Tag Archives: blanco

3 Paloma cocktails to restore your Faith in Tequila…

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If I had a £1/$1 for every time someone told me how much they dislike Tequila, I’d have retired and lived happily ever after in my grand-cabin the woodlands of Arizona.


As it is, I don’t get a single penny – which really does make it hard to listen too. Tequila has a bit of a bad rap and, whilst this is slowly being repaired by some of the artisan brands out there, it still needs a little helping hand to get people falling in love with it.

The biggest hurdle is that of the ‘cheap’ brands creating below-par tequila with shots and heavily mixed drinks the aim. To avoid any uneasy feelings by naming those brands, let’s just say anything less than 100% agave is considered by this blog to be ‘below par’.

The best way to get over the hurdles surrounding Tequila is to share the best ways to re-introduce yourself to this earthy and unique spirit. Tequila is, in my opinion, always a difficult spirit to simply sip. Whilst there are brands that specialise in ‘sipping’ quality tequilas, I am not a straight drinker and prefer my spirits lightly mixed into long summer-perfect drinks. Think about the Mule category for a snapshot of my preferences.

So, when it comes to tequila, what is the best way to mix it so you can really enjoy its complex flavour? Yes, there are literally hundreds of cocktails out there that contain tequila, some are classic (for good reason) and others are, at best, dreadful. All too often these ‘poorly created’ cocktails add to the stigma around the spirit.

The best way, by far, is the cocktail known as the Paloma. I’ve written a few posts that have included Paloma recipes before, and it is my favourite cocktail containing Tequila. A lot of people prefer a margarita but I find it to be a little savoury and have had far too many bad margaritas for my own liking.

All you need for a Paloma is 3 things: Tequila, Grapefruit Soda, and Lime.

There are more complex recipes out there, and the 3 recipes I want to share with you will show the differences between easy, medium, and difficult recipes.

The tequilas used are all high quality and whilst you can choose your own brands please try to make sure whatever Tequila you buy is 100% agave. Click here to find out why this is important.

Scroll down for the 3 recipes that I believe, will restore your faith in Tequila…

 

Easy – Paloma

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Recipe:

50ml Ocho Tequila

12.5m Lime Juice

125ml Grapefruit soda

Method:

  • Build the ingredients over ice in a tall Collins glass.
  • Top up with the grapefruit soda, swizzle and top with more ice.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge/wheel or some zest peelings.

 

Medium – Paloma

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Recipe:

50ml Aqua Riva Reposado Tequila

25ml grapefruit juice

15ml grapefruit syrup

Top up soda water

Method:

  • Combine the juice, syrup, and tequila in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake well. Around 10-15 seconds should do it.
  • Strain into a tall ice-filled glass and top with the club soda.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel/wedge or a selection of zest peelings.

 

Difficult – Paloma

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Recipe:

50ml Patron Blanco Tequila

15 ml sugar syrup

15 ml fresh lime juice

25ml fresh grapefruit juice

Top up sparkling mineral water

1 lime wedge

Salt

1 lime wedge / zest peel, for garnish

 

Method:

  • Optional: Moisten the rim of a tall glass with a cut lime wedge and dip into a fine salt powder.
  • In an ice-filled shaker, combine the tequila, sugar syrup, fruit juices and shake well. For around 10-15 seconds – until the shaker tin ices over.
  • Strain into your ice-filled serving glass (the one you garnished with a salt rim earlier).
  • Top up with the mineral water and garnish with a lime wedge or zest peel.

Easy – This is a basic Paloma cocktail. Combining lime juice, tequila, and grapefruit soda; this cocktail is simple yet highly effective at giving you a new found liking for the quality tequila you use.

Medium – This is a slightly more difficult recipe in that it involves a home-made grapefruit sugar syrup (the recipe can be found here). This version of the Paloma is slightly heavier on the grapefruit’s bitterness but is counterbalanced by the sweetness of the sugar and dryness of the soda water. This cocktail brings together a rather more complicated version of a simplified cocktail and delivers a higher depth in flavour for a little extra work. This cocktail is, by far, full of more flavour than its simplified form.

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Difficult: This is where the Paloma cocktail really comes into its own. Once broken down into its many parts, this cocktail can become a thing of true magnificence. Combining a home-made sugar syrup with one of the best tequila’s on the market (not merely opinion, but fact) and by using sparkling mineral water [instead of soda water] this cocktail is elevated from simple pleasure to a true summer evening delight.

