Like champagne, tequila has a denomination of origin, meaning that it must be produced in one of five Mexican states: Guanajuanto, Tamaulipas, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Jalisco, the main tequila producing region, where you can also find the town of the same name. It’s located about 320 miles from Mexico City. And aren’t we all interested in origin these days?
This is at least the most basic of information you’ll need to properly celebrate National Tequila Day, this year landing on Friday, July 24. It’s also necessary to select a sip that exhibits your knowledge and good taste…one of which is most definitely small maker El Tequileño (pronounced “El Tek-Eh-lane-yo”). It has only been available in the States since 2019 (a venture now under the direction of Florida’s Paradise Spirits), though its history reaches back to 1959, when the US and Mexico had, shall we say, significantly better relations.
And from their smooth Blanco, on to their luxurious Platinum, and further on to their coveted Reposado Rare, the taste and textural spectrum is decidedly impressive…and inclusive.
This August, flying in the face of a pandemic-plagued travel biz, the brand will also open a chic little bolthole, directly adjacent to the distillery, and pithily names the Casa Salles Hotel Boutique. It will feature just 25 rooms, a pool, a spa and restaurant—and is just the sort of place to sub for the stays in charming little palazzos in Florence that we won’t be having.
But for now, with National Tequila Day fast approaching, we asked the good people of El Tequileño to grace us with three of their most interesting cocktail recipes, so that we might celebrate in style—because, of course, we would never do anything less.
El Tequileño Blanco | Cocktail: La Batanga
2oz El Tequileño Blanco
1oz freshly squeezed lime juice
Top with Mexican Cola
Method: Coat the rim of a highball glass with coarse sea salt, fill the glass with cubed ice, add El Tequileño Blanco and freshly squeezed lime juice, top with Mexican Cola. Stir with knife.
About: Created by the late Don Javier Delgado, founder of world famous Cantina La Capilla in the magical town of tequila, La Batanga has been the signature drink of his establishment since the early 60s and has always been made with El Tequileño Blanco. It is always stirred with the same knife that is used to cut the limes, as Don Javier would say it added flavor.
El Tequileño Reposado | Cocktail: Mango Margarita
1.5oz El Tequileño Reposado
2oz Mango Puree
1oz Mango Liqueur
1.5oz fresh lime juice
Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker over fresh cubed ice. Shake until ice cold. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with a piece of dehydrated mango
About: Located within the El Tequileño distillery grounds are 14 mature mango trees around 150 years old. These mango trees have a natural influence during the open fermentation process and positively impact the resulting flavor profile of El Tequileño tequila. During the months of June & July the mangos are ripe to pick and we like to create fresh mango margaritas
El Tequileño Platinum | Cocktail: El Dragon Rosado
2oz El Tequileño Platinum
1oz Lime Juice
1oz Agave Nectar
1 whole dragon fruit flesh
Method: Add all ingredients to a blender, add one cup of ice and blend until smooth. Serve in a rocks glassed with a salt rim, garnish with dragon fruit slice and mint sprig
About: Throughout the region of Jalisco, you can find an abundance of a specific Cactus species that produces a fruit that locals call ‘Pitaya roja’ aka ‘Dragon Fruit’. Around the town of tequila there are many of these cactus plants which produce fruit which is harvested during the summer months!