5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Speaking of making spirits bright . . .
Bertha González Nieves is the CEO and co-founder of Casa Dragones tequila alongside partner Bob Pittman, who just so happens to be the founder of MTV. González Nieves was also the first woman to be accredited as a Maestra Tequilera, or certified tequila expert - think Master Sommelier, but for tequila.
Now, she's plopped down into the 5@5 hot seat to offer a little sip of knowledge: Tequila isn’t all lime wedges, salt shakers and yard-long margaritas.
Five Things You Should Look For in a Great Tequila: Bertha González Nieves
1. Made in Mexico.
"Like Champagne, scotch and wines such as Bordeaux, tequila has an appellation of origin. This means it can only be produced in certain regions of Mexico, including the Valley of Tequila in Jalisco, where our agave plants are harvested. Check the label to be sure your tequila is made in Mexico. If it’s not, then it’s not real tequila."
2. Keep it Pure.
"Look for tequilas that are made from 100 percent pure agave, otherwise you will be getting a tequila with added sugars, colors and flavors. There are five official classifications of 100% Agave Tequila: Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo, Extra Añejo. Tequilas that are 100 percent pure agave are higher in quality, and allow you to experience the true taste of the agave plant."
3. Please Be Clear.
"Hold your glass of tequila up to the light to check that is has nice transparency and no floating particles. Fine tequila will have impeccable clarity and a brilliant or very bright color, which in our case is a brilliant platinum hue. Our clarity is the result of an extremely refined filtration process. Great tequilas will be bright and clear, and won’t look cloudy or dull."
4. The Nose Knows.
"There are over 600 different aromas identified from the agave plant. With a fine tequila, you should be able to detect very sweet, citrus, honey and floral notes. Start at the bottom of the glass to detect sweet cooked agave notes. Make sure there are no chemical aromas, or very strong alcohol scents. Move your nose to the middle of the glass to sense more of the sweet, citrus or honey notes. Nosing the top of the glass will give you a sense of the aging process, in our case mellow oak and hints of spice and vanilla."
5. Taste is King.
"When tasting tequila, you should look for good alcohol to flavor ratio on the palate, meaning you don’t want the alcohol burn to overpower the delicious agave flavors. The agave, fruit, pepper and floral notes should be sweet and smooth, enticing you to take a second sip. The finish should be warm and soft, with no bitter aftertaste. A great tequila should be easily sipped, without lime or salt to mask the taste."
How do you take your tequila: Straight? With salt and a squirt of lime? In a gimlet or margarita? Spill it in the comments.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
Get the guys of casa noble tequila, that is my favorite and much more reasonable price.
My boyfriend & I drink Cien Anos Reposado straight up... Or mixed w a little Squirt soda.
A surprisingly good and inexpensive tequila can be found at, of all places, COSTCO. They have their own private label 100% agave anejo tequila and it sells for only about $23 a bottle, or about half the price of a fairly decent premium tequila. I find it way tastier and smother than Patron anejo. My favorite, when I can find/afford it is Chinaco anejo. One interesting product put out by the folks at Patron is a tequila version of Kaluah, a coffee liquor; much better in Black or White Russians.
Liked this article. Wish there were a few recommendations of good tequila included.
Love tequila! The only drink with no hangover for me! I like it in shots, margaritas, T Sunrise, Oh-and it's good with sweet tea too....but that's a southern thing...sorry. J/I/K you all read this @Truth, RichardHead and SirBiddle you guys crack me up! Hope no one threw their back out last night.....
Tequila is great. That is, until the human is added.
Mmmm.......Tequila is my fren.
staight up baby! NFL!
Tequila makes me want to fight,have to be careful with it.
I used to be a single malt scotch affectionado. It now a fine tequila. Just a splash of water, wait a few moments and bingo.
You have to take a legitimately GOOD tequila straight. Shooting, low quality tequila necessitates the use of salt/lime, and you would never want to put a good tequila in a mixed drink. My favorite at the moment is the Don Julio 1942 Special Edition. Has an amazing sweet taste with vanilla and honey tones (trying to decide if i get a hint of hazelnut), and has a nice oak finish (although not overpowering). Good tequila, like any fine liquor, should be had in a nice glass snifter. I could sip on DJ42 all day.
Same with El Tesoro Paridiso – but for me these ultra-premium tequilas are more like cognacs (hence the brandy snifter) and although I find them VERY tasty, when I want tequila I prefer the ones that are not distilled quite as much (and they fit the pocketbook better). I won't turn down a 'shot' if you are pouring, however :-)
So I guess finding people passed out on the floor next to a tequila bottle is not a good sign? Remember the old saying? One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR!!!!
Another tip: If your tequila tastes "green", the agave was probably left a little bit "raw" and does not make for a good tequila.
My absolute favorite tequila blanco was from a blank-label private batch from a friend of the family in Guadalajara. I guess you could call it Mexican moon-shine, as it was a private experimental sampling from the owner of a local distillery. We all most definitely approved!
My absolute favorite twist on the Whiskey Old Fashioned is the Tequila Old Fashioned – Robert Hess made a pretty good drink here:
"Start at the bottom of the glass?" How the heck do you do that? Unclear writing.
I was thinking the exact same thing and still can't figure out what she meant by that.
