Favorites from the Spirits of Mexico festival | Bleader

Favorites from the Spirits of Mexico festival

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The Sanguinello Paloma
The Spirits of Mexico festival returned to Zocalo last week for its second year, offering tastes of tequila of various ages (silver, reposado, añejo) from about ten producers. A few of the distilleries that were at last year's festival were back, like Milagro and Herradura, but the majority were different. One, Olmeca, was not only new to the festival, but so new that its añejo tequila was still aging. After trying the excellent "welcome cocktail," a blood orange Paloma made with Milagro Silver, Solerno blood orange liqueur, simple syrup, ruby red grapefruit, lime juice, and pink prosecco, we moved on to tasting straight tequila. Brief notes on a few favorites are below.

Olmeca Silver
Olmeca
Silver: bright, fruity, and fresh-tasting, it has a distinctly briny, clean flavor
Reposado: similar in flavor but slightly smoother and rounder in flavor (I slightly preferred the silver)

Centinela
Reposado: spicy, smooth, subtle caramel
Añejo: smooth, almost viscous, with honey flavors and slight alcoholic burn, almost desserty
Extra añejo: incredibly smooth and rich, with notes of vanilla, coconut, and milk chocolate

Dos Armadillos
Blanco: spicy, cinnamon, banana
Reposado: very oaky, almost nutty
Añejo: smooth caramel, vanilla

Apocalypto
Reposado: very sweet, strong vanilla flavor with butterscotch and pineapple

I also went to a seminar where Jaime Salas, a brand ambassador for Milagro, discussed the aromas of tequila and served cocktails devised by Christiana DeLucca of the Drawing Room. My favorite was the Xocolatl, a boozy concoction with an intense citrus smell and very bitter citrus taste; the port and the chocolate bitters worked particularly well together. The recipe is below.

Xocolatl
2 oz Milagro Añejo
1 oz port
1/2 oz Benedictine
Chocolate bitters
Orange peel

Julia Thiel writes about booze every Wednesday.

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