Regulatory changes now permit distillers to infuse Tequilas with added flavors. The potential upside is huge, as it represents an opportunity for bars and restaurants to introduce fine Tequila to guests who might otherwise choose rum or a flavored vodka.
Leading the charge is thoroughbred Gran Centenario Rosangel, a 100 percent agave Tequila aged for a minimum of 10 months in French Limousin oak barrels. It then is further matured in ex-port pipes and infused with sweet hibiscus flowers, a staple in Mexican culture and cuisine. Tinged sunset pink, Rosangel is top-notch in every respect.
“Gran Centenario Rosangel is fantastic,” says Julie Reiner, cocktail expert and proprietor of both New York’s famed Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge. “Rosangel works beautifully with my new age tropical style of mixology, and it will surely make the menu at both Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge.”
Super-premium Tanteo Chocolate Tequila is one of three jalapeño-infused Tequilas in the Tanteo range. The handmade pepper infusion injects the Tequila with a precise dose of peppery heat, a measure of sizzle that’s impeccably balanced and delightful. It even dazzles alone in a glass.
“I’ve tasted the Tanteo Chocolate in scores of different cocktails, and each was more delicious than the previous,” says Jonathan Pogash, director of cocktail development for New York’s Hospitality Holdings, which operates The Campbell Apartment and The World Bar, among other Manhattan venues. “I think the flavor of the chocolate infusion marries perfectly with the taste of the 100 percent agave Tequila. It’s an appealing spirit on many levels.”
Another savory break from the staid and conventional is Agave Loco Pepper Cured Tequila, a 100 percent agave reposado infused with the essential oils of six varieties of Mexican pepper. The exuberant spirit has naturally obtained opacity and the savory aroma of the fresh peppers, which is the first indicator of the nearly combustible heat to follow. Its peppery blast rises to a crescendo just short of producing tears.
Tabasco Spicy Tequila, on the other hand, was created for those unafraid of crying in public. The brand is a snazzy fusion of premium Tequila and iconic Tabasco brand pepper sauce. In a shot or couched in a Margarita, the incandescent, universally adored flavor of Tabasco is unmistakable.
Bridget Albert counts herself one of its fans. “I’ve served this Tequila to my guests who enjoy a little kick in their cocktails. The Tabasco gives a nice fire to a traditional Margarita. It is also pairs well with fresh orange juice.”
For those looking to put more zip in their step, energized p.i.n.k. Tequila contains a natural infusion of flavorless caffeine and guarana. Made at the famed La Cofradia Distillery, this superior blanco Tequila has a marvelous mouth feel, wafting floral and spice bouquet and an extended, flavorful finish. Stimulating and delicious, it is an unbeatable combination.