It’s a crying shame that tequila has garnered a somewhat unscrupulous reputation within the United Kingdom, often linked with horrific memories of shots that combine cheap spirit, salt, lime, and regret. However, as is the case with most things, good quality is key and can make all of the difference – premium tequilas, for example, are not only designed to be sipped leisurely, many are also rather enjoyable.
Patrón is a brand of Mexican tequila that has soared in popularity in recent years. Owned by the Patrón Spirits Company, purchased by St. Maarten Spirits in 1989, Patrón, like all tequilas, is made using the ‘Maguey’ (core) of the blue agave plant, uprooted by skilled Jimadors after around seven-to-eight years of growth. Using a Coa – a type of sharp machete – the leaves are stripped away to reveal the heart of the plant, which is steamed for 72-hours to soften considerably. Once the agave has been softened, it is crushed on an industrial scale, using a two-ton tahona wheel made from volcanic stone, and a roller mill in order to release the plant’s sweet juices. Next, the mixture is fermented for three days before being distilled and placed into a variety of handmade barrels to undergo the aging process, before being bottled within vessels hand measured and moulded by skilled glass artisans – using mostly recycled glass.
Of the brand’s range of tequilas, Patrón Silver is un-aged and thus their youngest spirit. As a result, the drink’s lightness and versatility means that it is ideal as the base for numerous cocktails, as well as working extraordinarily well on its own. Having been double-distilled the spirit is also particularly pure and crystal clear in appearance. On the nose, prominent notes of agave are joined by aromas of oil and citrus – particularly grapefruit and lime, while on the palate Patrón Silver is surprisingly smooth, with initial notes of earthy agave followed by a characteristic note of peppery spiciness. This is a particularly enjoyable tequila, ideal for savouring or for using as a base for various cocktails – just keep away from the shot glasses, salt, and lime.
Tying in with International Tequila Day, falling on Sunday 24th July this year, Patrón have shared the recipe for their ‘Bloody Maria’ cocktail. A contemporary take on the quintessentially British Bloody Mary, this variation swaps classic vodka for Patrón Silver and is simple enough to recreate at home.
Patrón Bloody Maria Recipe
Patrón Silver Tequila, 40 ml
Tomato juice, 110ml
Fresh lemon juice, 15ml
Worcestershire sauce, a dash
Tabasco, a dash
Horseradish, 1tsp, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine ingredients in a mixing tin or pint glass and “roll” the drink by pouring it back and forth between the two. Strain onto fresh ice in a tall glass — if you prefer, rim the glass with salt or a specialty spiced rim of your choosing.
Garnish with a lemon wedge and celery stalk and then enjoy!
Further information on Patrón Tequila can be found at patrontequila.com.