Otro Tequila

News directly from Jalisco's famed tequila regions

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tequila goes academic

The University of Guadalajara now offers a continuing education program in all things Tequila. The course, which ran for the first time over the fall and winter, delves into topics as diverse as tequila's history, chemical composition and role in modern pop culture. It should be offered again in late 2006. Considering wine is extensively studied in zones with large vinting industries, the U de G establishing a tequila course seems appropriate - even though I mention in the story that most people only learn about Mexico's famed firewater in the bar.

Here's what I wrote on the program for the Miami Herald, Mexico edition last fall.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Orange, lemon tequila launched

Story by David Agren

Tequila has always come in two colors: white and gold, and without added flavoring, leaving it to consumers to jazz up Jalisco's famed firewater with the mix of their choice - although some drinkers would simply down the spirit straight. Industry changes though could revolutionize the way tequila is consumed.

The Guadalajara-based Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) relaxed some of its production rules on March 7, allowing distillers to produce several new types of beverages, including flavored tequilas. Previously, producers would age their tequilas in different types of barrels and use advanced distilling techniques to tweak the flavor, but the end product never included added ingredients (with the possible exception of coloring). That, however, is about to change.

This week, Casa Herradura, an Amatitan, Jalisco distiller, introduces Sauve 35, a flavored tequila meant for mixing in cocktails and martinis.

Made from 100 percent agave, Sauve 35 has two flavors: orange and lemon, and a 35 percent alcohol content. A Casa Herradura spokesman said Sauve 35 should compete favorably with the spate of flavored rums and vodkas, which have been successfully introduced in recent years. Several competitors are expected to follow Casa Herradura's lead, including industry giants Suaza and Jose Cuervo.

David Ozgo, an economist with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States figured flavored tequilas would be well received due to the burgeoning market for flavored spirits.

"It's a fast-growing segment," he said. The flavor options for tequila distillers, though, would be somewhat limited.
"Tequila obviously has more of a distinct flavor than vodka or rum, but it's not quite as overpowering as a Bourbon or Scotch," Ozgo explained.

Previously, tequila fell into four categories: Blanco (white), Joven (gold), Reposado (rested) and AƱejo (aged). Along with flavored tequila, a new extra-aged category was introduced.

With tequila's popularity surging - especially in foreign countries - Ozgo said it was natural for the CRT to establish new product categories.

"I would suspect that while tequila is a fast-growing product, it competes with all other spirits," he said.

From the Guadalajara Reporter, March 11, 2006