What’s Your Tequila?

Our three tequila expressions: Blanco, Reposado and Anejo

As some people know, there are three different expressions of Tequila: Blanco, Reposado and Añejo. But let’s be frank (and less pretentious): expression just means age or aging.

Blanco Tequila, like a lot of white wine, is aged very little or (as is the case with Tres Agaves) not at all. Reposado is aged between 2 and 12 months and finally, Añejo is aged anywhere from 1 year to 3 years.

But the real question is which one is right for you? We’ve created this little quiz to help you figure it out.

1. The favors I like most in food are:
a. Herbal, earthy, spicy
b. Caramel, soft, cinnamon
c. Vanilla, pepper, citrus

2. The cocktails I go for are like:
a. Martinis or any spicy cocktail
b. Manhattans or Old Fashioneds
c. Palomas or Cosmopolitans

3. I mostly prefer:
a. Having my alcohol in cocktails
b. Sipping my alcohol neat
c. Somewhere in between

If your answers were:

Mostly A’s. Purer than driven snow, your answers suggest you are a Blanco person. Blanco provides the most herbal expression of tequila and so is great for mixing in a wide variety of cocktails including ones that are spicy or blend with other herbal types of liqueurs.

Mostly B’s: It seems like you like a bit of a mix because you lean towards Reposado. Because of its aging, Reposado gives you the best of both worlds – a bit of vanilla from barrels and some of the agave plant’s pepper notes. That makes it great for both fruit-focused cocktails or sipping neat.

Mostly C’s You may be someone who likes bourbon or other whiskeys because it seems you lean towards Añejos. Because they are aged the longest of the three expressions we are discussing here, Añejos pick up more flavors and color from the barrels, which makes them a bit richer and more mellow (just like whiskey). That makes Añejos great for darker cocktails or sipping on ice.

There are no wrong answers and we hope that this quiz encourages to try all sorts of Tequila. Just try and make it Tres Agaves Organic 100% de Agave Tequila ok?

Mexican Independence Day

Mexican cuisine – Chiles en nogada

September 16th is Mexican Independence Day (no, it’s not Cinco de Mayo), and believe it or not Mexican and American Independence have quite a few things in common.

Both were seeking to overthrow a colonial government that had conquered the native peoples of that land – the British for the Americans, and the Spanish for the Mexicans.

In addition, both revolutions have a rallying cry “moment” that fanned the flames of freedom. The Mexican equivalent of the Boston Tea Party is “El Grito” – the day Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called on Mexicans in the town of Dolores to rise up against the Spanish.

Hidalgo was already involved in the revolutionary movement and it was, in fact, José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara (the George Washington of Mexico) who asked Hidalgo to inspire people to revolution. On the 16th of September at 2:30 AM (having freed about 80 pro-independence inmates from jail), Hidalgo rang the church bells and gathered the populous and said (in essence): “Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe [symbol of the Indians’ faith], death to bad government, death to the gachupines [the Spaniards]!”.

Each year the President of the Mexican Republic shouts a version of “El Grito” from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City: “Viva México! Viva la Independencia! Vivan los héroes!” Everybody else celebrates with fireworks, bands and the odd glass of Tequila. We suggest you join them, raise a glass of Tres Agaves Tequila, and cheer, ‘Salud’!

Dispelling Tequila Myths

Tequila has long had a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding it, which has resulted in it having a certain reputation. But now it’s time to clear up those myths so that you can enjoy tequila in all its glory.  

The Worm

Contrary to popular belief, a bottle of Tequila should never have a worm in it. Some low-quality mezcals contain worms, but it’s best practice to never drink any bottle with a worm in it. By the way, in reality, the worm isn’t really a worm at all, it’s the larvae from a butterfly caterpillar. The more you know.

Tequila is Guaranteed to Give You a Hangover  

No, only bad Tequila is more likely to do that (and only if you drink too much of it, which you should never do). There are two main ways to make tequila: one where 100% of the alcohol comes from the agave plant (100% de Agave Tequila), and another where only 51% of the alcohol needs to come from agave (Misto). It is the Misto that can make your head hurt, mostly because the non-agave alcohol content is frequently of poor quality to keep the price low.  The moral of the story: always buy 100% de Agave Tequila (and if you could make it Tres Agaves, that would be nice) 

You should only use Blanco for cocktails:  

While a Blanco is most popularly used in cocktails, really any Tequila varietal can make a great cocktail.  Try mixing our Reposado in your margarita for a little darker, smokier taste. You can also sub in. tequila for other alcohols in cocktails: try making a Manhattan with Añejo instead of whiskey. 

