Few spirits have captured the general public eye as a lot as tequila, with stars all launching their very own tequilas lately. However bartenders will inform you that the flashy new arrivals can’t actually examine to the classics, particularly with regards to a model like Don Julio Tequila, one of many pioneers of the posh tequila class that the majority celeb newcomers are aiming to get a bit of.
However bartenders get pleasure from Don Julio for excess of its pivotal position in tequila historical past: you’re prone to hear any variety of explanations why individuals who make drinks professionally actually love this drink specifically. From the mixable Blanco to once-in-a-lifetime expressions, listed below are seven the reason why you need to have a bottle of Don Julio on your shelf.
New tequila manufacturers might need flash, however none have a backstory fairly like that of Don Julio — an organization based in 1942 by a younger agave farmer who sought to make nice tequila. In 1985, after greater than 40 years within the trade, Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada modified tequila endlessly with the launch of the model bearing his personal identify, that was solely meant to be loved with shut family and friends. After a personal celebration the place it was served, phrase acquired out concerning the high quality of the spirit, resulting in the next public launch of the world’s first luxurious tequila. Don Julio remains to be produced on the founder’s authentic property at present, La Primavera.
As with wine and its terroir, the flavour profile of any tequila relies upon on the place its agave vegetation are grown. All the agave utilized in Don Julio comes from the mineral-rich, red-soil Jalisco highlands, an space referred to as Los Altos that’s well-known for producing fruitier agave, which in flip creates tequilas with pronounced fruitiness and floral notes. The Blue Weber agave used to make Don Julio is harvested at seven to 10 years of age. Every plant is hand-picked and hand-cut by Don Julio’s jimadors to make sure the standard of its juice. In keeping with some tales, Don Julio González even planted his agave additional aside than common, which was pricey and required extra land, with the aim to provide the very best high quality agave to make his tequila.
There’s a motive why world-class bartenders like Mario Farulla like to deploy Don Julio in up to date cocktails. Previously at one of many world’s-top-100-rated bars and now operating a luxurious bar in Rome, Italy, Farulla makes use of Don Julio Blanco so as to add complexity to a home Manhattan historically utilizing Bulleit Rye. For Josh Lindley, co-founder of Bartender Atlas and one of many organizers of the Toronto Cocktail Conference, Don Julio’s versatility makes it a go-to in combined drinks. “All the greatest tequilas can straddle the road between correct illustration of the agave plant in distillate kind whereas nonetheless being versatile sufficient to mix with juices, liqueurs and different cocktail components,” Lindley says. “Don Julio Blanco does this rather well.”
Don Julio makes for a terrific cocktail, however it’s additionally phenomenal to sip on its personal. Seattle bartender Equipment Blood usually makes use of Don Julio Reposado in a basic Margarita. “Shake Don Julio Reposado, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and agave nectar with ice,” she says. “Pour it right into a glass with a salty rim. No liqueur or bitter combine essential once you make a Margarita with good tequila.” However when she’s off the clock, her favourite drink is similar Don Julio Reposado — neat. “It’s easy and engaging,” she says. “Good as a sipper or a mixer.”
Balanced aromas, flavors and textures are crucial elements of any high-end beverage, however don’t overlook the aesthetic qualities of the bottle from which they’re poured. For Matej Novak, a drinks blogger with the YouTube channel Cocktails and Happiness, the lengthy and chic bottles of Don Julio 1942 stand out at any time when he sees them. “Its [the bottle’s] dimensions imply it doesn’t match the place common bottles do, so it’s normally displayed someplace extra outstanding,” he says. “If I’m at a bar that shares it and somebody is celebrating one thing large and particular, that’s what I’m ordering, with out hesitation.”
Regardless of its historical past, Don Julio isn’t afraid to attempt utterly new issues. Along with its basic line of tequilas, Don Julio additionally produces a number of distinctive variations, such because the Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro, a singular, clear añejo tequila. Aged 18 months in American oak as with the standard Don Julio Añejo, with all of the wealthy character and complexity that designation implies — it’s then charcoal filtered, giving the looks of a younger, vibrant Blanco and bringing again in these pepper and agave notes. One other distinctive variation that gives wealthy potential for cocktails: Don Julio Reposado Double Cask, which was completed in casks that beforehand held Buchanan’s blended scotch — a changeup from a now sought-after earlier launch that was completed in smoky Lagavulin barrels — this one providing much more variation in taste, in addition to mixability. The top consequence affords the graceful chocolate and peat overtones of a scotch-cask end to the honey notes of agave.
7.The (Extremely) Excessive Finish
Few tequilas method the complexity and character of Don Julio 1942, which, after a minimal of two and a half years in oak, emerges as a creamy, spicy sip — precisely the kind of drink to order for an important day, or when spending someone else’s money! However Don Julio takes it even additional with its Actual (as in “Madrid”), an Further Añejo that spends three to 5 years in American white-oak barrels. Don Julio Actual affords complicated notes of caramel, chocolate, vanilla, almonds and black pepper, adopted by an extended, elegant end. Its value level, round $400 per bottle, implies that it’s in all probability not going to be discovered on each bar. Nevertheless, that may be interpreted as a kind of bonus attribution: when you do spot a bottle, you’ll know you’re someplace particular.
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This text is sponsored by Don Julio Tequila.