Tequila – a drink synonymous with poor decisions and shots with sour lime and salt in Ireland. At least it used to be synonymous with these qualities and activities, although nowadays, us Irish are developing a growing appreciation for Mexico’s favourite tipple.
It might not be the global phenomenon that is gin or whiskey but there is a reason why colossal, multinational companies like Bacardi, Diageo and Pernod Ricard are buying up tequila companies left, right and centre because international sales and the demand for premium tequilas are rapidly increasing.
But what exactly is tequila? Well, to start it takes about eight years to get into your glass. Unlike whiskey it hasn’t necessarily been aged for eight years, but rather the blue weber agave plant takes eight years to thrive in the desert and can only be used once. The pina (the heart of the plant) is then cut out and processed to make tequila.
Another unique trait is that tequila is primarily produced in Jalisco as well as a couple of limited regions that are also legally allowed to produce the spirit. Similar to whiskey in particular scotch, depending on tequilas geographical location, different flavour profiles can be created.
For example, a highland tequila will be floral and fruiter due to an abundance of soil nutrients. Whereas, a lowland tequila will have earthier notes. Good quality tequila is made from 100% blue agave and offers a range of different flavours, becoming increasingly rich and complex as the age increases:
Silver/Blanco/Joven – usually unaged or briefly aged tequilas that are mellower and typically used in cocktails.
Reposado – aged in wooden barrels for at least two months to a year.
Anejo – aged between one to three years making it more complex and rich.
Extra Anejo – a newer category that has been aged for over three years and has quite a lot of woody characteristics.
Whilst Ireland might not be home to any of the World’s best tequila bars yet, we’re noticing tequila featuring more in the cocktail scene as consumers are starting to develop more cultured palates and opting for spirits with lots of character.
Ourselves at Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green are observing this trend and could do with acquiring more space for our ever-expanding tequila and mezcal (tequila’s older sibling) range.
So next time you opt for tequila, a few suggestions have been made below, pay it some respect!
1. Cabo Wabo Reposado €62.99
A tequila from a family owned producer that has been made using 100% blue agave. Named after the famous Mexican holiday resort, Cabo San Lucas, this tequila has notes of citrus fruits and spicy pepper.
2. Casamigos Anejo €117.95 (100cl)
Partially owned by famous actor George Clooney, the Casamigos Anejo has been matured for fourteen months in American oak barrels with agave that has been fermented twice and roasted for ten times as long.
3. Tapatio Anejo €52.99
Often described as a very more-ish tequila with a smooth and enticing flavour. This is incredibly well-made and has been aged to perfection for around eighteen months in ex-bourbon barrels.
Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green on Dublin’ Dawson Street is a multi-award winning retailer and a mecca for any whiskey, wine or spirits lover. The store stocks a superb variety of Irish whiskey including many rare and exclusive bottlings. Expert staff serve up free whiskey tastings all day every day and are on hand to offer any assistance you may need to purchase your favourite tipple. The store hosts a variety of exciting whiskey tastings each month.
Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder Killarney is home to one of Ireland’s most expansive whiskey ranges, stocking an enormous selection of Irish and international whiskey, creative cocktails, Irish craft beers & spirits. Irish Whiskey Experience hosts a range whiskey masterclasses in Killarney and Dublin.