Tequila is produced from any agave, anywhere in Mexico 

It’s actually a lot more specific than that. Tequila can only be made from the Blue Weber agave, which (by the way) is not a cactus but a member of the lily family, and closely related to yucca, beargrass, and sotol.  What’s more, there are only five states legally permitted to produce Tequila.  While the majority of Tequila comes from the state of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas have municipal districts sanctioned to produce Tequila.  

All Tequila Tastes the Same 

Definitely not! Just like wine, Tequilas have terroire, an element of taste that comes from the environment where the agave was grown. Tres Agaves is made from agave grown in the Tequila Valley. The plants are older, the soil is more volcanic, and the weather is hotter and wetter. This results in spicier tequilas with a strong citrus element. In contrast, Los Altos (The Highlands) area, has soil that is rich in iron and weather that is both cooler and dryer. This results in slightly sweeter tequilas with hints of vanilla and fruit.   

There you have it – a few of Tequila’s most popular misbeliefs dispelled. Check out our products, we sell organic 100% de Agave Tequila and organic cocktail mixers. We have dozens of delicious cocktails recipes to step your bartending game up, as well! Salud.

Tres Agaves @ BeMyApp & Agave Agape

Tres Agaves was featured over the weekend at a couple of great local events.

If you’re a developer in San Francisco, you might have caught BeMyApp going on at the pariSoma Innovation Loft.  The concept?  90 people get together on Friday to design the next great mobile app by Sunday.  Nothing gets ideas flowing like Tequila.  The minds behind the next Angry Birds kicked things off on Friday by squeezing limes and suckin down fresh Margaritas.

From Tres Agaves’ event representative Maria Ferrer:

“Techies from different parts of the world love-love-love to make their own world-class Tres Agaves Margaritas.  They are all falling in line at the “MYOM” station (Make Your Own Margarita) station for the TAP experience!  Great TAP reception at pariSoma BeMyApp event:)”

Check out BeMyApp’s blog to hear more about the event, and to read about some of the all-star developers involved.

While they were crunching 1’s and 0’s in SF, Tres Agaves was display at the Agave Agape, Tequila Tasting & Auction Fundraiser.  What the heck is ‘Agave Agape’?  It basically just means, ‘to love tequila’, and the 100 or so people there all did.  Noted Tequila expert and friend of the brand Joanne Weir was also on hand signing her book “TEQUILA: A guide to types, flights, cocktails and bites”.

From Tres Agaves NorCal Promotions Manager Rafael Amador:

“I knew it was going to be a special night when I walked in the small intimate venue, with my niece’s original training saddle, cowboy hat and my own suede gavan for display.  The noise level went down and could feel the stares asking ‘What the…!’ I brought two 2 glass containers, both we filled with fresh limes, and in the front one I threw in some serrano chilies in to the mix. We passed out Sangrita and it really did get the ‘OMG, you have to try this!’ comment from a lot of people.  I made it with just about the right kick, and added salt and pepper to my own taste. (you can check out the recipe here ). Best part of the evening? Our Reposado won the taster’s choice award!”

That’s it for now.  If you don’t want to miss out on other events like these, make sure to sign up for the Tres Agaves Newsletter.

Recipe Gold at the Tres Agaves Tequila Holiday Cook-off

Last week to celebrate the year – and finish off our company sales meeting – our affable CEO Barry Augus had us all over to his place for a potluck of sorts. Chris Alvarez our VP of Sales had grill duty and was fixing up chicken and steak. Jamie Chilberg, our NorCal rep, was mixing up the Margaritas and “keeping them comin’”. The rest of the team was responsible for everything else. I say it was a potluck “of sorts” because there was one catch: each item had to contain at least one of our own products: Tequila, Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar or Margarita mix. The company sprang for all the ingredients and all the cooking was done in real time. Prizes would be awarded. Let the cook-off begin.

We all carpooled over to Barry’s in the late afternoon and found a kitchen full of ingredients waiting for us. Sensing the potential for “crowded BART rush hour” conditions I strategically dove in early to complete my dish. 20 minutes later, my cooking was done and I could focus on my three favorite pastimes: eating, drinking and carrying on.

