Tequila is widely known as a distilled spirit made from the blue agave plant, which is primarily grown around the city of Tequila, in the highlands of Jalisco. Mexican law stipulates that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and a handful of municipalities.
It is frequently used in cocktails, such as the wildly popular Margarita, which is traditionally made with tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. However, by utilizing other citrus and fruit juices, or introducing spicy elements such as fresh jalapeños, multiple variations of the original recipe have developed over time. Other popular tequila based cocktails are Paloma, Tequila Sunrise and the Bloody Maria, a hybrid version of the Bloody Mary.
Tequila’s can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. The most traditional way to drink it in Mexico is neat. In the US, a shot of tequila is often served with salt and a slice of lime. Salt lessens the alcohol burn and the sour lime enhances the flavor. However, many of the high-quality tequilas are super smooth, and don’t need lime or salt. They are best enjoyed from a snifter glass.
Indulging in the exquisite fragrances and flavors of finely crafted tequilas is an experience not to be missed. Here are five of the best sipping tequilas on the market:
Casa Dragones is actually labeled as “sipping tequila.” Imbibers are encouraged to savor this treasure, made from the estate-grown blue agave in Tequila, Mexico. The Master Distiller finishes each bottle by blending un-aged platinum tequila with a touch of aged extra añejo. This combination is known as tequila “Joven.” It is beyond smooth and reveals a dollop of pleasure in every sip.
Casa Herradura Seleccion Suprema
Herradura’s (around since 1870) claim to fame is that is it was the first ever Tequila to introduce a Reposado, or “rested” tequila. This tequila is aged for 4 years, and is a seductive affair indeed. It features wonderful florals, a subtle hint of creamy vanilla, and a lengthy, intriguing finish. It’s a sensory nirvana.
Clase Azul Reposado
Rather eye catching, this tall, ceramic, hand-painted Talavera carafe contains liquid gold! Inside you’ll find a premium, 100% Weber Blue Agave tequila that has been aged for a minimum of eight months in a blend of Bourbon, Cognac, and Sherry oak casks. This results in a deft balance highlighted by a subtlety sweet flavor profile.
Gran Patron Platinum
The blue agave plants used for this tequila are grown in the Highlands of Jalisco, where volcanic ash makes for unique soil. Plants with the highest sugar content are hand selected for use in this premium product. The tequila undergoes a triple distillation process, providing a smooth mouth-feel, supple texture and lengthy finish, with just a hint of citrus.
This tequila is collaboration between Tomas Estes, who is widely credited with bringing the first Tequila overseas, and a renowned family of local distillers, the Camarenas. It is a first of its kind, “vintage” tequila. The vintage designation refers to the year the plants were harvested and where they were grown. Ocho Anejo is aged for a minimum of a year. Most sipping tequilas undergo multiple distillations.Ocho is always double distilled, but the total process (harvest, cooking, fermentation, types of stills etc…) is what yield’s the distinctive vintage character. It offers unparalleled complexity and silky texture; hallmarks of an extraordinary sipping tequila.