The difficult recipe is by far my favourite version of this cocktail [so far]. I love its increased flavour profile, the quality of the tequila is outstanding and to top it all off, the use of mineral water adds to the earthy feel of this long, sweet summer cocktail.

I hope this post has helped you resume your potential love affair with, tequila. Tequila truly is a stunning spirit that has so much to offer. It’s versatile and with so many high-quality brands now available, it would be blasphemous not to give it a second chance!

I trust these 3 Paloma recipes have restored your Faith in Tequila and with luck, you’ll be drinking a lot more of it in the future!

What’s your favourite Tequila cocktail? Do you have a preferred straight drinking tequila? Why not leave a comment below and help me spread the word: Tequila isn’t all bad!

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Casamigos Tequila – Hollywood gone Rogue…

So I sit here sipping on my very last drops of Havana Club 7YO (Sad Face) and let’s be honest with ourselves, you all feel my pain. Let’s have 30 seconds of pause for a sad moment…

Enjoy the first 15 Seconds looking at this wonderful picture of a great Tequila…
Now spend the next 15 seconds enjoying this simplistic yet rather classy label...
Now spend the next 15 seconds enjoying this simplistic yet rather classy label…

Ok so with that over we can carry on (I’ll attempt to make this Cuba Libre last the entirety of the writing of this post). Recently I’ve had a bit of a fetish for tequila, and seeing as today (July 24th) is “National Tequila Day” in the U.S.A . it thought I’d celebrate it here in the UK with one of the newer Tequila’s on the US market: Casamigos.

Now I know what you’re thinking “we’ve all been there, and thrown up” well you’re wrong. I’m not talking about Jose Cuervo ‘Salt, tequila, lime’ (or however you prefer to take the three) Tequila.

I’m talking about the Cazadores/El Jimador/Casamigos style Tequilas; the ‘Craft Tequilas’ of our time period.

Now the latter of the three is a Tequila I want to focus on (for the remainder of this post anyway). Casamigos Tequila, if you haven’t heard, is something a little different to the norm.

Sure it’s distilled and created in Jalisco (Mexico) and to all the specifications it needs to be called Tequila, but there’s a bit of a Hollywood feel to this tequila. But enough teasing for now, that’s a little surprise for later!

Casamigos Tequila was formed by the common interest of two friends and originally meant for just them and their circle of friends & family (if you believe the stories anyhow) until they decided one day, for some reason or another, to share their gold with the world.

The mystery owners aside, this Tequila really is something a little special; although the company has only been distilling long enough to produce a small amount of their Tequila (by industry standards), they have still found the time and methods to distil a great spirit in a growing market (it’s expanding exceptionally fast – especially in the U.S.A.) that has various flavours and aromas you’d expect from a company distilling tequila for years.

It is (as I keep saying) something special. And this may be because of those mystery owners I mentioned earlier. Do any of you know who they are? Hell some of you may even know them personally… They may even be reading this as you do (in which case HEY GUYS!). Have you guessed? No? Well here’s a little picture to put you out of your misery…

Clooney & Gerber folks...
Clooney & Gerber folks…

That’s right folks, George Clooney & Rande Gerber are behind the new and emerging glass of pure, distilled agave gold.

With the addition of their long-time friend Mike Meldman they are surely a force to reckoned with. It would not surprise me if this time next year, they became one of the top 3 craft tequila’s in the USA. Let alone Europe, should they expand this far (I really hope they do – I’m dying for a sip!).

They are trying different things with both the cooking/distilling and the advertisement (albeit they are in a unique position to exploit their famous reputations). Whether it’s slow roasting the Agave Piña’s or using Gerber’s & Clooney’s star status to advertise both the product and their love for it; putting across the products quality – “if it’s good enough for Clooney it’s good enough for me” is a great slogan to use subconsciously (it’s worked on me at least).

So let’s sum up:

As I cannot taste it and review it that way, I’ll be pining (excuse the pun) over it instead… I want to try it. I want to test it. I want to make some Mexican Mules, Margaritas, Palomas & even sip it on the rocks. Until then I’ll suggest all you American readers jump on the bandwagon and give it a try. I know it’s about $50-60 per bottle, and not everyone can afford it, but if you’re in the market for a craft tequila, I suggest you give this one ago (and let me know what you think as well?!)…

Want to know more about Casamigos Tequila? Clooney? Or even just watch the cheesy but smart advert/trailer for Casamigos (watch out for the painfully good pay off at the end) then follow THIS link and enjoy. Or for a quick link to their Tequila Day blog post check out THIS.