It was a great evening – 1 part Thanksgiving feast, 1 part kitchen laboratory, 1 part Tales of the Cocktail. While there was some winging it most everything turned out as planned. And some of the creations were down right yummy and worth sharing. Here’s some of the crowd faves:

Tequila-Marinated Shrimp (via Better Homes & Gardens) by Pamela Smith, Controller

Tequila marinated shrimp ala Pamela

Shrimp dredged in Tequila, garlic and lime. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh or frozen medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, leaving tails intact
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Tres Agaves Añejo Tequila
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Preparation:

    Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Rinse shrimp; pat dry. Set aside. 

In large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes or until tender. Add shrimp and tequila; bring to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque, stirring occasionally.

    Transfer shrimp mixture to a bowl. Add lime juice, cilantro, and salt; toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain before serving. To keep these tongue-tingling shrimp well-chilled during a party, place them in a bowl nestled inside a larger bowl of ice.

    Makes 10 to 12 appetizer servings.

    Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare as above. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain before serving.

    Banana Cream Pie with Sweet Walnut Cream Crust (via Raw Epicurean.net) by Ned Cartmell, Marketing Manager

    OK, this looked a bit weird on the table but it tasted great. I would recommend a little whipped topping to dress it up.

    Also Phylum Husk powder is soluble fiber, which is a good additive if you want to stay regular; otherwise completely unnecessary here. The young Ned opted out of this ingredient.

    Ingredients:

    Sweet Walnut Crust:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2-3 chopped dates
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • Cream Filling:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 bananas
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon phylum husk powder (optional)
  • Topping:

  • 2-3 bananas, cut in to ½ inch rounds
  • Preparation:

    For Sweet Walnut Crust:
    Place the first three ingredients in the food processor and process into a moist meal. While the processor is running slowly pour in the agave until the mixture turns into a ball. Press sweet crust into a 9-inch pie dish to form pie crust.

    Set aside.

    For Filling:
    Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

    For Topping:
    Cut bananas into ½ rounds.

    Assembly:
    Pour the cream filling into the sweet pie crust. Top with sliced bananas in a circular pattern for a pretty presentation. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

    Avocado Chipotle Dip by Eric Rubin, Founder and Brand Director

    Chipotle dip to the max from Eric

    What can I say? Eric’s a master with a food processor.

    Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 cup sour cream (regular or light)
  • 1/2 cup mayo (regular or light)
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 chipotle chiles en adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
  • 2 medium green onions, sliced thin
  • Salt, to taste
  • Preparation:

    In a bowl or food processor, mix all ingredients except green onions. Transfer to a serving bowl and mix in green onions. Add salt to taste. Chill until flavors meld, about 1 hour. Serve with tortilla chips and sliced cucumbers.

    Tequila Citrus Cranberry Relish by Parker Trewin, Director Marketing

    Tequila Cranberry Relish before chillin out

    I did a version of cranberry sauce recipe that my cousin Dana Towle Wigton gave me (thanks schweets!). I had it years ago while visiting her in Maine over Thanksgiving. I loved it and have been making it every year ever since. I mixed it up by substituting nectar for sugar and adding a kick of Tequila. (If you want to get really crazy add a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper. Finishes it off with some heat.)

    Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 package fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup blackberry jam
  • ¼ cup Tres Agaves Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar
  • 2 ounces Tres Agaves Añejo Tequila
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated orange peel
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • Preparation:

    Boil water. Reduce heat to at least medium. Add ingredients. Stirring frequently, wait for cranberries to pop and the mixture to thicken. (About 10 minutes.) Remove from heat. Chill to room temperature. Serve.

    Zesty Shrimp and Avocado Salad by Nicole Morris Vegas/Colorado Regional Market Manager

    The makings of a winner!

    And saving the best for last, this audience favorite and winning entry was flown in from Vegas. Fresh and delicious!

    Ingredients:

    Salad:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 ear corn, husk and silk removed
  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 6 colossal or 12 extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 head butter lettuce, torn
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
  • Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Tres Agaves Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups store-bought tortilla strips (recommended: Mission Restaurant Style)
  • Preparation:

    For the salad: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. In a large bowl add the romaine lettuce, corn, zucchini, and shrimp and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the romaine lettuce, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Coarsely chop the grilled lettuce and add it to a large salad bowl. Grill the corn and zucchini for 2 minutes on all sides until crisp-tender. Remove the kernels from the corn and add to the salad bowl. Chop the zucchini into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Grill the shrimp until the meat is opaque and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Cool slightly and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the chopped shrimp, butter lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado to the bowl.

    For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and Tres Agaves Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Garnish the salad with tortilla strips and serve. Serves 4.

