Wednesday, July 24, 2013

National Tequila Day: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Good Tequila
1) Tequila is not whiskey. Or whisky. I know. But some of it is barrel aged!
2) Today, July 24th, is National Tequila Day.
3) Since Wednesdays are usually reserved for my Whisk(e)y Wednesday posts, I decided to make an exception today to celebrate a different spirit.
4) Drink good tequila.
5) Try a paloma. Another recipe is below.

Tequila really ought to be celebrated. Agave is the plant that tequila is distilled from. It is mostly grown in a select area of Mexico, with one of the most famous regions being the state of Jalisco. Contrary to popular belief, agave is not a cactus. It is actually a member of the lily family, and only blue agave may be used to produce tequila. Any other variety of agave makes mezcal, which is tequila's cousin that is prepared differently and has a smoky bite in its flavor. Tequila is made from the juices of the pineapple-like core of the blue agave plant. After roasting or steaming the massive (up to 300 lbs.) cores, or "pinas," they are pressed to release the juices or aguamiel (honey water). The aguamiel is then fermented and at least double distilled before being bottled and sent to your shot glasses. If you're drinking tequila that is "100% de agave," then that's exactly what you are getting. If it is not 100%, it has to at least be 51% made from agave, with water and sugars taking up the rest, to still be considered tequila. Most commercially available tequilas are 80 proof or in that range, though some can go up to 100 proof. A few other words you might see on tequila bottles are:

Blanco ("white") or plata ("silver"): white spirit, un-aged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels;
Joven ("young") or oro ("gold"): is the result of 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 three years in oak barrels;
Extra Añejo ("extra aged" or "ultra aged"): aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels.

Maestro Dobel Perfect Paloma
In case you want a tequila beverage today, here's a recipe for the "Perfect Paloma!"

2 Parts Maestro Dobel Tequila (pictured above)
4 Parts Grapefruit Soda
Splash Lime Juice
Shake and strain into a rocks glass
Lime Wedge garnish

Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by Calandro's Supermarket. Calandro's has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys as well as wine and craft beer. This WW feature was scored by Jay DucoteEric Ducote, and Jeremy Spikes. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 90 is rather extraordinary.


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