Maybe pour just a tiny bit in the glass? Then sniff it (or snort it) :-)
I take my tequila in a tough guy.
recipe: 1 shot of tequila, lime slice, and some salt.
Prep the salt on the base of the thumb, take the shot, snort the salt and squeeze the lime in your eye. Tequila straight is the only way.
straight of course.
a huevo ue directo
sin sal ni limon
FOR A TRULY GREAT SHOT TRY SAUZA GOLD WITH A SLICE OF ORANGE AND CINNAMON FROM BRAZIL...A TRULY GREAT TREAT...RIGHT MR.SIN.........
Grace is right……. If you need training wheels skip the lime and salt and try the cinnamon and orange slice
I find Cuervo 1600 to be a smooth shot. In my college days, I drank Two Fingers Tequila by the gallon.
I like it straight.
...that's what she said.
The liquor with the worm in it is actually Mezcal from which Tequila is distilled. They are both from the agave (maguey) plant, with the very best tequila coming from the Blue Agave plant specifically. The worm in the bottle is a marketing scam. True Mexicans laugh at Gringos that pound down on that worm, idiots!
And we laugh at Mexicans who try to drive a 4 person car with 9 people in it.
Some favorites – sipped straight! Notice no Patron!
Blanco – Arette Suave Blanco
Reposado – El Tesoro Reposado
Anejo – SAN MATIAS ORGULLO ANEJO <== best for the money!
Honorable Mentions: Sol de Mexico Anejo, Chichenitza Reposado, Don Julio Anejo (comp'd at Flamingo in Vegas)
"eatocracy" WTF? Stupid.
Penca Azul – There is a good pure tequila.
An orange slice coated in cinnamon tastes much better than the lime and salt trick, in my opinion.
One tequila two tequila three tequila FLOOR! WOOOOOOO!
I found this to be a very informative 5@5, but I don't know that much about tequila either.......just that it tastes good!
p.s. Is Kat choosing these sultry pics on purpose? That was my first thought when I opened this page. It's fun to tune into the daily 5@5 "hitting" competition either way.
As it happens, Sarah usually edits 5@5, so you might wanna ask her...
Try the Palmia at Sushi Sambia. One of the best tequila-based cocktails around.
Looked on the website for their tequila. They say it's made in San Miguel de Allende which not only isn't in the Tequila region, but is in Guanajuato. It's not even in Jalisco, so according to her own rules, this isn't a good one.
I think the article stated that is where the agave came from, not where it was bottled or manufactured.
Wow. She's a certified master of the obvious. You mean tequila is mescal from the Tequila region of Jalisco? No way. Next you'll tell me that cognac is brandy from the Cognac region of France.
Mescal is made from the peyote cactus, tequilla is made from the agave cactus. Mescal will mess up your head...
I'm out. Home to make blackened mahi mahi for my bride. Talk to y'all tomorrow!
Informative and learned quite a bit until I got to all the loser comments...............you guys can go back to your Pabst Blue Ribbon in mommies basement now, the grown up big people are talking.......
BUUUUUUUUUUUUURP. Excuse me!
She didn't give me any information that isn't totally obvious.
I like 1800 Anejo. Like to sip it on a cold winter night like tonight.
It's a Bloody Mary Mornin-Oh wait,It's Just the tequila talkin!
Nope, it's Sunday Morning Coming Down.
No, it's another tequilla sunrise.
LOL You guys are too funny! Looky there a brunette too!!!!! Anyhow, so as to remain topical (because some people don't like off topic chat) I love a good Margarita, but straight Tequila would wipe me out!!!!
Be honest,You would feint at the sight of the worm in the bottle. They are a little crunchy but taste oh so good.
UGH,Yeah I'm definitely a tequila lightweight. You guys can keep the worm!!!! My vote still goes for it mixed. That nasty, fire in your throat thing when you shoot it straight is too harsh for me...not very ladylike either.
Miss Kitty did it all the time at the Longbranch Saloon with nary a smirk and she was a Lady!
The worm is found in bottles of Mezcal, not in Tequila. Both are tasty, though.
The worms are in mescal, not tequilla. It's a peyote cactus worm. Mescal is made from the peyote cactus. Believe me, if you drink the whole bottle, when you get to the bottom, you're more than willing to swallow the worm. :-)
But don't ask her on a straight tequila night...
Love that song...
I'm out for the night gang. Until tomorrow.
That was quick. Must have been all the brunette talk today. Count me in!
6. Body shots on me
OHHHHHHHH-Snowballs. She is a brunette though!
Pure, Clear, Made in Mexico, Aromatic and flavorful.
Not sure if y'all are talkin about the booze or the girl. Or if it matters.
Maybe it's one of those metaphor-thingies that some of my friends who are into book-larnin talk about.
Waiting on AD to chime in.
I'd hit that!
Truth,You would throw your back out on that one.
But it would be sooooo worth it!
She could throw my back out, no complaints!
Well played today,have a good evening and keep Momma Happy!
I wish you would throw yourself out... quit blogging for a while, you are boring
I love tequila straight up and I would straight up "hit that!" Three hits I mean shots please!
I'll bet she meets all the criteria – Made in Mexico, pure and clear and probably smells and tastes nice... :-) I'd hit it.
Gold Anejo tequila, 12 years old = the best!
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