distilled any fool can create an overwhelming drink, & most fools do.
distilled any fool can create an overwhelming drink, and most fools do.
Sunset Bay Publishing • Westchester, New York • © 2011
chapter one: introduction 08 chapter two: distillation 11 chapter three: vodka 14 chapter four: tequila 20 chapter five: rum 26 chapter six: whiskey 32 chapter seven: gin 38 chapter eight: brandy 44 chapter nine: mixology 50
tequila chapter four
“The problem with having a big bottle of tequila is that all the things that only seem like a good idea when you’re drinking tequila, continue to seem like good ideas.” Robert Frost
equila today is undergoing the same growing pains that rum did, in the early 1900’s. Once seen as a peasant drink, tequila is finally getting some of the respect that its rich heritage deserves. Sure, it’s fun to shoot down...and later, back up...but when you get past the caramel-colored slop that can only be made palatable by sucking on a lime, then you’re ready to buckle down and begin your Tequila Education. Quality tequila is a painstaking work of art, much of which is done by hand. The agave plant takes nine years to mature, before it can be harvested. Few liquors are made from such a prized commodity. Unlike many other liquors, tequila rarely ages well past the four year mark. Oaking tequila is like walking a tightrope, where just a little over the edge can ruin you. Although I can appreciate a subtly wooded tequila, I believe that a vegetal and fiery plata was not meant to be tamed. I think it is just that quality that makes it tequila, and to subdue it is to turn a tiger into a housecat. HIS TORY OF TEQUIL A Tequila is probably the most known and consumed spirit in North America. It is consumed both neat (with no other ingredients) or as part of mixture of ingredients to produce a multitude of cocktails. True tequila is made from blue agave–a succulent plant
found in the region surrounding the city of Tequila. Tequila must be made with a minimum blue agave content of 51% to be labeled as tequila, otherwise it is called mezcal. Fine tequilas are made of 100% blue agave. Tequila is made primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, where it was first produced in the 16th century. The volcanic soil in the region surrounding Tequila is particularly well suited to the growing of the blue agave, and more than 300 million of the plants are harvested there each year. Tequila is most often made at a 38–40% alcohol content (76–80 proof), but can be produced between 35–55% alcohol content (70–110 proof). Currently there are over 100 distilleries making over nine hundred brands of tequila in Mexico and over 2,000 brand names have been registered. US based page 22
liquor companies and bottlers import bulk tequilas from the Mexico manufacturing plants and bottle and various facilities in the US. Because of this arrangement, the Tequila Bottlers Registry was created to identify approved bottlers of tequila and created an agency to monitor the registry. Tequila was first produced in the 16th century near the location of the city of Tequila, which was not officially established until 1656. The Aztec people had previously made a fermented beverage from the agave plant, which they called octli (later, and more popularly called pulque), long before the Spanish arrived in 1521. When the Spanish conquistadors ran out of their own brandy, they began to distill this agave drink to produce North America’s first indigenous distilled spirit. Some 80 years later, around 1600, Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira, began massproducing tequila at the first factory in the territory of modern-day Jalisco. By 1608, the colonial governor of Nueva Galicia had begun to tax his products.
“Take your tequila out of the shotglass and put it in a snifter, where it belongs. Don’t shoot it, savor it. There’s wildness there, but there’s elegance, too. And unless you’re trying to stave off scurvy, put away the lime.”
The Cockroach 3 cups tequila 2 cups Kahlúa ½ tablespoon cinnamon 1 cup ice cubes Pour the tequila and Kahlúa into a glass, and (optionally) set on fire with a lighter. If you light it, pop a straw in the glass and drink! Otherwise, pour over ice and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
The tequila that is popular today was first mass-produced in the early 1800s in Guadalajara, Mexico.Don Cenobio Sauza, founder of Sauza Tequila and Municipal President of the Village of Tequila from 1884-1885, was the first to export tequila to the United States. Don Cenobio’s grandson Don Francisco Javier gained international attention for insisting that “there cannot be tequila where there are no agaves!” His efforts led to the practice that real tequila can only come from the State of Jalisco. Although some tequilas have remained as family owned brands, most well-known tequila brands are owned by large multinational corporations. However, there are over 100 distilleries making over nine hundred brands of tequila in Mexico and over 2,000 brand names have been registered (2009 Statistics). Due to this, each bottle of tequila contains a serial number (NOM) depicting which distillery the tequila was produced in. Because there are only so many distilleries, multiple brands of tequila come from the same location.
