reach for 100% agave tequila…

#1: No hidden surprises:

100% agave tequila is pure agave and nothing else. Mixto, on the other hand, contains up to 49% non-agave ingredients. These usually consist of sugar cane, or other distillable products, but can include additives such as flavourings and colourings.

What makes things worse is that producers are not required to tell you what they use! So you’re never going to know, completely, what is in your bottle. If you’re the sort of person who likes to know what they’re drinking, always choose 100% agave!

#2: No hangovers:

When you drink a mixto tequila you’re literally mixing your drinks from the very first sip. With only 51% agave, mixto tequilas have a range of other ingredients, including various distillates. That means you’re consuming more than one type of alcohol at the same time, which is why mixto tequila has earned such a bad reputation.

However, if you choose 100% agave tequila, your hangovers will be a thing of the past. This is because they are made using only the Blue Weber Agave and nothing else!

Responsible drinking clearly speaks for itself; but if you were to swap your mixto tequila for 100% agave tequila, you’d notice the different immediately – especially when you have work in the morning!

#3: Better taste:

There are more premium tequilas than ever before and for good reason: It simply tastes better than its mixto counterpart.

Each brand has their unique flavour profile, which creates a vast array of great tasting tequila. Whilst the species of agave used in tequila has to be the Blue Weber by law; the location of the distillery in which it is made will drastically affect its flavour.

Whether you prefer yours fruity, spicy, or earthy, there’s a 100% agave tequila out there for everyone!

As outlined here, premium tequilas are superior in taste and quality, but that doesn’t mean mixto brands haven’t played an important part in the 100% agave boom coming out of Mexico. This boom has been made possible, in large part, thanks to the path laid down by mixto brands, with the industry rethinking its method and creating some truly stunning premium products.

There are strict regulations in relation to both Mixto and 100% agave tequilas. If you’d like to know more about these, information can be found here.

Now you know which tequila to choose, why not check out these 100% Tequila Paloma cocktail recipes I made? 

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How Sherry Has Made a Comeback: 4 Recipes You Should Be Making

Welcome to something very new for this blog: A Guest Post!

This post is from the great folk over at Cocktail Builder. They have a great cocktail making app and they’re pretty good at it too! If you like this post, a link to their site can be found at the end. We have swapped posts, with mine due to appear on their own site very shortly, or already if you’re a late arrival! So, read on to find out a little something about Sherry…


When you think of Sherry, what comes to mind? For many, it’s likely to be a dusty old bottle sitting in their grandmother’s cupboard that hasn’t been opened in years.

Sherry — a fortified wine from the Spanish city of Jerez — often carries these low-brow connotations. Though it was considered one of the world’s greatest and most versatile wines for centuries, an influx of cheap and sickeningly sweet blends caused Sherry to become widely misunderstood.

However, thanks to a wave of interest in artisanal wines, as well as a focus on small bodegas producing tiny batches, Sherry has regained popularity. It’s been popping up on liquor menus all across the world, proving itself to be equally enjoyable when served straight or mixed into a cocktail.

There are four basic types of Sherry: Fino and Manzanilla, Amontillado, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximenez. Each has its own distinct flavour profile and must be used differently than the others.

Fino Sherry is the driest of the four, a white wine generally made with highly acidic Palomino grapes. It pairs particularly well with clear spirits such as vodka and gin, as well as aromatics like vermouth. Manzanilla is essentially Fino Sherry that’s been aged in the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Due to the grapes being exposed to cool ocean breezes, the Sherry that’s produced is more delicate and subtle.

Recommended Cocktail: The Tuxedo, a classic made with gin, Sherry, and orange bitters. It’s dry and slightly nutty, with a quick burst of citrus. See recipe.

Amontillado is the product of a layer of yeast (called ‘the flor’) being removed during the ageing process. This removal causes the Sherry to have more air exposure inside the barrel, resulting in a complex finish, with nutty and umami flavours. It pairs best with oaky spirits such as bourbon and rye.

Recommended Cocktail: The Up-to-Date, a concoction of whisky, Sherry, Grand Marnier, and Angostura bitters. Though the original recipe doesn’t specify the type of Sherry, Amontillado rounds it out for a spicy, Manhattan-esque feel. See recipe.

Oloroso Sherry skips the ‘the flor’ process entirely and is immediately fortified after the first fermentation. Made with Palomino grapes, this variety is typically dry, but can be slightly sweet if Moscatel grapes are added. It goes well with molasses-forward spirits like dark rum.

Recommended Cocktail: The Smooth Operator, which (as the name suggests) is remarkably easy to drink. Dark rum, Sherry, sugar, and lemon make for a complex yet refreshing sip. See recipe.

Pedro Ximenez Sherry is unlike the others in that, instead of using Palomino grapes, it’s made from the Pedro Ximenez (PX) variety. These grapes are picked at full ripeness and are sun-dried to concentrate the sugars. The grapes (or raisins, if you will) are then pressed, producing a dark, viscous liquid that’s partially fermented and fortified. This Sherry is often blended with Amontillado and Oloroso varieties to create what we know as Cream Sherry. Due to its sweetness, PX Sherry is best used in dessert cocktails.

Recommended Cocktail: An update on the Baltimore Eggnog, traditionally made with Madeira, brandy, and rum. Replace the Madeira for PX Sherry, which adds a currant flavour that pairs perfectly with the molasses of the rum. See recipe.

For more on Sherry, including its rich history and unique recipes, we recommend picking up a copy of Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret (USA).


Photo Credit: Some Rights Reserved by Edsel Little.

For more by the Cocktail Builder team, click here, and set up your digital online bar!