Finally enjoy this picture of Clooney and Gerber enjoying themselves behind the classiest bar in the world:

2 Amigo's making that bar look the most attractive it's ever been...
2 Amigo’s making that bar look the most attractive it’s ever been…

Tequila – Best bottles under £40 on the UK market

Tequila: Does it make you happy?

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Tequila & Lime, a match made in heaven… Or so they say!

So a little while back (Think back to Cinco De Mayo) I posted a 3 course cocktail ‘Cinco De Mayo’ special… After writing about the 3 drink courses, I added a little section about some great tequila you could buy in the UK for under £40 a bottle. Ever since I wrote that post, the tequila section has been on my mind non-stop.

So, in an attempt to rid myself of the constant thought of Tequila (I know, I know), i have decided to post the Tequila section in it’s own post (in the aim of supplying some more products as and when I find them)…

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An Agave Farmer doing what he does best… Wrestling Agave Plants…

So without further adieu here are the best 5 Tequila’s you can buy for less than £40 a bottle (70/75cl bottles)…

The Fervent Shaker Tequila Sampling Selection:

A collection of 5 of the finest tequila’s available on the UK market…

Tequila no.1: Cazadores Reposado

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A 100% Blue Agave ‘rested’ tequila, with a very deep aroma; it is rather pricey but worth the cost.

Fun fact: “The fermentation process takes 2-3 times longer than most producers because no sugars or yeast is added.”

More Information

Tequila no.2: Gran Centenario Reposado

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A rather unknown, but none-the-less fantastic tequila worth your time!

Fun Fact: “The Tequila is rested in never before used French limousine oak barrels for optimum flavour…”

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Tequila no.3: Sauza Hornito’s Reposado

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With a whole host of flavours ranging from Apples & Peaches to Salt & pepper, this tequila is one you just have to try!

Fun Fact: ”This unique Reposado has reduced contact with wood, giving it a paler colour and livelier agave taste than other Reposado tequila’s…”

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Tequila no.4: Jose Cuervo 1800 Silver

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This is the only Silver tequila on my list and it is arguably one of the best silver tequila’s ever made. With a delicate and smooth flavour and an aroma that includes agave, floral notes and a slight fruitiness; this tequila sure does pack a punch. Perfect with a slice of orange and a splash of cinnamon!

Fun Fact: “This is the world’s only super-premium, 100% Blue Agave silver Tequila.”

 More Information

Tequila no.5: Don Alvaro Anejo

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This is arguable the best tequila on this list, and is aged for a minimum of 5 years in oak barrels. Sporting a rich golden colour and giving off hints of caramel, chocolate and agave this tequila is not out of its depth weighing in among the elite!

Fun Fact: “This Tequila is certified Organic, giving it that little bit of extra ‘good karma’ for the seasoned tequila drinker…”

More Information

These tequilas are what I consider some of the best ‘under £40’ tequila’s available! Whilst they are expensive and to buy every bottle on this list would set you back near on £200, they are fantastic and split the difference between you and your friends and they become reasonably priced. Try all of them with a selection of citrus fruits, soft fruits (like peaches and apples), cinnamon, pineapple and (if you’re one for danger) try a variety of chilli peppers too! All these additions help bring out the tequila’s flavours and help you enjoy them more!

A list for all them can be found here at The DrinkShop.

If you find that even these are a little out of your prices range, why not just pop along to your local supermarket/spirit wholesalers and just grab a bottle or two of anything you like the look of? When sampling remember: Use citrus or soft fruits as well as cinnamon/chilli depending on your tastes, as this helps bring out the flavours of the tequila. Also remember that Anejo or Reposado (rested/aged) – basically any ‘gold’ – tequila’s will pack more flavour than silver, but silver tequila’s do tend to mix better and are generally smoother…

As a final note, i’d like to add this comment from a followe (and great blogger) of mine:

Thanks for the follow Shaker :)

A few years ago ( I ‘ve worked in the hospitality industry for 30 years) my client was a Lebanese man marrying a Mexican woman. They met in Mexico where he was an Agave grower. He showed me a little tequila tip. Take a bottle of Cuervo and poor a little into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together then smell your palm. All you’ll smell is alcohol. Now do the same with a bottle of cazadores -all you’ll smell is agave. He swore by this test – any Tequila leaving agave rather than alcohol smell is good.” – Notes To Ponder