When Bacardí announced plans to permanently cease production of its Patrón XO Café tequila, the news was met with plenty of upset. The brand’s coffee tequila was a cult favourite in British pubs and bars: a shot of choice, which has now been discontinued as Patrón plan to focus on growing and protecting production and supply of its core tequilas. Fortunately, however, a new wave of coffee tequilas have emerged as countless brands fight for Patrón’s crown, including VIVIR Café VS.
A luxury flavoured liqueur, VIVIR Café VS is made using sustainably produced VIVIR Blanco from the brand’s core range, naturally flavoured with coffee beans all sourced locally to the distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.
“Designed to change the perceptions of tequila”, VIVIR Tequila was founded by friends Navindh Grewal and Paul Hayes. After noticing a gap in the UK market for 100 per cent agave tequila, the pair decided to launch VIVIR, challenging the spirit’s association with being knocked back with salt and lime. Having already formed strong working relationships with agave farms and distillers in Mexico, while distributing agave syrup for his food business, co-founder Paul Hayes also found himself having allergic reactions when drinking tequila that wasn’t 100 percent agave.
Following three years of planning and development, VIVIR Tequila officially launched in 2019, made using 100 percent Weber Blue Agave and natural volcanic spring water, distilled at award-winning, family-owned The Casa Maestri. Based in Jalisco, Mexico, the distillery was selected for its sustainable practices, traditional process, and as it cultivates its own Highland Weber Blue Agave and has its own natural spring water source. Grown to full maturity – taking between eight and nine years – the agave has a strong sweet flavour, and is allowed to flower and seed, ensuring the next year’s crop as well as allowing for an ecosystem of animal and insect life to thrive. The plant is then cooked for three-to-four days in a Hornos (clay oven), ultimately giving VIVIR Tequila a strong agave flavour and some subtle smokiness.
Joining VIVIR’s three core expressions (Blanco, Reposado and Añejo), VIVIR Café VS is the brand’s first flavoured liqueur, based with VIVIR Tequila Blanco, which was created after a year of development and over 100 iterations. The addition of coffee delivers an intense aromatic flavour, with bold coffee notes alongside cooked agave, while sweetness from Piloncillo (a natural Mexican sugar cane) joins the coffee savours on the palate, followed by a subtle agave finish. Well-suited to being sipped neat or mixed in cocktails.
VIVIR Café VS is available from VIVIR’s website and Master of Malt, RRP £27.