Category: Tequila News & Events

Our trip to Jalisco last month included some time visiting with Rafael, a real life jimador who works for the Tres Mujeres distillery. We were able to watch as he made a very difficult process look extremely easy. He was able to get an entire plant out of the ground in less than 5 minutes.

At one point, Rafael handed the coa (his cutting tool) to Scarlet and I so we could experience the process firsthand. The tool had some weight to it, and it was razor sharp – slicing through the tough agave plant with ease.

He shaves away all of the leaves so that all that remains is the “piña,” the pulpy center which is later steamed, crushed and turned into tequila.

— Grover

Agave 99, Kosher TequilaMy Jewish friends, your prayers have been answered. New York businessman Martin Silver is launching a Kosher tequila called Agave 99, just in time for Passover. But watch out, because this 100% agave beverage is 99 proof.

Star Industries is producing 500,000 cases of the punchy sprit in a Mexican distillery using methods certified by a rabbi. Although its official U.S. launch is set for Cinco de Mayo, a limited amount will be available for Passover.

According to the Star Industries Website, Agave 99 will come in añejo, reposado and blanco. The añejo is aged for a minimum of two years in American oak barrels while the repo is aged 10 months in French limousine casks.

We’re not even Jewish and were dying to try these, although the proof level could be enough to inebriate even a seasoned sipper.

-Scarlet

The Taste Tequila Facebook Group page

The Taste Tequila Facebook Group page

Want to talk about the best tequilas, tequila culture and watering holes with like-minded imbibers? Join our new Taste Tequila Facebook group! We’ve got two discussion topics already waiting for your attention: what’s your favorite grade of tequila (blanco, reposodo, añejo or super añejo (see my previous post), and where the best places are to drink tequila in your city.

Hopefully, we can use the group to arrange tastings in different cities. There are a number of tequila groups on Facebook already, but we promise this one will be the best!

-Scarlet

Inside the La Cofradia tequila distillery in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, where many different grades of tequila are processed, and then exported.

Inside the La Cofradia tequila distillery in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, where many different grades of tequila are processed, and then exported.

As you can tell from the post below, Grover and I drink mainly añejo and super añejo at home, but I don’t think a lot of folks do. In fact, I know they don’t. I was poking around the Website for the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (www.crt.org.mx) last weekend (hey, you have your Saturday night rituals, I have mine) and I came across some interesting data on tequila exports to the U.S.

In 2008, almost 34 million liters of 100% agave tequila were exported to the U.S., and of that over half, or nearly 18 million liters, was blanco. Reposado was the next popular grade, at 12.3 million liters, with añejo following at a mere 3 million liters.

Barrels of tequila inside of the Cascahuin distillery, where the aging process occurs.

Barrels of tequila inside of the Cascahuin distillery, where the aging process occurs.

Super añejo, on the other hand, represented just a tiny fraction of total exports, with less than 21,000 liters brought in for delicious consumption.

(Say, we have seven super añejos at the moment – does this mean that we are one of 3,000 similarly stocked households?)

Of course, I realize that many of the blancos are being purchased by bars and restaurants as mixers, but there are also a lot of people who just enjoy that strong agave flavor. And repos are well represented, so it seems that many like the smoothness of aged tequila that still retains that agave bite. Which is your favorite grade of tequila? Let us know!

-Scarlet

Ed Ramirez, inside the new tequila tasting room at P&S Liquors.

Ed Ramirez, inside the new tequila tasting room at P&S Liquors.

Just a few days after we moved into our new apartment in San Francisco’s Mission District, we took one of our leisurely strolls. The entire area was new to us, so vigorous exploring needed to be done.

This particular walk took us to the “other” side of Mission Street, a part of the neighborhood we don’t often visit. We were in search of a bar that had both tequila and food, but didn’t really find one.

As we walked past the corner of 24th and Folsom, something in my peripheral vision grabbed my attention, causing me to stop suddenly and peer inside this store that didn’t look like anything important from the street.

I remember Scarlet, hungry and thirsty, looking wary.

“I want to look in here,” I said. “I’ll be real quick.”

Half an hour later (!) we left, with two bottles of premium tequila and smiles on our faces, thanks to Ed, who introduced us to the bottles of Fortaleza Añjeo and El Diamonte del Cielo Anejo, which we proudly carried home. When we gave them a try, we knew right away that Ed not only knew what he was talking about, but his tastes for it were right in line with ours.

Score! This neighborhood is awesome.

P&S Liquors is at the corner of 24th and Folsom in San Francisco's Mission District.

P&S Liquors is at the corner of 24th and Folsom in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Ed Ramirez runs the P&S Liquor Store from behind a cage-like area in the back of the store. When I entered the store for the first time, I walked to where Ed was standing and did what I always do in these situations – scan the entire collection of bottles for the tequila.

I saw none, and that’s what I was expecting.

I asked Ed if he had any tequila, and he told us to “come around back.”

Hmmm. OK, this could be interesting. Scarlet and I walked past the refrigerated section, around the wine, and stepped down into a tiny little room that was actually the back of the “cage-like” area. This room was loaded up with tequila of all kinds. I immediately spotted the bottle of Herradura Seleccion Suprema and asked Ed about it.

He told me he wasn’t ready to sell such a prized possession, which was probably a good thing for my wallet, because I would have easily dropped $350 for it right there.

We started talking about all the different tequilas he had in that room and he made suggestions. We’ve been back several times since then, and he’s always chatted us up, made suggestions, and we’ve never been disappointed.

He introduced us to Dos Lunas Añejo and Oro Azul Añejo on our second trip. When we arrived for our third trip, Ed wasn’t there, but his daughter was. She sold me that 10-year old bottle of Herradura Seleccion Suprema was for sale just as he was walking back into the store. (Whoops!)

We noticed some construction going on in another part of the store, and before we could ask about it he told us that it was going to be a tequila tasting room. We were excited. Someday, when I grow up, I want to install a tequila tasting room in my house – and something tells me I won’t get any resistance (just as long as I promise not to hang any Frank Zappa posters inside.)

We returned this past weekend hoping to get a taste of the new tequila room, and were not disappointed.

Ed loves to talk about tequila just as much as we do, and he started making rapid-fire suggestions about brands we’ve never heard of (which is normal) — but then followed up the suggestions with a sample of each! This tasting room is indeed a little bit of paradise.

We left with two bottles this time – “Stallion Añejo,” which comes in a bottle that is in the shape of a horse’s head, and Centinela Añejo. We tasted the Stallion at the store, and it is smooth in the front and finishes with a little spice at the back. We have never seen these tequilas anywhere else, and each and every time we return he’s got something new to show us.

Now, if Ed would just allow me to set up a little bed in that room, I’d be all set. Perhaps next time.

A partial view of the tequila tasting room, camera facing West.

A partial view of the tequila tasting room, camera facing West.