    Tequila Talk: the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) Gets Social

    The Consejo Regulador del Tequila, commonly shortened to CRT, is the regulatory body for the Tequila industry and sets the standards for all things Tequila.

    Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

  • The Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT), A. C., is an inter professional organization comprising all actors and production staff associated with the Tequila production. The aim of the CRT is to promote the culture and quality of this beverage that has gained an important place among the national identity symbols.
  • And they’re all business. If you needed any proof just get a load of this pic taken of the main board room. It’s like the the UN of Tequila.

    Where it all happens at the CRT.

    It’s easy to get the impression from the submissions above that they are just about facts, figures and regulations. In short, that they are just another formal regulatory body that pushes rules to their audience.

    They’re not. One look at their website and you will instantly know that they want to be more. They want to be part of the ongoing conversation about Tequila. They want to reach out, engage and encourage feedback. In fact, their website site is one of the most “social” sites I’ve ever seen. It’s all right there on the home page. The CRT home page features three main elements: a Facebook feed, a Twitter feed and a YouTube feed- featuring the reigning Miss Universe no less. (Wanna see the Miss Universe video? Click here.) In addition, they have social links at the top of the page to encourage you to spread their news so others can “join the conversation”.

    I personally love that the CRT has a Facebook page. Anyone care to “like”? I just did.

    A lot of companies, both B2C and B2B, could learn a few things from the CRT. It’s about using all their online channels to stimulate conversations. Case in point, via this post, it’s working.

    As an aside, I would love to see the DPT or the DMV adopt the same format that the CRT has. Imagine the fun of joining in on one of those conversations? Think of the live pot hole tweets and cam shots of road repairs and delays. Seriously, the DPT and DMV could use some real time feedback from their customers. (I’m just saying…)

    Tequila Talk: Appellation of Origin

    Think Champagne and you are likely to think of bubbly wine produced from some place in France – just like non-bubbly Burgundy or Bordeaux wines. The same goes Kobe beef. And Tequila spirits. They are all products officially designated by their specific origin. Think of Appellation of Origin as a trademark to protect and validate the designated product as authentic. There are also marketing advantages.

    Case in point: Would you rather have Champagne or sparkling wine? Let’s face it “sparkling wine” doesn’t carry the same loftiness of Champagne. And because sparkling wine doesn’t come from the Champagne, with the region’s unique characteristics, it’s not (to use a popular 70’s phrase) “the real thing”. Officially, it’s a different thing that also has bubbles.

    CRT Building in Guadalajara, Mexico.

    Wikipedia defines Appellation of Origin this way: A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country). The use of a GI may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.

    Want more info as it pertains to Tequila? You can get the history of appellation of origin at Tequileros.

    Winning Cocktails at the Fillmore Holiday Cocktail Crawl

    In the past few posts I’ve documented how I purchased, prepped and served all the Tequila cocktails that were featured at last night’s Fillmore Holiday Cocktail Crawl.

    After my hosting duties were completed, I got to hang out with the 400 plus folks who attended and compare my creations with the experts. As a reminder here’s the drink list.

  • The Redevelopment
  • Fillmo’better
  • Jalisco Blossom
  • Joplin’s Juice
  • The Zapata
  • I sampled everything but The Zapata, which was “out” by the time I got there. So I’m trusting the law of supply and demand and that it must have been pretty tasty. All the drinks were high on the yum scale. In my own biased opinion my versions stacked up well against the Fillmo’better, the Jalisco Blossom and Joplin’s Juice. This is not to say I prepared better drinks than these Bartenders – only to say that they weren’t signifcantly worse.

    Sean McNeal’s 99 proof banana “frothing” on “Fillmo” was clearly on the money and on my lips. Mine was a little heavier in the glass – but still not bad. I preferred my version served up neat in a Martini glass. As you can see, though, I had no problem getting to the bottom of the glass. And apparently neither did anyone else as it was chosen the audience favorite. Congrats Sean!

    Finishing the Fillmo'better.

    The Redevelopment was clearly better and deLISH. It WAS the muddling of the Jalapeno. It made all the difference. It was spicier, better balanced. It was all at once sweet and sour with a pepper finish that made it come alive.

    I was too focused on enjoyed this and not focused enough on getting a shot. Wish I had a picture to share but, alas, I do not. I did snap this clinking of glasses though. A perfect way to finish off a great evening.

    One final toast.

    Bay Area folks: If you want to know which pubs are featuring these drinks, click here or pop me a comment. Happy to provide!