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Tequila

Gus

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Don Julio blanco is everywhere and often on sale at $30-$34. I think it may be the best quality blanco tequila value. It has a clean, agave flavor. Smooth after taste. Perfect for sipping neat. I will take it over Patron.

 

Rambo

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I'll be in Mexico in a few weeks and would like to get on a Tequila tour and see a farm/factory/whatnot. Anyone have a recommendation or advice?

Also, since I'll be in the motherland, any tequilas or mezcal's that I should specifically seek out?
 

Gus

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A lot of the hotels in the state of Jalisco can arrange a tour for you. Just email them. Generally these are pretty good but 1) they aren't cheap 2) it can mean many hours on a bus with a bunch of drunk Canadians just getting to some of the estates.

If you are in Puerto Vallarta there are (or used to be, it has been 2 years) some quality tasting rooms where you can enjoy a particular brand. I discovered a few brands there prior to their introduction into the US market.

Many of the hotels will have tequila tastings. I think it is one of the best ways to try a range of brands at the same time, side-by-side, to really find what qualities you prefer in your tequila. The problem with tasting rooms is that you are limited to their brand(s).

There are government certified tequila specialists in Mexico similar to a sommelier called a Mexcalier. Some of hotels employ them to run their tasting courses. They not only tell you about the brands, but the region, soil, culture, trends, politics, back room power plays to control brands....lots of interesting stuff that you will never hear at a brand specific estate or tasting room. .

I would seek out tequila that is estate grown and processed. I would also seek out certified organic. There are a few of each. Otherwise, you are buying a brand name that is grow in multiple areas and then blended for taste in another. If you are going to the region, then the estate route gives you a special reason for an on- site visit. You get to see the soil, the area and watch it being processed.

I used to drink reposado most of the time. But, after hanging out in Jalisco I noticed that the majority of tequila growers drink blanco neat. Why? Because that way they taste the pure tequila/agave flavor. I now prefer it to Anejo or Reposado unless I am smoking a cigar. However, I do use Anejo and Reposado in cooking for extra flavor.
 

Gus

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i've been making margaritas recently with 1.5 oz blanca, 1.5 oz fresh lime juice and .5 oz agave nectar and then shake and serve over ice. My alternate and standby is 1 shot blanca, i shot fresh lime and almost a shot of Cointreau, shake and serve over ice.

Anyone else have a favorite?
 

Piobaire

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i've been making margaritas recently with 1.5 oz blanca, 1.5 oz fresh lime juice and .5 oz agave nectar and then shake and serve over ice. My alternate and standby is 1 shot blanca, i shot fresh lime and almost a shot of Cointreau, shake and serve over ice.

Anyone else have a favorite?

I'm not in a tequila mode right now but I have a couple recipes I use when in that mood. Usual one is:

2 oz blanca
1.5 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz orange liqueur (depending on mood anything from triple sec to Grand Marnier)
.5 oz Chambord
 

Pennglock

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Whats the expert take on Jose Cuervo Tradicional? Decent margarita mixing or can you do better for under 25?
 

Gus

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I haven't been all that impressed by any of the Jose Cuervo offerings, even their very expensive limited edition bottles. The only time I buy Jose Cuervo is one sale, the regular stuff, to mix with pre-made margarita mix for pool parties on a hot day. To me it does the job when making pitchers of drinks but it isn't a true tequila tasting experience. It is just a fun beverage.

If you are looking for a good value in a blanca of 100% agave tequila for a mixed cocktail then try Milagro (under $25). However, I think you need to go a bit higher than $25 to get a great blanca taste, the type that you would enjoy straight.

 

Piobaire

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^ Agree on all counts. Milagro is my cheap mixing tequila.
 

Gibonius

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Espolon is pretty good for mixing on the cheap as well. Also neat bottle art (Day of the Dead themes), but that's just a bonus.
 

b1os

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Don Julio blanco is everywhere and often on sale at $30-$34. I think it may be the best quality blanco tequila value. It has a clean, agave flavor. Smooth after taste. Perfect for sipping neat. I will take it over Patron.

How do you like Don Julio's anejo? I don't have any comparisons, but I like it quite a bit.

Just tried a Margarita with 1:1:1 Hornitos Reposado (don't have any blanca), lime juice, Cointreau. Not bad, but I'm no Margarita expert. I think this recipe, in general, would profit from Huntsman's general advise of reducing the mixer (for most cocktails) to some extent and replacing it with a variable amount of simple syrup (the variable being the lemon/lime juice's sourness).
 
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archibaldleach

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Hmmmm. Am I the only one who mixes margaritas with a 4:1:1 or higher ratio of tequila: Cointreau: lime juice?
 

Piobaire

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Hmmmm. Am I the only one who mixes margaritas with a 4:1:1 or higher ratio of tequila: Cointreau: lime juice?

Why not just drink straight tequila then? That's far more manly after all.
 

archibaldleach

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Why not just drink straight tequila then? That's far more manly after all.

You still get some balance from the lime juice and Cointreau while making the cocktail more of a way to showcase good tequila. I've always felt that the trick to a good cocktail is quality booze and not a lot of other stuff to drown it out. Same reason I'll use a 4:1 gin:lime ratio with gimlets.

Drinking tequila straight works too, though scotch or armagnac tends to be my spirit of choice 80% I'm drinking straight alcohol.
 

b1os

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You still get some balance from the lime juice and Cointreau while making the cocktail more of a way to showcase good tequila.
The question is, what do you want to balance? The ingredients of the cocktail or the liquor?
 
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