National Tequila Day … with 127 Bar & Bistro

From the archive: This post was published on our original site, MyCityLife back on 24 July 2014

As manager of 127 Bar & Bistro, Tjardo Hilberts brings his worldly knowledge of fine drinking and dining to the heart of Brisbane. Inspired by National Tequila Day, Tjardo passes on his expertise in what makes a great tequila and how to enjoy it.

WHAT MAKES A GREAT TEQUILA?

Not all tequilas are created equal. Several tequilas are not 100% agave. These “mixto” tequilas have at least 51% agave and are fortified with sugars. They taste quite different from real tequila and will generally give you a decent hangover. We all know these from the shots at the end of a big night out.

IT STARTS WITH CLASS

To understand tequila you have to know the different classifications:

Silver, Blanco, Plata
This is the blue agave spirit in its purest form. It is clear and typically un-aged. It is bottled directly after distillation or stored in stainless steel tanks up to 4 weeks.

Gold, Joven, Oro
This is usually a Mixto tequila where colorants and flavourings have been added prior to bottling. This type is mainly used for mixed drinks.

Reposado
This tequila is in the first process of aging. The spirit is aged in wood barrels or storage tanks between 2 and 11 months. The colour will become golden and the taste is balanced between the Agave and wood flavours of American or French oak.

Añejo
After 1 year, tequila can be classified as Anejo. This aging process darkens the spirit to an amber colour and makes the spirit smoother, richer and more complex.

Extra Añejo
This is a new classification added in 2006, which labels any tequila aged over three years. The aging process remains the same and the spirit colour changes to mahogany. These tequilas are very smooth and complex.

To really enjoy tequila, pick an Añejo and the tequila of choice is


Tequila Ocho A
ñejo
This is an estate-grown, 100% Blue Agave Tequila range. OCHO is produced as a collaboration between Tomas Estes – the man credited with bringing the first bottle of Tequila to Europe – and renowned distillers, the Camarena family. What’s really unique about OCHO is that it bears the first ever ‘Tequila vintage’. This ‘Vintage’ signifies the exact year of harvest and location of the Agave plants that the spirit was derived from, under-lining the finely balanced relationship between the terroir and quality of raw materials. OCHO Añejo is aged for at least one year for unparalleled smoothness and complexity which mark a truly great sipping tequila.

HOW TO DRINK IT

* Drink this tequila at room temperature. Adding ice will dilute the flavour.
* Drink añejo tequila like a scotch or other aged spirit, by serving it in a snifter or tequila glass. Incidentally, we have a stem-less snifter at 127.
* Swirl the tequila around in your glass and sip it.
* Swirl the tequila in your mouth and enjoy the full range of flavours.

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