Last weekend – Valentine’s Day, in fact – we stopped by a restaurant/bar in the moneyed seaside town of Sausalito, Calif. to have a drink. The bar didn’t have a great selection of tequila, but it did have a handful of nice choices, such as Don Julio 1942, Casadores

Añejo, and Partida Blanco. Grover ordered a shot of 1942 and we began chatting with the friendly barman, who happened to love tequila. I commented that their selection could use a boost, a nice Gran Centenario Añejo, perhaps, or the relatively new Dos Lunas. The barman pointed out that they did have a Gran Centenario, but it was actually a special hibiscus flavored edition that the distributor threw in with their last order. The bottle looked like the one for Gran Centenario Reposado, but the tequila was a light rose color. In fact, the tequila is called Rosangel and it is a reposado.

The barman poured us a couple shots of it, and wow, was it different. The nose was sweet and floral, the hibiscus prominent. The next thing I noticed was that this strawberry blond tequila had legs. The viscosity implied higher alcohol content than normal, and that was confirmed upon drinking it when I got a sudden punch to the head. But the real wow factor was the taste, which was completely front-loaded with hibiscus/agave flavor, with no finish. I have never tried a tequila that exploded with flavor in the front instead of the back.

The folks at Gran Centenario released Rosangel just in time for Valentine’s Day, hoping that the sweet flavor and rose color would make it perfect for romance. The tequila is made from 100% Highland blue agave and is rested for two months in port barrels, giving it its rose color. It is then infused with the traditional Mexican hibiscus flower. Although a little too sweet and floral for my tastes, it was an interesting find. And the bartender was a good find, too. He ended up giving Grover another 1942 on the house, because he felt bad that the bar overcharges on it – $32 a shot. Ouch. But considering a little tequila knowledge got us three free shots, I’d say love was in the air.