Blackberry Lime Margarita ¼ cup sugar ¾ cup white tequila ½ cup fresh lime juice 2 cups ice cubes 2 cups black berries Puree blackberries in a blender and strain through a sieve. Put the blackberry puree along with the ice cubes, fresh lime juice, white tequila and sugar into the cocktail shaker and shake well until well blended.
Tequila Furnace tequila tabasco sauce lime & salt Pour tequila into a shot glass. Add 6 drops of Tabasco sauce and stir. Lick some salt, down the tequila and bite the lime.
DRINK ING TEQUIL A Tequila is consumed both neat (without other ingredients) or as part of a mixture to produce a variety of cocktails such as margaritas. When consumed neat, tequila is served several ways. The most common is in a narrow shot glass called a caballito, which is a 2oz serving. In 2002 an official tequila glass from the Riedel Glass Company was approved. The glass is
6-3/4 oz and is an elegant slender glass with a tall stem, meant to lift fine tequila to the level it deserves, to accord it the appreciation and respect of which it is worthy, according to Riedel. It is popular in some regions to drink fine tequila with a side of sangrita—a sweet, sour and spicy drink typically made from orange juice, grenadine (or tomato juice) and hot chilies. Equal-sized shots of tequila and sangrita are sipped alternately, without salt or lime. Outside Mexico, a single shot of tequila is often served with salt and a slice of lime. This is called “tequila cruda” and is sometimes referred to as “training wheels,” “lick-sip-suck,” or “lick-shoot-suck” (referring to the way in which the combination of ingredients is imbibed). The drinker moistens the back of their hand below the index finger (usually by licking) and pours on the salt. Then the salt is licked off the hand, the tequila is then drunk and the fruit slice is quickly bitten. Drinking tequila in this way is often erroneously called a Tequila Slammer (which is in fact a mix of tequila and carbonated drink). Though the traditional Mexican shot is straight tequila, lime is the fruit of choice when a chaser must be used. It is believed that the salt lessens the “burn” of the tequila and the sour fruit balances and enhances the flavor. In Germany and some other countries, tequila oro (gold) is often consumed with cinnamon before and slices of orange after, while tequila blanco (silver) is consumed with salt and lime.
“Mexican laws state that tequila can be produced only in the state of Jalisco and limited to regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.”
Blanco, Plata white, silver un-aged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in oak barrels
Joven, Oro TEQUIL A VA RIE TIE S There are many brands of tequila; the Consejo Regulador del Tequila reports 901 registered brands from 128 producers for the year 2008. Mexican laws state that tequila can be produced only in the state of Jalisco and limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. In 2003, Mexico issued a proposal that would require all Mexican-made tequila be bottled in Mexico before being exported to other countries. The Mexican government said that bottling tequila in Mexico would guarantee its quality. Liquor companies in the United States said that Mexico just wanted to create bottling jobs in their own country. Liquor companies in the United States also claimed this rule would violate international trade agreements and was in discord with usual exporting practices worldwide. The proposal might have resulted in the loss of jobs at plants in California, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky, because Mexican tequila exported in bulk to the United States is bottled in those plants. On January 17, 2006,
young, gold blending silver tequila with reposado and/or añejo and/or extra añejo tequila
Reposado rested aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels
Añejo aged or vintage aged a minimum of one year, but less than 3 years in oak barrels
Extra Añejo extra aged aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels