Tequila Beyond a Classic Margarita
With premium tequila for sipping and imaginative tequila cocktails from creative mixologists, the classic margarita is facing some serious competition.
What does a $300 bottle of tequila taste like?
Put down the salt and lime, and I’ll tell you. This one is meant to be savored, not shot.
I recently attended the Los Angeles launch party for Milagro UNICO at Playa restaurant in Los Angeles, where Milagro founders Daniel Schneeweiss and Moises Guindi unveiled their limited edition micro-distilled Joven blend.
“By combining old world techniques with modern innovations,” says Schneeweiss, “we created a product that takes you through a journey of everything tequila has to offer — all in one glass.”
That journey begins with strong agave flavors and a whisper of grapefruit and orange, followed by fresh herbaceous notes. The finish is long and complex, delivering warm spice notes with hints of vanilla and caramel. This is no ordinary tequila.
Milagro UNICO is made by blending Milagro’s micro-distilled silver tequila with its rarest barrel-aged reserves. This distinctive blend rests for 30 days so that the tequilas can be merged into a liquid that retains many qualities of the individual flavor profiles.
Only 1,000 bottles are available this year, and each is as artistically crafted as the liquid inside. Every tall, sleek bottle is individually numbered and features a crystal of the signature “pina” (the heart of the agave plant) embedded inside.
Of course, if you don’t fancy yourself sipping ultra-premium tequila from a snifter, Milagro offers other tequilas that are more suitable for blending into a variety of imaginative cocktails.
The launch party at Playa offered tequila aficionados imaginative tequila concoctions featuring Milagro Silver and Añejo crafted by Gaston Martinez, Milagro Brand Ambassador and Julian Cox, L.A.’s mixology “It guy.”
The Paloma Italiano (Milagro Silver, Campari, San Pellegrino Aranciata, lemon, lime, agave, grapefruit zest and a pinch of salt) was an excellent match for the peppers and cheese in Playa’s Piquillos Rellenos (Spanish Piquillo peppers, Gruyère, golden raisins and chorizo).
The smooth, not-too-sweet Proposition (Milagro Barrel Select Silver, Barolo Chinato, lemon and Sardinian honey) paired nicely with Playa’s smoky Puerco (chile-rubbed pork tenderloin and salsa verde).
All of Milagro’s tequila expressions are crafted with hand-selected 100% blue agave from Milagro’s estate in the Jalisco highlands, then slow roasted in clay ovens and triple-distilled for a taste that is quite agave-forward.
More than 100 varieties of agave grow in Mexico, but the blue agave is the most prized. The judges at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition agree — Milagro UNICO took home the top prize this year, the coveted Double Gold Medal.
If you’re an agave aficionado who’s serious about sipping tequila “neat,” a bottle of Milagro UNICO could certainly refine your collection (and put a serious dent in your wallet). But if you prefer mixology, don’t be shy about incorporating Milagro Silver ($25) or Añejo ($36) into a creative cocktail.
There’s more than one way to go beyond the margarita.
Copyright © Michelle Gigon/2012 Singular Communications, LLC.
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