After learning so much at the recent Canadian Club whisky event, I was excited to get an invite to a similar tasting for Sauza and Hornitos tequila. I’ve had tequila only on very rare occasions and, outside of copious references to its potency in country songs, I didn’t know all that much about the spirit.
That’s why this event was worthwhile for me.
We started the evening eating delicious guacamole and Mexican appetizers at Los Colibris restaurant and enjoying a tequila-based cocktail. Personally, I found the cocktail a bit strong and would have preferred something with a bit more fruit and fun, but I know they wanted to showcase the spirit in this.
Following the short cocktail session, we started the part I was really excited about – the tutored tasting with Sauza Brand Ambassador Karina Sanchez Huitron. I enjoyed learning about the different types of tequilas and how they are made, especially how barrel aging impacts on quality and flavour.
I think one of the reasons I’ve never been all that fussed about tequila is because I’ve only been exposed to the most basic forms – margaritas and shots. This session opened me up to the options and versatility of the spirit. Karina also noted that when doing a tequila shot with the Sauza Gold (should you be so inclined) you should substitute the lime for orange and cinnamon. I may just be willing to give that a try, by way of research of course.
Karina walked us through five tequilas – all very different – and then we were able to try each one with an appropriate food pairing. This was easily my favourite part of the night, as it showcased just how well tequila can pair with food. I had honestly been a bit skeptical going in, but each of the well-made bites seemed to fit with the chosen drink. I couldn’t try them all, because I don’t eat red meat, but the ceviche and Sauza silver was a personal favourite pairing, as well as the Hornitos Black Barrel and the fudge brownie. Tequila with dessert? Yes, and it was good.
The Black Barrel was my overall favourite of the night – and that of my
guest Paul Dearborn (@whitbywino), who compared it to bourbon. With lots
of oak and vanilla on the nose and 18 months in three different barrels,
this smoky spirit is good on its own or as a cocktail. The recipe below (courtesy of Hornitos) is one I
think I might try soon – tart cocktails are always hit with me:
While I remain a devoted wine lover, these experiences with spirits are always educational and interesting. I can now see myself heading back to Los Colibris or another Mexican restaurant and feeling more confident in ordering a tequila-based cocktail to enjoy with dinner.
Do you have a favourite tequila? Share your story in the comments or on social.
Thank-you to Sauza Tequila for inviting me to this event.